The week preceding the regatta has seen a number of factors affecting the initial entry list. Typhoon 'Dindo' over the Philippines and a Tropical Storm over Vietnam has hampered the delivery of Hong Kong yachts.
Mechanical problems with Neil PRYDE'S Hi Fidelity and Frank PONG'S Jelik sees them returning to Subic Bay for urgent repairs. Despite some withdrawals a extremely competitive fleet is lining up in the racing class and a showdown is expected in the ever increasing Sportsboat and multihull classes.
Still up for grabs is the prestigious 2003/04 AsianYachting Grand Prix championship trophy and tailored Blue Blazer from Armani. Present leaders Peter AHERN and Ray ORDOVESA on 7 points can be overhauled by Sam CHAN and Neil Pryde on 6 points and Ray ROBERTS on 5 points depending on who makes it around to Koh Samui and their final placings. In event of a tie a count back based on the number of wins, 2nd and 3rd places throughout the season will determine the overall winner. This regatta is the 9th selected - 5 star AY Grand Prix and final event for the 2003/04 season. Current rankings can be browsed at: http://asianyachting.com/news/Rankings0304.htm
Making her debut is Robert Knight's new DK 46 - Drumstick which is one to watch out for as she is considered a serious contender for first place on corrected time. The Royal Thai Navy have turned up in force with 2 Farr MRX's that have shown excellent form at the Phuket King's Cup over the last couple of years. Troy YAW'S Ulumulu is the only Malaysian entry coming from Sarawak and may see the return of her former owner Ray ROBERTS on the helm who will have to score a win here to have any chance of popping the champagne and taking home the coveted blue blazer.
Two Phuket 8 sportsboats will be joined by Pink Pussycat from Pattaya and Happy Endings from Singapore that have the convenience of being trailored overland and becoming very popular amongst the regions top racing sailors that are looking for close racing and more fun for their dollar.
The region is experiencing a revival of large multihull racing as many are now being locally designed and built. Six in all will face the starters gun with Coco Blues being the latest launching in Koh Samui will be measuring up against the successful Cedar Swan and Treasure Trove.