Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Kiwi windsurfer caught Thai Youth Worlds crisis

by Richard Gladwell on 2 Dec 2008
Justina Sellers competing on the RS:X in the 2007 Auckland Secondary Schools Regatta © Richard Gladwell www.richardgladwell.com

A New Zealand windsurfer, Justina Sellers, has been caught in the Thai airport standoff with the RS:X Youth Worlds in Pattaya, Thailand, likely to be abandoned.

Sail-World has been told that most of the competitors have not arrived at the event due to start on 6 December, and organizers have asked for a week delay.but the event has been now been postponed with no alternative venue of dates being named.

A New Zealand competitor, Justina Sellers, a former NZ representative at the ISAF Youth Worlds is in Payatta waiting for the regatta to start. She has no baggage, which has been sent back to Auckland because of the airline chaos in Thailand. Two other New Zealanders due to travel to the inaugural event were not able to reach the destination and are in Auckland.

Sellers is daughter of Olympic Gold and Silver medalist, Rex Sellers, and is on the comeback after a serious shoulder injury sustained in the 2007 ISAF Youth Worlds in Weymouth, England.

She was booked to fly out of Phuket, on a Qantas flight on 15 December to compete in the Sail Melbourne regatta, however she now has few options being marooned in a venue with few competitors, a canceled regatta and no baggage.

Current estimates are that there are in excess of 150,000 tourists stuck in Thailand, with authorities reluctant to make any positive moves to alleviate the problem.

The RS:X class website reports'

'Yes, we tried everything we could think of to make this thing happen. Too many people have trained too hard for this championship for the class to give up on the event without a fight.

'The trouble is the more we worked the more we found that things were getting more and more complicated. A vicious circle, if you like. One that we could not in all conscience find a reasonable way out of. So that’s it, the 2008 RS:X Youth Worlds are postponed.

'We’ll come back to you with news about where and when this event will take place as soon as we all have got some sleep and reflected on the best thing to do.'

The closure of Bangkok Airport is well documented in the world media. The problem would seem to have shifted to Phuket, a significant sailing and regatta venue.

The www.phuketgazette.com!Phuket_Daily_News reports that there are 20,000 now stranded in Phuket, which has a normal capacity of just 1,000 passengers per day. The report reads:

'Phuket International Airport Director Wicha Nernlop is begging the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to end its siege of Bangkok’s two commercial airports, saying the revenue lost already dwarfs the amount lost through corruption during the Thaksin years.

'Speaking to the Gazette this afternoon, Mr Wicha said that the number of travelers stranded in Phuket has now reached 20,000.

'With no end to the closures of the two airports in Bangkok in sight, many airlines – including Thai International Airways – are trying to re-route direct, international flights to and from Phuket.

'Three airlines – KLM, Quantas and Air France – are ready to launch direct services from Phuket, he confirmed.

'However, Phuket Airport is only capable of handling about 1,000 passengers per day. Apart from having insufficient fuel supplies, a host of other operational problems limit the number of flights the single-runway airport can service, he said.

'Mr Wicha begged the PAD to reopen Suvarnabhumi Airport as soon as possible, saying the closure was tantamount to economic suicide.

'Of the 20,000 tourists now stranded in Phuket, many are staying in hotels, with their bills being paid for with financial assistance from airlines and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Thailand, he said.'
Wildwind 2016 660x82NaiadNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Oh, and by the way we won a million dollars
Sailing history has been made by a New Zealand crew in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing July 11, 2016 - Sailing history has been made by the New Zealand crew of Phil Robertson, Stu Dodson, Will Tiller and James Wierzbowski in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing - $US1million (NZD $1.37m), with their nail-biting win in the World Match Racing Championships in Sweden.
Posted on 14 Jul
Rio 2016 - Yachting New Zealand defends Olympic selection practices
Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices and criticism by the Chairman of the NZ Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson of the way it treated two Olympic sailors after they had qualified New Zealand for the 2016 Olympic sailing regatta at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in santander in September 2014.
Posted on 9 Jun
Gladwell's Line - Olympic Appeal over in NZ but hotting up in Oz
The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland with the announcement at the end of a Mediation Hearing by the Chairman of the Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson, that he would not overturn the two non-selection decisions by Yachting New Zealand.
Posted on 2 Jun
Rio 2016 - Murdoch confirms that he won't Appeal tight selection call
Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors who gave the nod for Rio 2016 to Josh Junior, who will be on his first Olympic regatta. 'I don't think I would get a result in my favour out of the back end of it,' Murdoch told Radio Sport. ït would also hinder Josh's preparation as well.'
Posted on 12 May
Olympic board sailor lashes out as Spanish hope for Olympic windfall
2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio 2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio that has left the boardsailing classes vacant for August's Games, according to a story published on the stuff.co.nz website. The online news arm of Fairfax media has picked up comments from Tobin's Facebook page.
Posted on 12 May
Rio 2016 - Yachting NZ fails to nominate in three Qualified Classes
Yachting NZ have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Yachting New Zealand have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Two singlehanded sailors have been added to the Kiwi Olympic team in the two Mens singlehanded classes - the Finn and Laser. Appeals are being lodged today by two sailors in the Womens events.
Posted on 10 May
Will NZ's most successful Olympic Sailing event cop the Selection axe?
New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain in September 2014. In two of those the RS:X Windsurfing event, New Zealand is unlikely to be represented in the Men's event, and in the Women's event, Natalia Kosinska would appear to be a borderline selection.
Posted on 2 May
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - First leg lottery dictates RSX leaderboard
2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska had another trying day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska (NZL) had another character-testing day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres in the Women's RSX Windsurfer. However, she moved up the leader board to lie 28th overall in the 40 strong fleet and placed ninth in the first race of Day 2.
Posted on 29 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Strong team but is Yachting's policy too extreme?
On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five double-handers On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five events at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta. However despite qualifying in all ten Olympic classes, will only seven be sent?
Posted on 14 Mar
NZL Sailing Team - Three World Champions named in five events for Rio
The NZ Olympic Committee have announced a team of ten sailors to contest five events The NZ Olympic Committee have announced a team of ten sailors to contest five events, this morning at Wakatere Boating Club on Auckland's North Shore. Three of the crews named have won world championships in the current Olympic cycle in their respective classes.
Posted on 13 Mar