Connect with us


Phuket Sports: King’s Cup bolsters Thai sailing interest



PHUKET: The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta (PKCR) attracts more and more Thai sailors each year and the 2011 event saw Thai sailors taking podium places throughout the series.

There were 74 Thai sailors who took part in the competition, making Thailand the fourth most highly represented nation in the whole regatta.

The Royal Thai Navy entered two boats into the competitive IRC2 racing class, skippered by Chief Petty Officer First Class Wiwat Poonpat (Royal Thai Navy 1) and CDR Pornprom Sakultem (Royal Thai Navy 4). The Royal Thai Navy teams have sailed consistently well at recent regattas in Thailand, and true to Thailand’s history as a successful sports sailing nation, Royal Thai Navy 1 swept to victory in IRC 2 Class again this year.

Suwan Poopoksakul skippered Lawana, an X-512, battled in the highly-competitive Premier Class with entries from China, UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

“The PKCR is the largest sailing event in Thailand,” explained Suwan. Our Lawana team has joined the race for 10 years, and we’ve also consistently seen the best international standard race management. Its success has been proven as we see more boats from around the world heading to Phuket every year.”

Biranubongse Bhanubandh, has sailed since 1987 and began on dinghies. “Twenty years ago, sailing was regarded as an upper-class and costly sport, so its prevalence was limited to specific groups of people and the development was delayed. But then there were supportive factors to raise the popularity of sailing, especially the duty reduction which was a considerable turning point for sailing development in Thailand. It made sailing more affordable and led to the development of Thai sailors’ skills, and now we have world champion Thai sailors.”

“As a sailor, I appreciate how the organising committee properly arrange everything. With a seriously high standard of operations, the Regatta can facilitate both Thai and foreign sailors; better than other international sailing events in this region that I’ve joined before.”

Saksit “Khet” Mangkalaseranee, a Phuket-based business owner and crew member on Windstar, raced in the Modern Classic Class, finishing second overall. He said, “We have eight crew members in total, and three of the guys are Thai sailors. The PKCR is a special event in its own right, and it’s also great for encouraging more Thais into sailing, for giving them a competitive step-up as their sailing skills grow. The Regatta features the increasingly popular International Dinghy Class which is the perfect way for young Thais to get into the sport. We do everything we can to encourage more Thais to take up sailing; it’s always been our plan to do that. To have an international standard race entry, you often need to have an international crew; this blends sailors of differing levels of experience. That said, we are always on the lookout for talented Thai sailors to possibly join our team in the future.”

In 2010, sailing prodigy and eventual winner in the Optimist Class, Anapat Ngarmdee, aged 11, attracted a lot of attention as he ran away with the class title. This past event saw Phuket native, Akapoj Kankaew, earn a powerful overall victory in the six-race series which has become a popular part of the PKCR programme.

A majority of sailors competing in the International Dinghy Class racing series were Thai, thanks to strong efforts by the PKCR organizing committee who worked to encourage more Thai youngsters to take up the sport. Thailand can be particularly proud of its performance in Optimist Class; Noppakao Poonpat is the World Champion, and the Thai team is the Team Optimist World Champion also; not coincidentally, Noppakao is the niece of Wiwat Poonpat, skipper of the winning Royal Thai Navy 1.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV are sponsors of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta. For information visit

— Neil Quail


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World12 hours ago

Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week

Thailand13 hours ago

Tangmo defendant repays vow with 5-metre Ultraman figure

Bangkok13 hours ago

Bangkok asks companies to let employees work from home until October 7

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Prime minister’s achievements since coming back to the office

Best of14 hours ago

Revealed: the best rooftop bars in the world

Thailand14 hours ago

Father & 2 year old son shot in Chiang Mai

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pattaya14 hours ago

Officials predict over 100,000 people at Pattaya International Fireworks Festival

Thailand14 hours ago

Six-legged golden frog brings good fortune in northern Thailand

Tourism14 hours ago

British Embassy Bangkok to hold a conference on tourism safety and security

Thailand14 hours ago

Mother seeks justice after a monk slapped her son

Expats15 hours ago

Bangkok ranked one of top 5 expat cities

Thailand15 hours ago

Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries

Thailand15 hours ago

VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand

Chiang Mai15 hours ago

Chiang Mai wakes up to a flooded city district

World16 hours ago

Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11