Young sailors tested in first event of 2012 Phuket Dinghy Series

Phuket Dinghy Series, Act I at Nai Yang Beach.
Duncan Worthington
The Phuket Dinghy Series is back. Launched in 2010 by the organisers of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta, the Phuket Dinghy Series comprises three weekend events at different Phuket locations in the lead-up to the Phuket King's Cup Regatta.

Established with the aim of providing youngsters an opportunity to sail competitively in Phuket, and test their skills against sailors from other regions, Santi Kanchanbandhu, a member of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organising Committee said,

“We provide a variety of sailing conditions at different locations, giving the youngsters a mix of experiences and testing their sailing skills.” Adding that “a big part of each weekend event is the sailing clinic, which is lead by an experienced sailor that can give advice and tips to the youngsters, and help them improve their skill and technique.”

The first event in the 2012 Phuket Dinghy Series took place off Nai Yang Beach 29 – 30 September, off Phuket's North-West coast. Following two weeks of monsoonal rains and strong winds, the 17 sailors met the weekend with both excitement and trepidation.

Strong winds and rolling seas summed up the first day of racing, but the rain held off, and the youngsters tested both their technique and strength over the three races.

On the second day, High Season had arrived. The sun was out, the blue skies returned and the sea had calmed, providing a very different sailing experience for the sailors.

Young rising star, Anaphat Ngamdee from Chonburi took the first event in the Optimist Class undefeated, winning six from six. Anaphat continued on from his success last year when he was crowned the 2011 Series winner.

Places were swapped through the rest of the fleet with Songkhla native Chareef Rakpongbandit holding out to take second overall by one point from Phuket youngster Sumet Pandam.

In the Laser Class, numbers were down a little on last year's Series, but the competition was still high with another Chonburi-native taking the win, Akarapong Chayim, with six from six. Phuket-based Teeranai Petcharat placed second overall with Songkhla's Jittawat Boonrat in third.

Sailors from Phuket, Phang Nga, Songkhla and as far away as Chonburi took part in the first Phuket Dinghy Series event. The next event will take place 27-28 October on Bang Tao Beach with the final event of the Series taking place off Cape Panwa 24-25 November 2012.

Full results are available at www.kingscup.com.
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