While the big boats had a rest day on Thursday, the large dinghy fleet as well as the radio-controlled boats made waves at the 33rd Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.
A total of 120 mostly young sailors contested five classes in the International Dinghy Fleet off Kata Beach in good winds and slightly choppy conditions.
Further south on Phuket, at the Laem Phanwa Phuket Port, a fleet of 24 one-meter long radio-controlled yachts also held a day’s racing, the first time these boats have been part of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.
Assistant Race Officer Captain Peera Sakultem of the Royal Thai Navy, who plays a leading role in organizing the dinghy fleet, said: “It was perfect today – there was good win all day. The sailors were all happy because of the great conditions.”
Experienced Thai sailor M.L. Weka Bhanubandh maintained his lead in the Optimist Fleet with three wins from six races and looks hard to beat. His nearest challenger is Bunyamin Klongsamoot, followed by female sailor Thorfun Boonnak in third place.
In the 420 class, with two sailors per boat, Thanawan Aiam-mi and Nattapon Tuang-ngam maintained their lead with six wins from six races. They were followed by Panuwat Hankla and Thun Tunhund in second place, with Chanintron Paosen and Apichet Wisetporsri third.
Another clear winner was Suchakree Detthotsapol, who has five wins from six races in the Laser R Class. He was followed by Chairat Dangdeemark and Kartoon Jundet.
In the Laser Standard class, the leader by a country mile was Jarupong Meeusamsen with victories in all six races. In second and third was Thanakan Korkerd and Prakasit Hogpradap, respectively.
The final class, for Laser 4.7s, female sailor Paliga Poonpat had a good lead with three wins from six races. Intira Parnpiboon, another promising female sailor, was second overall after clocking up two wins from the six races held so far. Christopher Marsh had one win to be in third place.
In the south of Phuket on Thursday, the one-meter radio-controlled boats raced in the IOM class and Chinese skippers finished first and second, with an Australian in third place.
Gong Qunxing won five of the eight races contested to take the overall lead. He was followed by fellow Chinese competitor Yan Jiangium and Australian Tim Brown.
A total of 14 Thais are taking part in the IOM races and the best places was Vanaran Yusananda, who was in fourth place. This rapidly growing sport has joined the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta for the first time and is expected to become a fixture in the coming years.
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is organized by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the RTN 3 and the Province of Phuket.
There are five days of racing for the keelboats and multihulls, with a reserve day on Thursday, 5th December. For the International Dinghy Classes and IOMC, four consecutive days of racing were scheduled from Wednesday.
Sponsors of the Phuket King’s Cup include Principal Host Sponsor Kata Group, and Strategic Partners RMA Group and Belt and Road International Regatta. Co sponsors: Haadthip PCL. And Ford.