02 . 05 . 2015
The Thailand Optimist National Championship is the pinnacle of competitive youth sailing in Thailand. The second oldest sailing trophy in the Kingdom, the championship is celebrating its 40th year and has a special place in the hearts of Thai sailors.
Incorporated as part of the annual Top of the Gulf Regatta, the national championships are raced over three days off Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya, Thailand, with a maximum of nine races making up the series.
112 youngsters from eight countries lined-up on Day 1 and with three races planned, the goal was to split the fleet at the end of the day for the remaining days of racing. The light and shifty breeze made for some tricky conditions and it was Suthon Yampinid from the Thai national team that mastered them best, posting a 1,2 at the end of the day. As the winds dropped, Race 3 was cancelled and the fleet returned to shore.
Breaking the traditional Thai dominance on the first day were Malaysian sailors Muhammad Fau Zi, Mod. Izzuddim Bia Abdul Pani and Unor al-Farouk b.zahani who placed second, fourth and fifth respectively at the end of Day 1.
The winds picked up for the second day of racing and following an amendment to the startime the fleet were out on the water early for a 10am start. The Optimist A fleet were off first and Suthon Yampinid continued where he left off the day before adding another win to his tally.
The big movers in the A fleet were Voravong Rachrattanaruk and Thai girl Kamonchanok Klahan who sailed well to move upto second and third in the standings respectively, behind Suthom Yampinid who added two more wins to make it three from three on the day.
The Malaysian trio of Muhammad Fauzi, Muhammad Dhiauddin and Umar Al-Farouk B.Mohd Zahawi were pushing hard and placed fourth, fifth and sixth overall.
In the Optimist B fleet, Jade Given (EST) romped to the top of the leaderboard with a 2,5,3 scoreline. Despite a 12th place finish in Race 4, Thai sailor Panot Lisahapanya recovered with a 6,2 in the remaining two races to finish the day second overall ahead of Prom Prompicharn in third.
Two races were completed on the final day as again the winds threw out some challenging light and shifty conditions. A 10th place in the last race for Jade Gavin in the Optimist B fleet saw her drop down to third overall after leading at the beginning of the day. She finished behind Prom Prompicharn whose 13,2 on the final day was just enough to secure second place by a single point.
A 2,1 on the final day saw Panot Lisahapanya crowned winner of the B fleet and at only 11 years old, he also was the Under 12 division B fleet winner.
Some tight racing in the Optimist A fleet saw lots of shuffling mid-pack, but at the top there were few surprises. With a 2,4 on the final day it was Voravong Rachrattanaruk who finished second ahead of Kamonchanok Klahanm (3,2) in third, who also claimed the top girl honours, while Suthon Yampinid reigned supreme adding two more wins. A string of bullets and just one second place in the series saw Suthon Yampinid victorious by an 11-point winning margin and crowned the 2015 Thailand Optimist National Champion.
At the presentation party hosted on the lawn of the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, the perennial championship trophy was presented to Suthon Yampinid (centre) by Rear Admiral Sunan Monthardplin, Race Committee, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and President of Junior Sailing Squadron (left), and Mark Tchelistcheff (right) who won two consecutive national titles back in 1977 and 1978 (the second and third year of the championship).
Top five results in Optimist A fleet
1) Suthon Yampinid (THA), 6pts
2) Voravong Rachrattanaruk (THA), 17pts
3) Kamonchanok Klahan (THA), 23pts
4) Muhammad Fauzi (MAS), 29pts
5) Muhammad Dhiauddin (MAS), 32pts
Top five results in Optimist B fleet
1) Panot Lisahapanya (THA), 69pts
2) Prom Prompicharn (THA), 80pts
3) Jade Given (EST), 81pts
4) Patrick Ledout (NED), 84pts
5) Suchanaree Detthosapon (THA), 85pts