Bangkok Patana School captures Thailand junior sailing title

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Amid perfect sailing conditions in Jomtien bay, the inaugural Thailand Junior Team Racing Championships were held at Pattaya’s Royal Varuna Yacht Club (RVYC) on Saturday and Sunday, March 1-2. 

Six teams competed in the RVYC sponsored RS Quba two-handed dinghy series, representing leading international school teams from the Bangkok Patana School, Harrow International School Bangkok, Regents International School Pattaya, Lycée Français International de Bangkok and Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School.

The top three teams representing Bangkok Patana School, Bangkok Prep and Regents International School Pattaya pose on the podium during the prize-giving ceremony.The top three teams representing Bangkok Patana School, Bangkok Prep and Regents International School Pattaya pose on the podium during the prize-giving ceremony.

The first day of racing on Saturday saw a ‘round robin’ of elimination races with each team sailing three boats with two crew members each, over a challenging course in perfect sailing conditions.  At the end of day one and after five hard fought races, Bangkok Prep came out on top followed by Patana A, Regents and Lycée Français, qualifying all four teams into the finals on Sunday.

Sunday’s sailing conditions were once again perfect as the four finalists prepared for a competitive day’s racing.  In the first semi-final Bangkok Prep produced one of the shock results of the competition, beating an enthusiastic Lycée Français 2-0 in a best of three race series.  In the second semi-final Patana A beat Regents in what was considered to be the upset of the day as Regents were considered one of the strong favourites going into the Championship.

The final was set amid tense moments pre-race as the Bangkok Prep and Patana A teams measured the many and varied tactical opinions being offered.  By this time the parents’ and supporters’ enthusiasm had grown to fever pitch beachside, adding to the general carnival if somewhat partisan atmosphere.

The sailing was fiercely competitive during the 2-day regatta.The sailing was fiercely competitive during the 2-day regatta.

After a hard fought battle in windy conditions, Bangkok Prep were narrowly beaten by Patana A who won the Championship.  Regents came in third place with Lycée Français fourth, followed by Patana B who beat Harrow in the play off for fifth and sixth.

RVYC Commodore David Littlejohn congratulated all the sailors for their competitive spirit and thanked all schools, parents and members who contributed to such a spectacular event.  Presenting the awards the Commodore added: “We’ve had a spectacular weekend of match racing and it’s encouraging to see the professional level of youth sailing in Thailand.  I would also like to thank the international schools involved, the commitment of the parents involved and our generous sponsors, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, The Pizza Company and Kingdom Property.

“Congratulations to Bangkok Patana School who have the honour of holding and defending the Thailand Junior Team Racing Championships perpetual trophy at the next regatta to be held towards the end of 2014,” Commodore Littlejohn said in closing.