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Youth Sailors to the fore at PYC

Youth Sailors to the fore at PYC

SAILING: Twelve youth sailors aged 9 to 16 and their families descended on the Phuket Yacht Club (PYC) in Chalong Bay on the weekend of June 4-5 for the June O’pen Skiff Regatta.

By Scott Duncanson

Friday 17 June 2022, 10:00AM

This was the second event for the year and the largest to date, attracting one international entry from Mumbai, participants from United World College (UWC) and, of course, the home grown PYC youth squad who relished the challenge to meet and compete with so many new faces.

After two weeks of storms and strong winds prevailing, conditions lightened considerably on Saturday (June 4) allowing for a near perfect introduction to regattas for the less experienced sailors of the group.

After numerous postponements due to low wind speeds, resident PYC coach Garfield skillfully got away four races comprising of windward / leeward, Adventure Course and, everyone’s favourite, the Multihull Solutions Bridge of Doom Race.

The fleet raced as one but two age-group divisions were created for under 16 and under 13s. Results were mixed with upcoming U13 Sailor Ellie sailing superbly to take first place ahead of the more experienced U16 group in the first race of the day.

PYC sailors were in hot pursuit with Michael and Millie confidently filling the podium positions. Four races were completed in what turned out to be a nearly three hour session on the water.

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Day two started with not a breath of air and the postponement flag hoisted ashore. Not one for wasting any time, PYC coach Garfield quickly arranged an interactive sail-boat tuning and rules session to keep young, eager minds busy while the breeze filled in.

After around an hours delay onshore, all boats launched and racing began with windward leeward and a triangle courses. To keep things interesting a thunder storm passed each side of Chalong Bay, luckily bringing more wind and allowing for a further four races to be completed.

As the breeze began to fade sailors returned to the club for the final event of the Regatta, the all fun Freestyle Session. This is quite unique to the O’pen Skiff class and is an opportunity for the young sailors to impress the judges with some boat handling creativity and balance skills. Essentially anything goes and spectators were treated to some on the water dancing, backflips, frontflips, mast-climbs, dry capsizes and even boom press-ups.

After un-rigging and wash-down of boats and equipment a short awards presentation followed to conclude a highly successful event that introduced nearly half the fleet to the wonderful sport of dinghy sailing.

Phuket Yacht Club operates sailing dinghy training for ages 7-17 each and every weekend. Adult training is also available by appointment. For more information contact coach Garfield at school@phuketyachtclub.com 

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