The weather wasn’t kind to the sailors who lined up for the Hobie 16 Nationals at Royal Varuna Yacht Club over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of May. However, the racing got underway Saturday after a short delay and four races were sailed in a medium to light wind.
Initially it was Teerapong and Passuree from the Thai team who scored two wins in difficult conditions. Then Kitsada, who also hails from Sattahip but had teamed up with Poom from Varuna, equalized the scores by the end of the day by scoring two wins of their own. At one stage during the day the fleet was sent ashore by the race team with what looked like a strong thunderstorm brewing, however it eventually, as is often the case, missed the sailing area!
Hobie 16 National champions, Kitsada Vongtim and Poom Tabtim (centre) are flanked by runners-up Teerapong and Passuree (left) and third placed Robert and Henry (right). (Photo/m.v.tchelistcheff)
On Sunday with an earlier start, the wind and tides remained tricky. Kitsada and Poom started where they had left off from the previous day. Although the fleet was close together, and places changed depending on the tactics of the teams, they crossed the line in the lead a further three times to secure the title. With Teerapong and Passuree also making sure of second place overall, the final podium position depended on the last race of the series.
The wind didn’t fully cooperate and the fleet was again back on shore waiting for an adequate breeze. Eventually this seemed to come and the final race was started. Teerapong scored a final win finishing just ahead of Kitsada. But the drama was between Robert, sailing with his son Henry, against Mark and Alex. Mark had led through most of the race but on the final leg somehow the family team of Robert and Henry got some extra speed and made it across the line ahead of their rivals to secure the final bronze medal position.
Congratulations to Kitsada Vongtim and Poom Tabtim on becoming the 2015 Hobie 156 Thailand National Champions!
The Royal Varuna Yacht Club’s next major events are the Future Cup Optimist Racing and Prince Bira Firebird Trophy on 23rd May 2015. For further information, sail to: www.varuna.org.