‘Yacht-hop’ (yot hop) n. Vaguely nautical activity involving moving from one large and hospitable pleasure vessel to another, whilst being plied with tasty canapés and refreshing beverages, and trying not to fall in the water when transferring from boat to boat.
At anchor in front of Kata Rocks right now: sailing superyachts Intrigue, Shamoun, Yanneke Too, Capricorn, Argo, Schooner Sunshine and motor yachts Maverick, Moon Sand and Maid Marian II. It’s Asia Superyacht Rendezvous time again, and last evening the event pushed off in great style with a peripatetic cocktail party.
There’s a certain skill required on such an occasion – firstly, balancing on a rolling deck whilst holding a G&T in one hand and a foie gras nibbly in the other, and then balancing the inclination towards another drink sweetly offered by a passing hostess against the desire not to get an all-over soaking on the next transfer leg. Many thanks to our various hosts for their hospitality during the evening - a good time was had by all, and everyone stayed dry!
This morning, at 1100h sharp (not wishing to stress anyone out with a King’s Cup-style 0900h start) Race Officer Simon James, comfortably accommodated on m/y Maverick II and under the ever- watchful eye of Capt Rob Hossack, sent the ASR fleet’s six sailing vessels away on a 2nm two-sausage course ‘with the emphasis on reaching’. Peter Wood’s s/y Schooner Sunshine was second over the start line mere moments after Yanneke Too, rolled into the lead almost immediately, and then handed out a sailing lesson to all the other competitors.
This writer has an abhorrence of all the over-cooked and inaccurate superlatives that generally infest press releases – ‘fabulous’, ‘stunning’, ‘breath-taking’ and so on – but has to admit that the sight of Schooner Sunshine powering down the sun-splashed Phuket coastline in 15kts of breeze with a bone in her teeth was – well, 'stunning, fabulous and breath-taking'.
On the camera boat it was the usual programme – trying to persuade the driver not to take off at 40kts in a straight line towards Koh Phi Phi, but instead pay a scenic visit to each of the boats racing and then position ourselves on the somewhere near the ‘outward’ mark. We were partly successful. The return trip was noticeably faster than the outbound – something to do with horses and stables.
Time now to take in the view from the pool terrace, watch the sun go down over the limpid waters of the Andaman Sea and maybe take in a couple of cocktails in preparation for this evening’s party. Such is life on the superyacht circuit.