Where to begin? The response to Matchrace Thailand this year has been overwhelming. There are more entries than can be accommodated for our back-to-back events - a Grade 5 warm up on 01 March and the Grade 3 Matchrace Thailand Open National Championship 2013 on 03 March. The kind of world ranking we are seeing among the participants this year could have pushed our events up to ISAF Grade 2!
This year, Matchrace Thailand is staging a battle between some of the best teams from Europe and Asia. We will welcome a team from Estonia ranked 24th, the team ranking 26th from Russia, an Asian representative fror WMRT Korea Cup 2010 and more. Some of these teams have people like Bjorn Hansen (world 2) and Laurie Jury (world 7) as their coaches. It is going to be a helluva regatta!
Team Musikhin (RUS) - Matchrace Thailand 2013 - Various people
Team Musikhin (Russia)
Skipper: Sergey Musikhin
World Ranking 26
After winning many titles at home and in Europe, Musikhin led his team to claim victory in the Middle East last year by winning both Qatar and Kingdom of Bahrain Match Racing 2012. One of the top match race teams from Russia, this is their first time competing in Thailand.
Team Busan (Korea)
Skipper: Gunwoo Park
World Ranking 847
Gunwoo Park won the Asian Qualifier to participate in Korea Cup 2010, playing with the big boys in the World Match Racing Tour. Then he was busy training in 470s for the London Olympics, where he finished 22nd in the 27-boat fleet. But the love of match racing never dies - he is back to prove that his third place in match racing at the Asian Games 2010 wasn’t won just by luck.
Skipper: Matti Sepp
World Ranking 24
The head of the Match Race Centre in Estonia, and the organiser of the Baltic Cup, Mati Sepp is active both on and off the water. He has diligently introduced sailors to competitive sailing and training. His latest win was the Championship title at the Estonia Open 2012 and a second place in Vaasa – a G2 event.
Team Em (Thailand)
Skipper: Morten Jakobsen
World Ranking 117
The highest-ranking team in Thailand and the fifth highest in Asia, Jakobsen has proven that no one should underestimate an underdog. He travels the world to attend match race events, and works hard to encourage other sailors at home to join in his beloved sport discipline. He and Jon Eriksson started Matchrace Thailand. It is thanks to them that we are all here today.
Team Singapore - Matchrace Thailand 2013 - Various people
Skipper: Maximilian Soh
World Ranking 148
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Maximillian has collected medals at the Asian IODA, Asian Games, Australian Youth Championships, Asian Sailing Championships, Matchrace Thailand, China Cup, Top of the Gulf and many many more. His sailing accomplishments are too long to be contained in this page.
Skipper: Jon Eriksson
World Ranking 157
This time Jon Eriksson is joining with an international team consisting of Germans, Swiss, Singaporeans and Finns. The youngest member is Martin Janssen (21) who already has a World Championship title in X-Yachts. Jon claims to ‘hike harder than the rest of the crew’… sometimes.
Team Zijie (SIN) - Matchrace Thailand 2013 - Various people
Team Zijie (Singapore)
Skipper: Christopher Lim
World Ranking 237
Beginning competitive sailing at the tender age of nine, Chris has now regularly led his university team, SMU, to many podium places in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. His focus turned to match racing after being selected for the World University Match Racing Championships in 2010 where he finished fifth.
Team Liiv (Estonia)
Skipper: Harles Liiv
World Ranking 90
Another good team from the Baltic. Harles was the winner of Estonia Match Race 2011. This is his first time in the warm waters of Pattaya, Thailand.
Team Hong Kong - Matchrace Thailand 2013 - Various people
Team Hong Kong
Skipper: Chin Yew Seah
World Ranking 233
Chin Yew is a member of the Match Racing Committee at RHKYC, and decided to join Matchrace Thailand at the eleventh hour.
Team France - Matchrace Thailand 2013 - Various people
Skipper: David Cullerier
David and his team are new to match racing, but seem to get a buzz from racing boats just inches apart!
Watch this space, and mark your diaries:
01 March: Grade 5 warm up event
03 March: Grade 3 Matchrace Thailand Open National Champs 2013
by Morten Jakobsen
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6:09 PM Sat 26 Jan 2013GMT
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