Going into the final day, 2011 national champion, Chaninat Poolsirikot had a one point lead over Sarawut Phetsiri, with Pongsapat Pumyam a further two points back in third. All was to play for with three more races scheduled and the drop race to come into play.
Sarawut Phetsiri, winner of the 2012 Thailand Optimist Championship. (Photo by Guy Nowell/ Top of the Gulf Regatta)
Sarawut took the win in the first race, with Malaysian entry Connie Riverra Tsen in second and Suthon Yampinit in third. Pongsapat scored a sixth with Chaninat finishing eighth. In the second race, the top three tracked each other around the course and Chaninat fought back with a second place finish, behind Sarawut in first and Pongsapat in third.
The title went down to the wire and was decided in the final race of the series.
Markey Lilienthal saved his best for last, taking the win in the final race ahead of Sarawut in second and Nopporn Boonchard in twelfth. Sarawut’s second was enough to take the overall title with Pongsapat in second and Chaninat third.
In 1976 the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand started Junior Sailing, a programme to encourage and train young Thai sailors and send them to compete in international sailing events. In the same year, YRAT started what was then called the Optimist Thailand Championship Cup, known today as the Thailand Optimist Championship.
The best performing girl this year was Chaninat, the 2011 winner and winner of the 2012 Asian Sailing Championships (Girls Division). Second in the girls division went to Connie Riverra Tsen with Kanapan Pachatikapanya in third.
In the Under 12 division, Voravong Ratcharttanarak placed first with Suthon Yampinit in second and Kamonchanok Klahan in third.
The best performing international youngster was Connie Riverra Tsen (Malaysia) with Brandon Sung (Malaysia) in second and Hong Kong youngster Calum Gregor in third.
Now in its 36th year, the Thailand Optimist Championship is as competitive as ever, with leading Thai juniors, international teams and regional champions competing for the title. 110 youngsters from nine countries competed this year and while prizes were presented at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, adult sailors looked on at the sailing stars of the future.
The 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta was due to close on Tuesday with the final races in keelboat and multihull classes at Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien. A full round-up of this year’s event will be featured in next week’s Pattaya Mail. (Source - Infinity Communications)