Thailand to host Optimist world meet

Thailand to host Optimist world meet

Event at Royal Varuna Yacht Club in July this year expected to encourage young locals

A Thai sailor at the Optimist World Championship 2016.
A Thai sailor at the Optimist World Championship 2016.

Thailand will host the Optimist World Championship 2017 at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club (RVYC) in Pattaya from July 11-21, organisers said.

Over 59 countries have already confirmed to compete in the event which is expected to inspire young Thais to take up sailing and stimulate the development of the sport in the country to international standard.

The tournament is being organised by the RVYC, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), and International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) with support from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

The optimist dinghy is considered the ideal boat for introducing children to the sport of sailing.

The objective of this class is to provide an affordable racing boat for young people.

Optimist dinghy sailors typically start at the age of seven or eight and continue to about 15 years of age.

Thomas Whitcraft, president of the event organising committee, said: "The Royal Varuna Yacht Club is proud to have been chosen as the host venue for the prestigious Optimist World Championship 2017.

"We relish the opportunity to host the championship and showcase Thailand as a great venue for international sailing events.

"This is the second time in history that Thailand has won the honour of hosting a world-class event. We held our first Optimist World Championship here at the RVYC back in 1979 and it is great that the club has been selected to be the international venue of this great event once again."

Adm Kraisorn Chansuvanich, honorary president of the Optimist World Championship 2017 and president of the YRAT, said: "Thailand will warmly welcome optimist sailors from around the world to compete here.

"This event will provide an inspiration for young Thais to take up sailing and boost the development of optimist sailing in Thailand to international standards.

"Our Thai team is ready for the event and has been training hard for this world class competition."

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