Top of the Gulf Regatta 2010

Phuket, Thailand shore
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Press Release from Topper Sail Phuket

We are arranging to give seven children from the Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation the opportunity to compete in the Thailand Optimist Nationals at the Top of the Gulf Regatta 2010 in Pattaya next month.

The Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation was founded in 2004 after the Tsunami hit Phuket and provides a safe and secure home for children who are either orphaned or who are no longer able to live with their natural parents.

The Top of the Gulf Regatta is one of the most prestigious events on the South East Asian sailing calendar and attracts top class sailors from all around the world. It runs from 30th April to Tuesday 4th May and would be an incredible experience for these children.

The children have been sailing for just over a year on most Sundays and have been joining in with the club racing at Phuket Yacht Club under the supervision of Katy and Paul from Topper Sail Phuket. They will also be joined by two other club members meaning there will be a total of nine junior entries from Phuket.

To prepare the children for the Nationals we are arranging for them to join the Advanced Optimist Course run by the Junior Sailing Squadron ( JSST) at Sattahip Naval Base, Chonburi from the 17th – 25th April. This will give them a great opportunity to improve their sailing skills and racing knowledge and the chance to practice with a larger fleet. Arrangements are also being made for them to stay on for further practice before competing in the Nationals.

Staff at Topper Sail Phuket have been donating their time to teach these children to sail and arrange races for them every month and Phuket Yacht Club have allowed the children to use its facilities for these races at no additional cost. However the cost of sending the children to the training camp and the regatta itself is estimated at approximately 100,000 Baht to cover accommodation, food, course fees, boat charter, entry fees and transportation.

Travel arrangements have not been confirmed and therefore we are looking at various options including the possibility of any sponsored flights from Phuket to Bangkok and/or Bangkok to Phuket.

Katy Gooch of Topper Sail Phuket says, ‘These children love to sail and have improved so much since they started learning with us and it would be fantastic for them to have the opportunity to go and compete in the nationals. Sailing helps to instill self-reliance and quick thinking and I have seen first hand how it has helped these children develop both on and off the water.’

Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Katy Gooch at: 0852159185 / toppersailphuket@gmail.com

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