YACHT STYLE’S “Who’s Who of Yachting in Asia” has become over the years a signature feature. The “list” salutes 17 Outstanding Yachting Personalities in Thailand who have recently set up or who are running expanding dealerships, national organisations or associations; who have invested in yachting projects or iconic shipyards; won regional events; and are responsible for introducing new brands, concepts or trends into the Asian boating world. These power listers are named for making a positive difference to the marine environment and improving the state of our oceans.
ASSAKUL Kirati (THAILAND)
Co-founder of the Top of the Gulf Regatta, Assakul Kiratihails from a Thai family of long-time sailors. Following in the footsteps of his late father (Kris Assakul, founder of the 500-berth Ocean Marina Pattaya Jomtien), “Nim” heads the Ocean group and embraces his love of the sea and is often found piloting his Crowther 42 catamaran Bandara Sonic.
CHAIRASOMBOON Kasem (THAILAND)
A veteran promoter in the Phuket marine leisure industry since 1992 along with Kanit, Chairasomboon set up the first marina complex on the island, Phuket Boat Lagoon. He then developed the modern Ao Po Grand Marina from 2008 onwards, which is the current venue for the government-sponsored Thailand Yacht Show.
CHOTITHAMAPORN Kit (THAILAND)
As a native of Phuket, Kit developed his passion for the sea and boating at a very young age all thanks to his father, who is an avid recreational fisherman. As extensive traveller and polyglot, he became involved with the yacht industry over a decade ago with Horizon Yachts and is now in charge of Leopard Catamarans’ expansion in Asia.
EMIEU Yvan (THAILAND/WORLDWIDE)
An avid sailor with an Asian experience boasting over 10 years, Emieu joined the Aquila team in 2017 with the mission to expand the international sales network of Aquila Power Catamarans with the exception of China. The Aquila line of 36 / 44 / 48 footers is built by Sino Eagle Yachts in Fuyang City, with a 29-footer and a 60-footer to be launched in 2018.
FERNANDES Gordon (THAILAND)
As the General Manager of Asia Pacific Superyachts, Fernandes is the “go-to” person for superyachts arriving in Phuket. In association with Charlie Dwyer, he also organises the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous held in January this year.
JAMES Simon (THAILAND)
Previously with Sunsail Asia, James is Race Director for the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta and CEO of Regattas Asia, organisers of the Koh Samui Regatta and the Bay Regatta. He is Principal Race Officer for the China Cup International Regatta and a number of events in South Korea, and runs the consolidated handicapping authority in this part of the world, IRC Southeast Asia.
KIMMAN Bart (HONG KONG/THAILAND)
Since 1985, Kimman has built a successful financial career in Hong Kong; the flying Dutchman started brokerage firm Asia Yacht Services in 2004, merged with Northrop & Johnson in 2008 to become the first global yacht brokerage in Asia. The firm is active in ten countries, focusing on the sale and charter of larger yachts. It added French shipyard Bali Catamarans to its portfolio in 2018.
LALVANI Gulu (THAILAND)
Having successfully participated in lobbying the Thai government to remove taxes on importing yachts, thus laying the foundation for Thailand to become Asia’s maritime playground, Lalvani envisions Phuket as the “Riviera of Asia”. In 2005, he opened the award-winning Royal Phuket Marina that hosted the inaugural Phuket RendezVous in January 2018, replacing PIMEX.
LANGE Håkan (THAILAND)
A Swedish national with extensive pleasure boating experience, cheerful Lange spent 15 years in the merchant navy and holds a Master Mariner’s ticket. Having lived in Asia since 1990, his knowledge of the industry and the region is second to none. His company Derani Yachts represents a wide range of internationally recognised leading boat brands, including Dominator, Fairline Yachts, Fleming Yachts, Axopar Boats – and will be expanding regionally in 2018.
LEE Joshua (THAILAND)
Founder of Lee Marine which celebrated its 20 years in 2017 as a leading luxury yachting company specialising in the sale, purchase, after-sales care, management and construction of some of the finest yachts, including Ferretti Group brands, CRM and Riviera. The company recently sold a Feadship 69.5m custom-built superyacht to an Asia-based client and the Phuket-based company is continuing to expand its presence in the region.
NA NAGARA Matthew (THAILAND)
Matthew and his father, Surgeon Admiral Suriya na Nagara RTN, are leading the development of the Marinetek-built Port Takola Yacht Marina in Krabi which started preliminary operations in Spring 2017 (phase 1). Port Takola’s planned 260 marina berths will be the focal point of a low-density, mixed residential-commercial lowrise resort. Matthew is also the President of the Thailand Marine Business Association.
NIXEY Tony (THAILAND)
As a fully trained Volvo Penta Technician, Nixey moved to Dubai in the mid 1990’s where he ended up as Marina Manager of the prestigious Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. In 2004 he arrived in Phuket where he established Go Boating Thailand, an exclusive dealer for U.A.E. based Gulf Craft and associated brands.
SUNDRAM Wicky (THAILAND)
Under his general management for 18 years, the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club has been turned into an impressive 250 berth marina club – now the largest in Malaysia. In 2016, Sundram moved to Phuket to head up and redevelop the Phuket Boat Lagoon as Executive Director. Recently awarded the ‘Certified Marina Professional’ (CMP), sixth in Asia to receive this accolade and the first in Thailand, Sundram certainly has some future masterplans in mind.
TABUTEAU Vincent (THAILAND)
Tabuteau is heading one of the longest established marine tourism companies in Southeast Asia since 1989. Asia Marine has been invested in 2016 and expanded to include charter of motor, sail and superyachts, new boat and second-hand brokerage, central agency and yacht management.
WHITCRAFT Kevin (THAILAND)
President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee, Whitcraft owns THA72 (a TP52) which he races competitively in Asian regattas. He was the winner of the Phuket King’s Cup in 2016/2017 and was recently elected President of the International Optimist Dinghy Association.
YONGSAKUL Vrit (THAILAND)
British-educated Vrit Yongsakul set up Boat Lagoon Yachting Co Ltd, a marine brokerage and service company in 1994. Based in Phuket Boat Lagoon, his company’s prime focus is the development of Princess Yachts in Southeast Asia. Yongsakul maintains active contacts with manufacturers and yacht owners, ensuring that the very best standards are adopted. To reward all these efforts, plus the successful re branding and expansion of Boat Lagoon Yachting, Yongsakul received the Christofle Yacht Style’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in January 2018.
YONGSAKUL Kanit (THAILAND)
Yongsakul created Phuket’s first marina complex, Boat Lagoon, from the late 1980s by converting the family’s tin mine near Phuket Town. Access into Phang Nga Bay is via a dredged klong. The 180-berth marina complex, to be expanded and revamped, is surrounded by upmarket villas, commercial outlets and resort rooms. Another Boat Lagoon has opened in nearby Krabi.