One of the most prestigious international sporting events in Southeast Asia, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Under Royal Patronage, has recently kicked off its Phuket Dinghy Series 2016 to celebrate the regatt’s 30th Anniversary at 3 Naval Area Command Beach off the coast of Cape Panwa. Since 2010, the lead-up to the regatta has traditionally been a chance for young Thai sailors to hit the waters in Optimist and Laser dinghy classes. The last weekend of July was the first of three events taking place before the main regatta sails, and saw competitive dinghy racing with over 28 young sailors.
CAPT. Pornprom Sagultem (4th from left) Phuket Dinghy Series Event Director with Thai youth sailors before the opening race of the Phuket Dinghy Series held at 3 Naval Area Command Beach off the coast of Cape Panwa, Phuket.
In the Lasers, Tanakorn Kaewluan of the Songkhla Sailing Club achieved first place followed by Keeratika Krongboon and Aekkorn Naulplub of the NAC3SC. Yada Hasap took victory in the Optimist class, with Bunyamin Klongsamut and Tanawan Malikee (all from NAC3SC) in runners-up.
The second race of the series will be run from 24-25 September (again at 3 Naval Area Command Beach) off the coast of Cape Panwa. The 3rd race will be held from 26-27 November at Bang Tao Beach.
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta’s introduction of the Dinghy Series in 2010 created a network between sailing clubs to inspire more youths in Thailand to take up the sport (especially the Optimist Challenge for the under 15s). The establishing of the Phuket Dinghy Series has helped bring to the fore many young Thai sailing talents from sailing clubs in Phuket, Phang Nga and Songkhla in order to prepare them for international competition – and for future Phuket King’s Cup Regattas, of course.
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2016 will be held off Kata Beach, Phuket, from 3 – 10 December, 2016, hosting international racing classes across which over 150 boats and 1500+ sailors compete for one of sailing’s most prestigious trophies. As the main race prepares to set sail for a landmark year, Phuket visitor numbers swell and make a large contribution to overall Thai tourism performance, boosting the tourism, hospitality and marine sports sectors and supporting the continuing growth of one of the world’s best loved sailing destinations.