CAPTAIN | 10
CHAI YO THAILAND! LET’S GO THAILAND
SAILING IN THAILAND
Elephant…. Charging into the SSL gold cup pushing everyone out of our way….
The sport of sailing in Thailand took off in the 1950’s when the former King, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, began promoting the sport. As a prominent racer and boat builder Sailing began to flourish under his Royal Patronage with the opening of Marine Sports centers and Yacht racing centers. These centers are located in the Gulf of Thailand, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in Chonburi province, and the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, based in Sattahip. While our team is based in the Thai gulf, Phuket, located in the Andaman Sea, hosts the King’s Cup Regatta. The King’s Cup brings the fastest yachts in Asia to compete across the range in big boats.
With the support of the royal family and the world-class races, Sailing has become one of Thailand’s most successful sports. The country has led in the medal table within the Asian and Southeast Asian Games. It has become a reliable source of medals for the country at the Asian Games. The country has also seen success in the Optimist class. Over the past ten years, Thailand has been at the top of the world optimist fleet with numerous top tens, a World Championships win (With our team Captain Nai in 2010), and most recently with Weka Bhanubandh winning the 2020 Optimist European Championships.
- >3,000km of Coastline!
- 1,430 Islands!
- Massive Youth Program ~ more than 300 active Optimists
- 4 World Champions
- 36 Continental Podiums
- 3 Olympic Athletes
- SSL best-ranked woman: 830 (09/2020)
- SSL best-ranked man: 445 (09/2020)
- SSL nations ranking: N/A
- Phuket Kings Cup Regatta
- Eastern Sea Board Regatta
- Top of the Gulf Regatta
Big Clubs in Thailand:
- Yacht Racing Association of Thailand
- Royal Varuna Yacht Club
NOPPAKAO, NAI, POONPAT.
In Thai, Nai means Boss. She manages to get her way and win events. Most notably 2 Asian Games Gold Medals, and the Optimist World Championships. Nai also finished a noteworthy 4th at the 29er world championships after having only sailed in the boat for two weeks! When it comes to her putting her mind to winning she ends up on top.
She has been away from the sport for a couple of years and has recently become a fully licensed pharmacist and has opened a Pharmacy in Bangkok! Her hiatus from sailing was, however, not a full hiatus, as she would continue to helm a TP 52 team that has been dominant in Asia over the last 4 years.
He represented Thailand in the 470; having spent most of his life on and around boats, his experience and expertise are invaluable to the Team. His time sailing 470’s has given him an understanding of how rigs work and where he should position the boat upwind.
Dylan Whitcraft is a 49er sailor for Thailand. He is regarded as one of the best ones in Asia. Currently sailing an Olympic campaign for Team Thailand, and the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya. In the rare moments when not sailing, Dylan lives on a Mango farm that backs up on Khaoyai national park and frequently has wild elephants as guests.
THE YOUTH FACTOR
Sailing in Thailand has shown prominence on the world stage only recently. This means that our team is mostly made up of youngsters. At the moment our oldest sailor is 27 years old! With an average age of 24, Putting us on the map as one of the youngest teams in the SSL gold cup! Hopefully, this makes us a team to watch out for in the future!