What a final day! With 10 to 14 knots of wind with a cloudless sky yet again it prompted one member to say, “This is normal” – a comment that prompted the thought that, if this is normal, why aren’t there more world champions from the Royal Varuna Yacht Club? There was no party the previous night so sailors were fit and ready to enjoy an excellent day of sailing competition.
Races 9 and 10 of the series saw 48 Dart 18s on the start line with a battle between 1st and 2nd and a further tussle for the 3rd podium place.
Congratulations go to Dave and Louise Roberts, the 2017 world champions, who managed to regain the championship this year after a strong finish to the event. This year’s champions, David and Louise Roberts, have been runners up in 2016 and 2012 and we can expect them to be at the top of their game for many years to come!
They were followed up the podium steps by Royal Varuna’s own Gareth Owen (Dart world champion 1998 and a previous three-time runner-up) and Hebe Hemming who could not capitalise on the equal net points of the day before. Already a well known name in Dart, International Cadet and Laser sailing, talk in the club house was to make Gareth an “Official Legend”, him being runner-up this year and aged over 60! Well done Gareth and also to Hebe, who is well under 60.
With four points separating places from third to fifth the day before, there was a three-way battle for the bronze medal position. Daniel Norman with crew Alyesha Monkman clawed their way to take it with a 21st (discarded) and then a 1st in races 9 and 10 respectively. Herve Le Maux and Nicola Davies slipped to fourth from the day before while David Lloyd and crew Hayley Smith achieved overall fifth with fairly consistent top class sailing throughout the series.
Damrongsak and brother Kitsada, Thai Hobie champions, dropped to 11th overall which was a very creditable finish, given the excellent standard of competitive sailing among the top tier Dart sailors.
All agreed that this was an excellent event, well organized with perfect weather, and the Royal Varuna Yacht Club was proud to have been the venue.
With the support of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, special thanks go to all the sponsors of this year’s Dart 18 World Championship: the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, Pattaya City Government, Bangkok Hospital, France Catamaran, Big Chilli, Fiona and Larry, Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Pattaya Mail, Rooster and ThaiBev.