At the Pattaya International Multihull Festival, multiple Olympian Carolijn Brouwer and crewmate Brett Goodall sailed their Viper to victory with the boat outperforming its rivals for a spot on the 2016 Olympic program at the week-long event.
In total seven boats will strut their stuff at the upcoming evaluation trials in Spain to determine the new multihull class for the Rio Olympics, with Dutchwoman Brouwer and Australian Goodall beating all four of their rivals (Hobie Tiger, Tornado, Spitfire, Nacra F16) who raced in the same division in Thailand for the overall crown.
'It's always great to start the year with a win and while we always have faith in the Viper's performance I have to admit I was a little rusty after a nice break over Christmas,' said Brouwer, a former world silver medallist in the old Olympic Tornado class and mum to baby Kyle, about to celebrate his first birthday.
'I sometimes forget just how fast and fun Vipers are. We've had a ball all week and beating everyone else is icing on the cake.
'It's also great to see Jason (Waterhouse) and Lisa Darmanin doing so well because they are sailing opposite to us with Jason as skipper and Lisa at crew.
'They are less than half our age and so talented they push us to a new level every time we race.'
Brouwer believes the Viper is the perfect class to take sailing into a new era with its performance unquestioned following a string of impressive results over the last year, the boat is attractive to all ages and both sexes and backed by an off-water team which includes multiple sailing world champions, world-class coaches and media and promotion experts.
'It's exciting to race, a real high-performance boat, looks great for spectators and TV, is modern, dynamic and really fresh,' Brouwer said.
'It also has a string of fantastic results to its name proving just how good it is.'
'It's a boat that can turn heads and attract new people and converts to the sport which is what we all want.'
Of the four Vipers competing in Thailand Brouwer, 38, and Goodall, 27, finished first, Waterhouse, 20, and Lisa Darmanin, 20, finished third, Adrian Fawcett, 33, and Jess Dobie, 27, finished fourth and Chris Sproat, 46, and Georgina Burke, 39, placed ninth.
The evaluation trials for the 2016 Olympics will be held in Santander, Spain, from March 17-25.
Viper Class website
Thai Cat Regatta website