In 2010, the Phuket Dinghy Series introduced competitive fleet racing for Optimist and Laser classes to Phuket as an effort to promote sailing among Thais. The series was held over four weekends prior to Phuket King's Cup Week. Each race was managed by different top sailing coaches including exsailors from the national team, and a professional coaches from the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, and the Royal Thai Navy from Sattahip and Phuket. There was also some cross-training with the National Optimist Team while it was training in the area getting ready for events. The format is competitive fleet racing with a mixed fleet of beginners, intermediate and advanced sailors enabling participants to gain valuable experience in a good team-building environment. The Race Officer, Cmd. Pornprom Sakultem, ex-National Team sailor and RTN Team skipper in IRC 1 class (also on the Organizing Committee) acted as coach and gave intensive sailing clinic prior to the race and informative
de-briefing at the end of the day enabling all sailors to improve themselves race on race.
The second year (2011) progressed to another level when a different race area was selected for each series enabling sailors to experience different racing environment as opposed to a single venue racing in front of their respective club. Tha Nun (the channel between Phuket and Phang Nga) was selected as the first race area following the success of racing there the first year, then Nai Yang Beach and Cape Panwa for the other races. The fleet learnt their lessons well, whether it be from the strong current in the
Channel, different wave pattern in the reef around Nai Yang Beach in the open waters of Cape Panwa. The participants' families and friends also enjoyed touring Phuket's beautiful coasts throughout the Series.
This year, the series kicked off at Nai Yang Beach in October just at the end of the monsoon season. The first day was a challenge with the white water pounding the beach while the following day the fleet was greeted with gentle breezes over emerald blue sea under the backdrop of casuarinas bushes of the National Park. The race
was hosted by the Naiyang Beach Resort with good cooperation from vendors on the beach.
The second race was another worthwhile experience, this time located at Bang Tao Bay. The fleet experienced and extreme wind shift when the southwesterlies turned into a light northeasterly. The windward mark was therefore a total opposite between the morning and afternoon race. The current was strong and impacted the fleet with
the light wind condition. Despite those challenges, the beauty of the bay and on-shore hospitality provided by the business community in the area, led by the Kriss Resort and The Bliss Beach Club, made for another good sailing weekend.
The final series of the year will be at Cape Panwa, hosted by the Royal Thai Navy Area 3 over the weekend of November 24-25, 2012, a week before the 26th Phuket King's Cup, which will be held from Dec1-8 off Kata Beach and the southern islands in Phuket.
The Phuket Dinghy Series is part of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta. The overall winner will receive the Phuket King's Cup Trophy at the Royal Awards Ceremony at Kata Beach Resort at the end of Phuket King's Cup Week in December. Quality race management and a sailing clinic are provided by the Organizing Committee of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta and the Royal Thai Navy Area 3.
High Season sailing for Act II of the 2012 Phuket Dinghy Series
About the Phuket King's Cup Regatta
Phuket Dinghy Series is organized by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta. Act II of the 2012 Phuket Dinghy Series took place over the weekend o 27th and 28th October in front of Bliss Beach Club on Bang Tao Beach with 16 Optimists and four Lasers competing for the Act II title and amassing points in the three-event Series. Phuket's High Season was on attention to greet the young sailors – stunning blue skies and clear seas set the scene for what proved to be two days of tactical racing. With sailors taking part from Phuket, Songkhla and Chonburi it was an opportunity for many to experience new conditions, a new venue, and new competitors. The sailors faced challenging racing conditions with currents and oscillating light winds making tactics and the ability to read conditions paramount to success. Chonburi-native, Anaphat Ngamdee, continued his success from Act I off Nai Yang Beach, with a clean sweep in Act II, winning six from six in the Optimist Class. Despite not being used to southern Thailand sailing conditions, Anaphat adapted well and continues to lead the fleet.
Phuket youngster Sumet Pandam, wasn't far behind and put in a consistent performance placing second in all six races to finish second overall. Third place went to another Phuket junior, Surassawadee Sukpraw. In the Laser Class, it was another Chonburi-native, Auckarapong Chayim, who showed the fleet a clean pair of heels winning all six of the races and taking the Bang Tao title, ahead of Jittawat Boonrat from Songkhla, and Teeranai Petcharat from Phuket, which finished in second and third respectively.
The final race in the Series will take place off Panwa Cape 24 – 25 November. Heading into Act III, Anaphat Ngamdee (11 points) leads the way with Sumet Pandam (27 points) in second and Charef Rakpongbandit (39 points) in third. Auckarapong Chayim (11 points) leads the Series in the Laser Class, ahead of Jittawat Boonrat (28 points) in second and Teeranai Petcharat (30 points) in third. Full results are available at www.kingscup.com
The Phuket King's Cup Regatta last year celebrated its Quarter Centenary year, after first sailing in 1987 to celebrate His Majesty the King of Thailand's 60th birthday. Under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King's Cup Regatta is organised by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organising Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.
The Phuket King's Cup Regatta will be held from 1 to 8 December, 2012. Sponsors of the 2012 Phuket King's Cup Regatta include Kata Group Resorts Thailand, Singha Corporation, Siam Winery, Thai Oil, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, Boathouse, Haadthip PLC and Sunsail. Media Partners include The Nation, Phuket Gazette, Phuket Magazine, Sail- World.com, SEA Yachting and YachtStyle Asia.
For more information, please visit www.kingscup.com
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/phuketkingscup.