Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome has been re-elected president of the Windsurfing Association of Thailand citing a pledge to have Thais compete in every future Olympics.
The mayor said the goal of the association should be to expand the sport and improve the local sailors’ skills so that they qualify for every Summer Games.
Pattaya School No. 7 is the group’s current base for training youths and Itthiphol said more youngsters are flocking to the sport than ever before.
To help maintain momentum, he has appointed Thai national champion Ek Boonsawad to the association’s technical committee.
Windsurfing was introduced to Thailand around 1972 through both the manufacturing of surfing equipment for export and also by tourists looking to enjoy the warm sailing waters of the Gulf.
Worapan Chotikapanich partnered with his German friends to bring samples of windsurfing equipment to Thailand to later be developed and produced for export worldwide.
The sport was also introduced by a tourist who came to Pattaya in the early 1970’s and became friends with Bamrung Ruamsap, a Pattaya local. Bamrung was believed to be the first Thai to try windsurfing and became the first windsurfing representative for the country. He then co-founded the Windsurfing Association of Thailand in the 1972 with Adm. Uman Mongkolnavin as the first president.