Renowned property developer Sansiri PLC called a press conference in Bangkok last week to announce a world first for Thailand with its support of Patinyakorn Buranrom to become the first-ever Thai sailor to skipper a yacht in a major international ocean yacht race.
Patinyakorn, an accomplished sailor, will compete in the TRANSPAC 2013, the longest of the two oldest ocean races in the world, which starts in Los Angeles on 8th July and finishes in Honolulu some 2,250 nautical miles away (4,100km), sailing across the world’s largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean.
(From left) Patinyakorn Buranrom, Ob-oom Chutrakul, Social Director of Sansiri PLC, and Michael Spies pose for a photo at the press conference held in Bangkok on June 20 to announce Thailand’s entry into the TRANSPAC 2013 ocean race.
The TRANSPAC, known to be one of the most challenging offshore races in the world, is a “must do” on international sailors’ bucket lists, and Patinyakorn will be representing Thailand as co-skipper on the entry “Sansiri”, together with Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race veteran and former winner and record holder Australian Michael Spies.
At 29-years old, Patinyakorn has already achieved much and with recent successes in Asia’s leading regattas – Phuket King’s Cup, Top of the Gulf and Samui – is an inspiration for many young Thais to follow their dreams.
“Sansiri’s aim is to ‘construct a life not just a building’, and having seen Patinyakorn become an inspiration to so many other Thais, especially youngsters, we want to support Patinyakorn to be Thailand’s first-ever skipper in a global ocean race,” said Ob-oom Chutrakul, Social Director of Sansiri PLC. “Through racing in the TRANSPAC 2013, Patinyakorn is living his dream and making history for Thailand. We hope he can share his knowledge and experience, and encourage many other Thais to follow their dreams too,” she said.
Skippering the 40-foot “Sansiri” in the TRANSPAC 2013, against 59 boats and some of the best sailors in the world, is a challenge Patinyakorn is relishing.
“I could only ever have dreamed of an opportunity like this when I first started sailing. I have worked very hard getting to the stage where I was competitive and with Sansiri’s support I have now enjoyed success at a local level. To skipper a yacht in the TRANSPAC is a wish come true and to be the first-ever Thai to do so makes me very proud. I’m also honoured to be chosen by Michael as a co-skipper in this race and I hope to repay the faith he has shown in me,” he said.
The TRANSPAC dates back to 1906 when it was first launched as a race from San Francisco to Honolulu. However, the devastating Great San Francisco earthquake less than one month before meant the adventurous boats taking part that first year had to move and start in Los Angeles. The LA start is now tradition and the race has been run every two years since.
Co-skipper Michael Spies is confident the Sansiri crew will put up a good showing in the race.
“The weather is always the biggest challenge in an ocean race such as the TRANSPAC but with favourable conditions we hope to get a top three place in division, which should leave us in a good position overall. We are going into this race with the intention of doing both Sansiri and Thailand proud,” said the veteran of 36 Rolex Sydney-Hobart Ocean Races.
“With just 6 crew onboard our boat it’s going to be full on racing and we will be living on freeze dried foods for the duration of the race. I expect to lose maybe 10kgs by the finish line but hopefully Patinyakorn won’t lose that much or there won’t be much left of him,” joked the Aussie skipper.
The boat “Sansiri” being sailed by the team in the TRANSPAC 2013 is a Tripp 40 designed by highly respected American Naval Architect Bill Tripp. Recently purchased by Michael Spies, “Sansiri” has potential top speeds of 20 knots (38 kilometers per hour).
For more information on the TRANSPAC 2013 ocean race, go to website: www.transpacrace.com.