Amid great sailing conditions, the inaugural Thailand Inter-School Sailing Championships were held at Royal Varuna Yacht Club (RVYC) in Pattaya on Saturday and Sunday January 9 & 10.
It was a record-breaking year with eight schools sporting teams of between 6- 8 students. They were (in no particular order): Bangkok Patana International School, Bangkok International Preparatory and Secondary School (Bangkok Prep), Regents International School Pattaya, Shrewsbury International School, Uttaradit Daruni School, Falcons Sailing Team, Harrow International School and Lycee Francais de Bangkok School (LFIB).
Bangkok Prep junior sailors raise the trophy after winning the Thailand Inter-School Sailing Championships at Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya, Sunday, Jan. 10.
The first day of racing on Saturday saw a ‘round robin’ match-up with each team sailing three boats with two crew each over a challenging course in perfect sailing conditions. At the end of day one and after 21 hard fought races, Bangkok Patana came out on top ahead of Harrow International, Bangkok Prep and Shrewsbury International.
Sunday’s sailing conditions started rather changeable, but once the unexpected rainfall and strong winds moved away, conditions improved to continue the series. The 28 race round-robin finished with the two leading schools, Bangkok Patana and Bangkok Prep, battling against each other with the latter taking the final win of the series to finish the round robin in first-place.
Young sailors smile for the camera after a day on the water.
The event quickly moved into the knockout rounds to determine the final finishing positions. Regents International won against Uttaradit Daruni to take seventh and eighth places respectively while Falcons took advantage of Shrewsbury International for fifth and sixth places.
In the first semi-final Bangkok Prep eased to victory against a enthusiastic LFIB, which meant the latter came in fourth, place. The biggest shock happened in the second semi-final with the well established and favourites Patana International beaten by the upcoming Harrow International team. Patana had to settle for third overall.
Students from the eight schools pose for a group photo at Royal Varuna Yacht Club.
The final was poised amid tense moments pre-race as the Bangkok Prep and Harrow International teams measured the many and varied tactical opinions being offered. After a hard fought battle in light conditions, Harrow were beaten by Bangkok Prep who won the Championship for the second time.
RVYC Vice-Commodore Mark Hamil-Stewart 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 team 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 volunteers, commitment of the parents involved and our generous sponsor, JVK International Movers.
The diminutive team members from Shrewsbury International School receive their prizes.
“Congratulations to Bangkok International Preparatory and International School who have the honour of successfully defending the Thailand Inter-School Sailing Championship perpetual trophy.
“A special mention goes to Uttaradit Daruni School who only learnt to sail a few days before competing and demonstrated commitment throughout”, the Vice-Commodore said in closing.
Laser dinghies are powered around the testing course.
The young mariners demonstrated sailing skills beyond their years.