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12 Foot Skiff Racing Added to Samui Regatta

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The Regatta, taking place in Koh Samui (Thailand) between 1 and 6 June 2009 already looks like being the largest and most exciting Samui International Regatta to date.

The popular event has added three days of 12 foot Skiff racing to lead into the schedule. The racing from 29th-31st May, which will be set on a course as close as possible to Samui’s Chaweng Beach, is not only exhilarating to compete in, but also fun to watch. Teams from archrivals Australia and New Zealand will compete head-to-head for the honours.

Six Skiffs from Sydney, Australia, and six from Auckland, New Zealand, will be shipped by container, courtesy of Maersk Line, to arrive in Samui in time for the first race on the 29th May. Whenever Australia and New Zealand meet to compete in any sporting fixture, fierce competition is always guaranteed.

The 12ft Skiff is a development class that is sailed in New South Wales and Queensland in Australia and also in New Zealand. Its exact origin is unknown, but dates back to the small Skiffs that were often seen out on Sydney Harbour in the late 1800's. Today, the contested Skiff regattas are the State, Australian and Interdominion Championships.

Skiff boats normally run 2 or 3 carbon masts with a combination of sails giving 4 rig combinations, meaning that the boats can easily race in 5-35 knots. Handling a 12 ft Skiff requires multiple skills that include boat handling, tuning, boat maintenance and training.

Callum Laing is Chairman of the Regatta “The new 12 ft Skiffs are one of the most thrilling and distinct classes in sailing and we are anticipating some great racing. We’re also thrilled to announce that the Twelve Foot Skiff Association of Australia has kindly offered to donate one skiff to support the building of a Skiff class locally – a wonderful gesture that not only supports youth sailing but that is also in sync with the ‘spirit’ of sailing on the island.”

The Skiff racing will set the right tone for the start of the 2009 Regatta - one of Asia’s leading sailing events that is part of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championships.

 A full regatta fleet is expected from Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and further afield.

The addition of exciting Skiff racing can only add to the festival atmosphere of the Regatta - that includes great sailing and fun parties all set against the backdrop of exotic Koh Samui.

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