The Royal Varuna Yacht Club hosted the annual JVK Eastern Seaboard Regatta over the long holiday weekend of October 22 - 24, attracting youth sailors to the Optimist World Championship 2017 venue in preparation for next year’s big event.
In total 82 boats participated. The largest fleet was the Optimist class with 70 boats, joined by 7 boats in the Laser Radial class and 5 in the Laser 4.7 class.
The forecasts predicted light winds over the three-day period and typically each morning began as forecast. However, the Sea Breeze kicked-in from midday building to 10 - 12 knots from a south-westerly direction. The strategic planning abilities of the sailors were tested with the cross tide pushing the fleet over the start line too early in several races. In all nine races were successfully completed with very little delay over the three days.
After the main competitors briefing all sailors assembled in front of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club backdrop to pay respect to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the champion sailor, clubpatron and revered monarch. Each boat displayed a black ribbon visible at the masthead as an act of remembrance.
In the Optimist fleet, the event welcomed sailors from Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, Phuket, Hua Hin and the Thai National Association (YRAT) based in Sattahip to join the sailors from the Royal Varuna Yacht Club. Each day the leaderboard changed with Sarunwong Poonpat (YRAT) sailing especially well to lead on day 1. On day 2, Jedtavee Yongyuennarn (YRAT) moved to the top with 2 first places in the 3 races of the day. It was very close with only 2 points separating the top 4 sailors making the result dependent on the final day’s racing.
Intira Parnpiboon (YRAT), who had been third overnight, moved up a gear and took wins in the first two races of the final day. Quinn Auricht from Australia who had been second overnight, had a poor first race leaving the final race as the decider for the top 4 places. Jedtavee won the final race followed home in second by Quinn. However, Intira held her nerve and delivered a fourth place in the last race of the day which was good enough to seal the top position for the regatta on points with Quinn finishing second overall. Jedtavee’s win in the final race gave him third overall from Sarunwong in fourth.
In the age group categories, first Under 12 male prize went to Thibault Minne from Hong Kong, and compatriot Oriane Voets taking the Under 12 female prize. Young Weka Bhanubandh sailed a great regatta coming in 13th overall at the age of just nine years old - a big future awaits for him. Weka took the honours for first Under-10 overall. The winner of the B-fleet was Filip Huljebrant from Sweden, achieved by winning two races on the final day.
The Laser Radial fleet was a competitive affair with five different race winners out of only seven entrants. On the final day, Farida Vernon (RVYC) was able to hold her nerve to overcome Miki Romanyk RVYC) fighting back after his disqualification on day 1 for being over the line at the start of one race. Farida secured the title by winning the final race in the series. In the Laser 4.7 fleet Joanne Gavin (RVYC) recorded more race wins to take first place overall from Lathavit Thananitayaudom (RVYC).
The JVK Eastern Seaboard Regatta concluded with the prize giving on the main verandah with special commendation going to the race organisation team and the sponsors, JVK International Movers.
The Admiral’s Cup is the next major Optimist Regatta taking place at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club between February 17 - 19, 2017 in the lead up to the World Championships in July where over 50 nations are expected to send teams.