Close racing between young Thai sailors at Samui Youth Challenge
27 May, 2018
Kicking off this year’s Samui Regatta were 37 youngsters who competed in the two-day Samui Youth Challenge off Chaweng Beach. Competing in three classes – Optimist (also with an Under 12 years division), Laser Radial and Fareast 11 – the future of sailing in Thailand was on show, battling some tricky conditions which saw good breeze on Day 1 and fickle winds on Day 2.
Twenty eight young Thai sailors from Phuket, Sattahip, Bangkok and Samui took to the Optimist startline and it was Bunyamin Klongsamoot who stamped his authority from the off, with three wins from three races. While he was enjoying the clean air, places were closely fought by the rest of the fleet with five other sailors making it onto the podium on Day 1.
Close racing and tight finishes meant there was plenty to race for on Day 2. The wind gods, however, didn’t comply. Having got the sailors off for their first race in Day 2, the wind vanished leaving the fleet becalmed. As a result, the race was abandoned due to exceeding the time limit.
After a period waiting for the wind to return, it did and the youngsters were off on Race 4 in their series. Although fickle and shifty, the wind held and the race was completed, only to drop off again thereafter and the Race Officer called it a day.
Four bullets saw Bunyamin Klongsamoot the clear winner ahead of Chonchanok Chuenthong in second. An eighth place in the first race of the series hurt Noppassorn Khunboonjan’s scoreline and she had to settle for third overall, two points back.
Of the 28 Optimist sailors competing, 18 were under 12-years old and with divisional trophies up for grabs, the 18 sailors were scored against each other (separate from their overall series scores). With a 2,1,3,2 scoreline Kans Kachachuen claimed the U-12 title by a single point from Thanadej Sooparnich in second and Oonruen Boontawee in third.
Despite there being just three entries in the Laser Radial class the racing was close, evident by the spoils being shared around. However, it was the consistency of Thanawan Aiemme with a 1,1,2,1 scoreline that saw him crowned winner ahead of Yada Hasap who edged out Trirat Valladares by a single point.
Sailors from the Koh Phangan Youth Sailing were out in force racing the six Fareast 11’s and after four races, just three points separated the top three places. Despite a fifth in the first race of the series, Nattakarn Panyawan went on to score three successive firsts to win the class by a single point from Kanchai Wongphaduns. Two points further back in third was Chawanluk Thammawat.
Working closely with the local sailing community, Samui Regatta aims to build on the success of this years Samui Youth Challenge and make it an integral part of the Samui Regatta, which kicks off in earnest tomorrow with a strong line-up of IRC racers and multihulls from around Asia.
For more information, visit www.samuiregatta.com.