Thai sailing yacht “Sansiri” makes history in 2013 Transpac Race

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The first-ever Thai entry in the world-famous TRANSPAC 2013 sailing race, “Sansiri” co-skippered by Thai sailor Patinyakorn “Ging” Buranrom, has written a new chapter in Thailand’s history books, claiming third place in Division 7.  “Sansiri” crossed the finish line in Hawaii 12 days 14 hours 30 mins after leaving Los Angeles and having raced 4,100km across the world’s largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean.

A race from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head, east of Honolulu, the Transpac is among the world’s great ocean races, and biennially attracts the world’s most talented offshore sailors and offshore sailing adventurers.

The “Sansiri” crew pose for a photo in Los Angeles prior to the start of the 2013 TRANSPAC Ocean Race. (Photo/Sharon Green/ultimatesailing.com)The “Sansiri” crew pose for a photo in Los Angeles prior to the start of the 2013 TRANSPAC Ocean Race. (Photo/Sharon Green/ultimatesailing.com)

“Sansiri”, entered under the banner of Patinyakorn’s home yacht club, the Ao Chalong Yacht Club in Phuket, set sail from Los Angeles on Monday 8th July.  Together with co-skipper Michael Spies and a crew of three, the goal was for a podium place in their division, and from early in the race, “Sansiri” was consistently in the top three of Division 7.

Patinyakorn, co-skipper of “Sansiri”, commented: “The toughest day in the race was the first day – all five of us were on deck sailing at high speed and we had no time to sleep or eat, we were focused solely on the race and we did very well in the early stages.  It has been challenging, the toughest ever challenge for myself.  I have had a fantastic experience, indeed it’s been the experience of a lifetime.”

“Sansiri” made the crossing to Hawaii in 12 days 14 hours 30 mins. (Photo/Sharon Green/ultimatesailing.com)“Sansiri” made the crossing to Hawaii in 12 days 14 hours 30 mins. (Photo/Sharon Green/ultimatesailing.com)

Michael Spies, sharing the skipper duties with Patinyakorn, said, “Our aim was to keep south of the Rhumb Line as much as possible.  This was a good tactic for most of the race, but towards the end a number of boats appeared to make better progress north of us, possibly getting some localised weather, and that made the difference.”

The crew on “Sansiri” faced many challenges during the race, including losing use of their communications equipment early on as they took onboard a lot of water due to the rain and strong breeze, and like many other boats had to contend with debris in the water.  That did not deter them, however, as the crew battled to the very end, aiming for the podium.

“Over the last few days, the winds died and we lost time.  We sailed well, our tactics were sound and pulling on everyone’s experience we finished third in our division, and we are all very happy with that,” said Patinyakorn.

“I have been impressed with the professionalism of Michael and the crew, and it has been an honour racing with them all.  I am proud to be the first Thai competing in this legendary race and a third place against some of the best sailors in the world is something Thailand can be very proud of,” he added.

“The crew have been magnificent and sailed the boat well.  Patinyakorn has been invaluable and has shared the skipper duties with myself.  With the support of Sansiri I’m sure he will take this experience back to Thailand and be an inspiration for many of the young up-and-coming sailors that Thailand has,” concluded Spies.

“Sansiri”, a Tripp 40 design, was sailed by a crew of five including the two co-skippers.  “Sansiri” crossed the finish line at 00:39:13 local Hawaii time on 21/07/13, recording an average speed of 7.6 knots over the race.

Patinyakorn will now sail onward to Australia and will back to Thailand in September.

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