Top of the Gulf Regatta to Take Place in Pattaya 4-8 May 2012
One of Asia’s largest multi-class regattas, the Top of the Gulf Regatta, will take place in Thailand 4 – 8 May 2012 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya.
Now in its eighth year, the 2012 Regatta is expected to attract over 600 sailors and 300+ boats and boards.
“Our aim since the beginning has been to organise an international-standard yacht race in the Gulf of Thailand, in-line with ISAF (International Sailing Federation) rules, and with international race management,” said William J Gasson, Chairman of the TOG Regatta Organising Committee. “For Thai juniors, we incorporated the Thailand Optimist Championships as part of the Regatta and now provide an opportunity for Thai youngsters to compete alongside international sailors and develop their skills.”
Success of the TOG Regatta’s approach can be seen in the number of Thai sailors sharpening their skills at the regatta and going on to great sailing achievements.
After a 12 year hiatus, Thai sailors are set to represent their country again at the Olympics. Current Asian Champion, Keerati Bualong has taken part in many TOG Regatta’s and following success in the May Olympic Qualifying event in Germany, will represent Thailand in the Laser Standard in the London 2012 Olympics. He will be joined by fellow TOG Regatta regular Kamonwan Chanyim, who will compete in the Laser Radial.
Other TOG Regatta successes include Noppakao Poonpat, Chaninart Poolsirikot and the Vongtim brothers, Damrongsak and Kitsada.
Noppakao Poonpat went from winning the Thailand Optimist Championships at the TOG Regatta to win consecutive IODA World titles in 2009 and 2010; Chaninart Poolsirikot was recently crowned Optimist Champion (girls) at the 2012 Asian Sailing Championship; and Damrongsak and Kitsada have won national and Asian championships in the Hobie 16 Class and made it into the top 10 world rankings.
While Thailand and Asia are producing top level sailing talent, the region has become a magnet for international sailing events, hosting the Volvo Ocean Race, Extreme Sailing Series and the World Match Racing Tour. And this year, for the first time, the NeilPryde Racing Series – a series of one-design windsurfing events around the world – will make a stop in Thailand as part of the TOG Regatta.
“Bringing the NeilPryde Racing Series to Thailand further cements the Top of the Gulf Regatta’s position as a leading sailing event in Asia, offering diverse classes for sailors of all backgrounds, and bringing international sailing talent together for top quality competition,” Gasson added.
The 2012 TOG Regatta will see 13 competitive classes race in the Gulf of Thailand, including some of the top 40-footers in Asia and a record one-design Platu class competing for the prestigious Coronation Cup. 2012 Classes include: IRC 1, IRC 2, IRC 3, IRC 4 Cruising, Sports Boats, Platu (racing in the Coronation Cup), Ocean Multihulls, F18’s, Open Beach Multihulls, Single-handed monohull dinghies, double-handed monohull dinghies, and Optimist (racing in the Thailand Optimist Championship).