Phuket Dinghy Series grows future sailing stars

Skills and technique are put to the test over the three-event Phuket Dinghy Series 2012.
Guy Nowell
The Phuket King's Cup Regatta has started the Phuket Dinghy Series again in 2012 following the success of the last two years’ Series. The Series functions as a valuable coaching opportunity and encourages the development of technique and sailing skills for young Thai sailors. The Series comprises three rounds at three locations in Phuket; the first event took place off Nai Yang Beach from 29 to 30 September. The next races will be organised at Bang Tao Beach (27 to 28 October) and Cape Panwa (24 to 25 November), allowing sailors to experience and learn to adapt to different wave conditions and weather.

Launched in 2010 by the organisers of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta, the Phuket Dinghy Series is supported by the Royal Thai Navy as a tribute to H.M. the King of Thailand, who won Thailand a Gold Medal sailing a dinghy in the SEA Games back in 1967.

Santi Kanchanabandhu of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee, said, “The establishing of the Phuket Dinghy Series has helped bring to the fore many young Thai sailing talents. It serves as an accessible means of competition for young sailors from many sailing clubs in Phuket, Phang Nga, Songkhla, and as far as Chonburi, in order to prepare them for the international competition and the Phuket King's Cup Regatta. We were very pleased with the level of involvement and professionalism shown during the 2011 Series, and for 2012, there is a greater awareness about the Phuket Dinghy Series.”

The 2012 Phuket Dinghy Series gathers around 17 youth sailors (under 15 years old) in Optimist class and up to six sailors in Laser class from Southern Provinces including Phuket. The participants comprise a mix of beginners, intermediate and advanced sailors, thereby enabling a group learning experience as well as developing team building.

“It is the aim of the Committee and its associated event partners to increase and build on the level of enthusiasm which young sailors already have for the sport, and to support its ongoing development,” said Khun Santi. “We provide a variety of sailing conditions at different locations, giving the youngsters a mix of experiences and testing their sailing skills. A big part of each weekend event is the sailing clinic, which is lead by an experienced sailor who gives advice and tips to the youngsters, and helps them to improve their skill and technique.”

The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta itself will run from 1 – 8 December 8, 2012. It will host the largest and most competitive fleet of any regional regatta, with top competitors from the region and beyond, plus a large number of cruising sailors too; over 35 countries are represented in total, with a strong showing expected of the Royal Thai Navy teams and Thai sailors racing in international crews. The Regatta includes dinghy classes which will race over four days (2 – 5 December) and will prove to be a successful and well-established development tool for young sailors keen to compete at the international level.