PATTAYA : In a world clouded with doom and gloom, there is a bright ray shining at least for Thailand over the Sattahip-Jomtien-Pattaya Eastern Seaboard region. It is an event far removed from the outside turmoil. It is clear skies, sparkling waters and the smiling faces of some 100 young people from more than 40 countries world-wide who will come to Thailand's Eastern Seaboard - to go sailing.
Yet, 2009 was a very good year for Thailand, nautically speaking, that is. In mid-year, two teenagers from the Sattahip Naval Base, some 30 km south of Pattaya, went to compete in junior events in Brazil and came back to the Kingdom with top honours.
Noppakao Poonpat, an incredibly-talented young sailor, finished fourth at the Optimist World Championships, a little unlucky not to take the overall gold from more than 200 young sailors competing. She was consoled, however, by winning the Optimist world title for girls and led the Thai contingent, winning the team racing event.
Keerati Bualong, competing elsewhere in Brazil, finished sixth in the fiercely-contested Volvo International Sailing Federation Youth World Championships, having won a world championship, held in Thai waters the previous year. Both these young sailors advanced to win further laurels on the regional and world circuits, later in 2009.
It has been a long, hard road for the development of yacht racing, sailing and cruising in the Kingdom a journey which started with the founding of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club at Pattaya in July, 1957. Over the decades, Royal Varuna has hosted many world, regional and national championships which have given so much positive media coverage to the Kingdom, creating interest world-wide in Thailand as a yachting, cruising and sailing venue.
This has all been made possible by generous sponsorship over the years: such major players as Volvo, Lufhansa, BMW, Boonrawd Brewery, Coca Cola, Raimon Land, the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, and innumerable others have come aboard. Their brands and logos have been featured on the world's press and media outlets, consistently, for several decades.
Now, as we enter 2010, there is a new surge upon us and the inevitable tremendous success of Thailand on the world stage of yacht racing, as evidenced in Brazil last year. Progress of the Thai youngsters from the Royal Thai Navy base in Sattahip, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya and the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien, is being fully supported by the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the national authority.
To continue the momentum, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club is embarking on an ambitious programme of prestigious events, namely the Laser Asia-Pacific Masters March 8-12. Then in April (1-9) more than 100 youngsters will compete against the best juniors from some 45 countries, in the LASER 4.7 Junior World Championships which will include a large contingent of Thais
As this event is taking place in Thailand, the organizing committee is seeking sponsorship for the Thai skippers in order to maximize Thai participation.
The Laser 4.7 is the leading boat for youth who have left the under-16 year-old limit Optimist class. It is the stepping stone for both men and women skippers who can proceed to the Olympics in the Laser and Laser Radial. As this event is taking place in Thailand, the organizers need sponsorship for the Thai skippers in order to maximize Thai participation.
Thus, for the Laser Worlds, sponsorship is being sought for Thai sailors, their coaches and supporters and three levels of support are proposed:
Gold Sponsorship: 30,000 baht will cover entry fees, equipment upgrades, housing in Pattaya at the site, food during the event and participation in coaching seminar (held by a world class coach);
Silver: 20,000 baht which will under-write entry fees, housing in Pattaya, food and coaching seminar;
Bronze: 10,000 baht - entry fees and sustenance during the event.
If you are able to support the Thai sailors please respond to the email address given below by Feb 15 and/or make a payment to :
Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Current account number : 535 - 3 - 00268 - 8 Siam Commercial Bank, Pattaya.
For further information, contact RVYC: Fax +66(0)38 250-115; tel +66(038)250116; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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