Bangkok Prep wins Thailand Junior Team Racing Championship

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Amid mixed sailing conditions out in the bay, the second Thailand Junior Team Racing Championships were held at Royal Varuna Yacht Club (RVYC) in Pattaya on Saturday and Sunday January 10-11.

Five teams competed in RVYC sponsored RS Quba two-handed dinghies, representing leading international schools teams from; Bangkok Patana School, Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School, Harrow International School Bangkok, Lycée Français International de Bangkok and Regents International School Pattaya.

Junior sailors from Bangkok Prep. School stand atop the podium with the trophy as the teams from Bangkok Patana School (left) and Lycée Français (right) look on.Junior sailors from Bangkok Prep. School stand atop the podium with the trophy as the teams from Bangkok Patana School (left) and Lycée Français (right) look on.

The first day of racing on Saturday saw a ‘round robin’ of elimination races with each team sailing three boats with two crew each, over a challenging course.  Unfortunately light winds on the day, down to two knots, proved challenging for the crews and some of the races needed to be postponed until the following day.  At the end of the first round robin and after four hard fought races, Bangkok Prep came out on top with four wins followed by Patana with three wins, with Lycée Français in third, Harrow in fourth and Regents bringing up the rear.

Sunday’s sailing conditions were a complete opposite to the first day’s racing as a strong north-easterly averaging 17 knots proved a challenge for some teams and caused multiple capsizings to be witnessed.  After the second round robin, which needed to be called short due to the blustery conditions, Bangkok Prep was in the lead followed closely by Pattana, both commendable results and qualifying both teams for the finals.

In the first of three final races, Bangkok Prep produced one of the strong results of the competition, beating an enthusiastic Pattana.  In the second race Patana A came back strongly to beat Bangkok Prep and set up a showdown between the teams for the final championship deciding race.

The juniors battled for supremacy of the seas.The juniors battled for supremacy of the seas.

The final race was set amid a carnival atmosphere of spectators at the Sunset Bar as the contenders, Bangkok Prep and the 2014 Champions Pattana, jockeyed for position at the race start line.  Blustery conditions continued and the race was on.  The crowd at this point were on their feet with cheering at a fever pitch for their respective teams.  After a hard fought battle in windy conditions, Patana was narrowly beaten by Bangkok Prep who deservedly won the Championship.  Lycée Français placed third overall, with Harrow fourth and Regents in fifth.

High winds on Day 2 made sailing conditions tough for everyone.High winds on Day 2 made sailing conditions tough for everyone.

RVYC Commodore Thomas Whitcraft 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, Commodore Whitcraft commented: “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, our sponsor JVK International Movers, who helps make this all possible, and also the commitment of the parents and friends.

“Finally, congratulations to Bangkok Prep School who have the honour of holding and defending the Thailand Junior Team Racing Championships perpetual trophy at the next regatta to be held in 2016,” the Commodore said in closing.