Optimist sailors test waters at Royal Varuna Yacht Club

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Optimist sailors flew in from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Costa Rica, Japan, Kuwait and France to participate and compete with the Thailand National Optimist team in the Songkran International Regatta test event, held at Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya from April 13-16.  The 66 participants took it all in their stride and made the regatta a great success.

Young sailors from nine countries took part in the Songkran International Regatta held from April 13-16 at Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya.
Young sailors from nine countries took part in the Songkran International Regatta held from April 13-16 at Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya.
Individual winner Duncan Gregor of Hong Kong (centre) poses on the podium with Muhammed Khaidir Bin Mohd Zahawi from Malaysia (left) and Muhammad Daniel Kei, representing Singapore (right).
Individual winner Duncan Gregor of Hong Kong (centre) poses on the podium with Muhammed Khaidir Bin Mohd Zahawi from Malaysia (left) and Muhammad Daniel Kei, representing Singapore (right).
Optimists line up at the start with a view of Jomtien in the background.
Optimists line up at the start with a view of Jomtien in the background.

Duncan Gregor of Hong Kong took individual first place over the four days while second and third places went to Muhammad Daniel Kei, representing Singapore, and Muhammed Khaidir Bin Mohd Zahawi from Malaysia.  Thailand’s Panwa Boonnak placed a respectable sixth and will be looking for a better position in the upcoming Hua Hin Regatta.  The team racing trophy was taken home by the Singapore A squad.

Tom Whitcraft, President of the Optimist World Championship organizing committee said during the trophy presentation last Sunday that, “this regatta was a great opportunity for these international sailors to test the conditions of the Gulf of Thailand before the world championships take place here in the summer.  We look forward to welcoming them all again in July when approximately 300 Optimist sailors will land on our shores.”

Young Thai and international sailors pose for a group photo at Royal Varuna Yacht Club.
Young Thai and international sailors pose for a group photo at Royal Varuna Yacht Club.
The Australian team.
The Australian team.
The Malaysian team.
The Malaysian team.

Beautiful sunny days and superb winds of up to 20 knots made the four-day sailing event a true challenge for these young sailors and gave them a taste of the conditions and warm hospitality they can expect during the Optimist World Championship.  Royal Varuna Yacht Club on Pratumnak Hill is the host venue of the event, which is scheduled to take place from July 11-21.