In 2004, William J. Gasson, founded the Top of the Gulf Regatta (TOGR) which has grown in popularity every year since. This regatta attracts people from all over the world and is held at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien from April 30 to May 3.
It is a great event for the beach resort as it will boost tourist trade and allow many people to see the true beauty of Jomtien’s beachfront.
Gasson said in a statement that he estimated at least 300 sea craft, ranging from small beach catamarans to multi-million dollar worth yachts, would be in attendance. There will be races, showboats and much more happening in and out of the marina.
Part of the TOGR’s charm and popularity is that it is completely unique. It is the only marina based regatta which allows boats of all sizes to attend. People from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, India and Russia, will all compete against an enormous fleet of Thai sailors as well as against each other and sailors from other countries. Big boats are being attracted because the berthing areas are being dredged which means that the larger vessels are being accommodated and can moor safely.
The TOGR boasts the largest fleet in Thailand and sees more than 130 junior sailors attend from around the country who compete for the prestige title of becoming Thailand’s Optimist National Champion. The event attracts a strong domestic fleet and the international participants are increasing annually and this year’s regatta is set to be the most successful yet.
When it comes to the schedule and competitions, the larger boats will be divided into 12 classes including: keelboats, cruise ships, multihulls and monohulls. However, the real battle is set to be between New Zealander Neil Pryde (who is based in Hong Kong) and current reigning Asian champion sailor, Aussie Ray Roberts. They will be competing for the ultimate prize; the best sailor.
The regatta is having a very positive effect on Jomtien and Pattaya, attracting a new group of people that otherwise may not have visited this area of Thailand. Wealthy tourists are arriving in droves with money to spend and time to spend it.
There are many sponsors who see the see the TOGR as being a great boost to yacht racing as well as a significant contribution to the idea of Pattaya and Jomtien being a wolrd-class marine location. Major sponsors include: Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Mont Clair Wines, Land Rover, Ocean Property Co, Ltd, PTT Exploration and Production Plc, Range Rover, Singha Beer and Thai Airways.