PATTAYA : It was intended to be held late last year, but the political situation in the Kingdom dictated otherwise. Now, 58 under-16-year olds and 34 of unspecified ages have gathered at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in South Pattaya, for the Asean Optimist and the Asia-Pacific Byte CII Championships, to be held from tomorrow until Saturday Feb 7.
Actually, the postponement was fortuitous for, with the strengthening of the prevailing north-easterly Monsoons, the waters of Pattaya present a perfect sailing arena. But, of course, the wind could change!
It is a tribute to the kingdom that, in spite of the world-wide economic crisis, the Optimist and Byte championships are generously sponsored by Sunbrella and Suniture, productions of weather-resistant fabrics, widely used in the marine sector
Equally-famous Speedo will provide the big contingent of Thai sailors with special racing uniforms. Oskabatt, producer of top-quality batteries, will be powering the cell phones, ubiquitous cameras and other IT equipment essential for such an event. And B-ing will supply the re-hydration liquids mandatory for anyone who is out on the sea for hours at a time.
At press time, the Optimist fleet comprises Burma (7), Indonesia (2), Japan (7), Malaysia (7), Singapore (7), Sri Lanka (6) and Thailand with a big contingent of 22 boys and girls. The participants in the Byte CII are Burma (4), Indonesia (3), Malaysia (2), Singapore (15) and Thailand 10.
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