Home nation scores big at Jet Ski King’s Cup


Thailand once again showed its burgeoning prowess at water-sports with three out of five Pro category victories at the recently completed 2012 Jet Ski King’s Cup, held off Jomtien Beach from Dec. 5-9.

Thousands of fans came down to the waterside over the course of the 5 day event to witness some spectacular on-water action as well as soak up the carnival atmosphere and music and take in the popular and now seemingly obligatory Miss Bikini contest.

King’s Cup winners pose with dignitaries and officials during the trophy presentation. (Photo/www.jetski-worldcup.com)King’s Cup winners pose with dignitaries and officials during the trophy presentation. (Photo/www.jetski-worldcup.com)

The competition once again drew a relative who’s who of the world’s best exponents of jet-ski handling and racing, including 13-time world champion Chris MacCluggage of the USA, James Bushell from England, and 2 time King’s Cup champion Steven Dauliach of France.

It was however the home nation speedsters who took the lion’s share of the glory with Teera Settura for the Singha PTT team taking gold in both the Pro Runaround 800 and Pro Sport GP categories, the latter performed with a 100% record to place above his brother and world number 1, Supak Settura.

Teera Settura flies the flag after winning another race. (Photo/www.jetski-worldcup.com)Teera Settura flies the flag after winning another race. (Photo/www.jetski-worldcup.com)

Thailand enjoyed further success in the Pro Runaround division with Veerapong Maneechom of the Flamingo racing team placing first ahead of pre-race favourite James Bushell while Thai compatriot and former champion Chaowalit ‘Iron man’ Kuararoon took third.

Meanwhile defending champion Steven Dauliach of France overcame a bout of food poisoning to capture his third King’s Cup with victory in the Pro Ski Open class; his three moto (race) wins seeing him edge past great rival Chris MacCluggage by just 9 points.  The French champ then promptly announced his retirement from competition, seeing the King’s Cup as a fitting way to pull down the curtain on a glittering career.

The final Pro category was the freestyle event, always a crowd favourite, with Japan’s Kazuaki Sakaida producing some amazing acrobatics on his machine to finish in the gold medal position ahead of fellow countryman Nadya Hamanaka.

Veerapong Maneechom competes in the Pro Runaround class. (Photo/www.jetski-worldcup.com)Veerapong Maneechom competes in the Pro Runaround class. (Photo/www.jetski-worldcup.com)

There were numerous other non-pro categories being competed for during the week, the winners being as follows:  Pro-Am Ski Open – O. Al Rashid (UAE), Pro-Am Runabout Open – Y. Alabdulrazzaq (KUW), Pro-Am Runabout 4-Stroke – O. Salee (CAM), Pro-Am Women Ski Open – Y.F. Kurahasi (BEL), Veterans Runabout Open – J Ikoma (JPN), Runabout Limited – E Larney (SA), Amateur Ski Limited – T. Phukphog (THA), Am Runabout 800 Limited – T. Khensri (THA), Am Freestyle – S. Larbpasubpisan (THA), Novice Ski – T. Sompong (THA), Novice Ski 2-Stroke – P. Hutachoke (THA), Novice Runabout – T. Phukphog (THA), Mater Ski Open – H. Kaneko (JPN), Runabout Open Grp. B – K Chomim (THA), Runabout Stock Grp. B – M.S. Hashim (MAL), and Junior 11-13 Ski – M. Manni (EST).