Seven youngsters from the Phuket Youth Sailing Club joined the Regatta, six entries in the Optimist Nationals and 1 entry in the single-handed monohull class.
The 2012 Thailand Optimist Nationals saw 108 entries with all the sailors this year racing in one fleet – that’s a lot of boats on one start line.
The year the youngsters also faced some of the most challenging conditions that they have ever experienced. The first day started out with squally early morning storms and produced a southerly breeze that topped out above 20 knots by mid afternoon. For the less experienced or lighter sailor the short choppy seas were difficult to handle with only 52 sailors finishing the first two races within the time lmit.
Day 2 and 3 were replaced with a steady southwesterly flow with easier conditions requiring a different set of skills with most of the fleet finishing the the next set of races.
Racing against the Thai National Team and 20 International sailors the Phuket Team sailed well with our top sailor Teerapong Tohrataok coming 32nd. It was close racing within the Phuket team with our youngest entry, Cartoon Judalej, coming 54th overall with Nattapong Yoangngam hot on his heels in 56th place followed by the rest of team coming 57th, 59th and 62nd.
Twenty-nine sailors took part int eh single-handed monhull dinghy class, a combination of Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and Laser Standard. It was Phuket sailor, Akapoj Kankeaw, first Laser even and he sailed very well to come 10th overall.
Taking part in the even was another great experience for the Phuket Team, sailing against top sailors, challenging conditions and making new friends – what a better way of introducing self confidence and character building – we will be back next year.
We would like give a big THANK YOU to our sponsors for making this possible.