Inaugural Thailand S\V14 Para Sailing Championship to be part of 2019 Top of the Gulf Regatta.
Up to 16 classes and more than 200 boats expected
Inclusivity has been at the heart of Thailand’s Top of the Gulf Regatta presented by Ocean Marina since it was introduced in 2005, as organisers aim to support sailing across a diverse range of boat types and sizes, and sailor abilities.
From Optimists and Lasers (Radial, Standard and 4.7), 29ers and 49ers, 420s and 470s, and beach catamarans, to ocean multihulls, keelboats, one-design 25-foot Platus and the radio controlled IOM class, organisers this year add a Para Sailing class for the first time, using the S\V14 two-person dinghy.
“We have upto 16 classes competing this year and expect more than 200 boats of all sizes and types out on the water. Our goal has always been to organise an inclusive regatta and this year we are taking it one step further with the introduction of the inaugural Thailand S\V14 Para Sailing Championship,” said William Gasson, co-chairman of the Top of the Gulf Regatta Organising Committee.
Ocean Marina have made the Para Sailing class possible with the purchase of eight new S\V14s from FAREAST YACHTS in China, and they expect to take delivery in March. The two-handed dinghy will be helmed by a para sailor who will be paired with an able-bodied sailor and like other dinghy classes will race over four days with their own dedicated race area, race management and support team.
“The regatta have invited para sailors from around the region to compete and we also expect a good showing from Thailand. We have been working closely with World Sailing to introduce Para Sailing to Thailand and over the long term we hope to be able to support the development of a Thailand para sailing team which can compete at international level,” added Gasson.
In addition to the new Para Sailing class, there are a number of other changes for this the 16th edition of the regatta. Racing has been extended by a day for all classes. The radio-controlled IOM class will compete over three days, the dinghy classes over four and the keelboat and ocean multihull classes will race over five.
For the keelboat and ocean multihull classes, there will be a beach party on a nearby island (subject to approval), at the end of the third day of racing (Friday 3 May), while all other classes will gather on the lawn at Ocean Marina Yacht Club as usual.
After a few years hiatus, organisers are considering re-introducing a sports boat class and encourage any interested sailors to contact them with an expression of interest.
The regatta’s programme can be viewed online at www.topofthegulfregatta.com/programme.
The 2019 Top of the Gulf Regatta presented by Ocean Marina will take place 30 April to 5 May 2019 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club and will be raced on five separate inshore courses, each with their own dedicated race management and on-water teams.
Having worked with the Windsurfing Association of Thailand and hosted the Asian Championships for the RS:One class on multiple occasions, and last year hosting kiteboard racing for the first time, in conjunction with the Kiteboard Association of Thailand, organisers are again open to adding more classes and diversity, making the Top of the Gulf Regatta the largest and most inclusive water sports event in Thailand.
“Top of the Gulf Regatta has been a big supporter of the Thai sailing community and each year we have a large Thai participation who race alongside many international sailors who come to compete each year and enjoy the excellent Gulf of Thailand conditions and Thai hospitality,” concluded Gasson.