Calling all boaters, yachties and sea-lovers, Disabled Sailing Thailand are organising Phuket’s first Boat Splash on 21 October off Phuket’s east coast. An on-water meet-up that’s open to everyone, Boat Splash will take place in the waters between Rang Yai Island off Phuket Boat Lagoon and Royal Phuket Marina, and Cape Yamu.
What originally grew from an idea to offer people with disabilities a safe opportunity to get out on the water on a large leisure craft, has now grown into a fully-inclusive event where anyone can rendezvous off the east coast for an afternoon of fun on the sea and in the sun.
“Accessibility is a huge problem for people with special needs preventing them from taking advantage of opportunities the rest of us take for granted,” says organizer and founder of Disabled Sailing Thailand, Peter Jacops. “Boat Splash will be a great experience for people with disabilities, some of whom have never been on the water, as they will get to breathe in the sea air, feel what it’s like to be on the ocean and really get a chance to enjoy the wonders of nautical life.”
Boat Splash will take place from 11:00 to 15:00 on Wednesday 21 October. There are no fees involved, everyone and all safe water craft from SUPs, dinghies, jet skis and tenders to sailing yachts, powerboats and superyachts are welcome.
“We have had a great response from the marine industry and people of Phuket. Many charter operators have offered their support and are keen to give back to the community. As a result of the interest, we decided to expand the concept to be an inclusive event that is open to all. Although Phuket is suffering right now, we hope people can come together and enjoy a fun day out on the water. It’ll be a great way to remind us all of what a beautiful place Phuket is and how lucky we all are to live here.”
Thailand National Dinghy Sailing Championships At least 7 Phuket Yacht Club Youth Sailors will compete in the Thai National Dinghy Sailing Championships running from the 24th to the 27th of September.
Endorsed by the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the regatta will be held in the clear, naval waters of Sattahip in Cholburi Province, Thailand and include most of the kingdom’s top-ranked sailors. Over 100 sailors in 10 different classes will be participating including the hi-performance O’pen Skiff, the PYC’s chosen youth sail-training platform.
PYC’s Commodore Scott Duncanson said “The club is very proud to see these home-grown sailors competing in their first ever major regatta”. “Three of these young sailors were supposed to have been in Sardinia, Italy for the World Championships last month but unfortunately the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions put a stop to that”. “Although initially very disappointing the World’s have now been rescheduled to July 2021 so we view the Thai National Championship Regatta as a perfect stepping stone for these young sailors towards international level competition”.
The PYC’s youth sail-training program has gone from strength to strength in 2020 operating at or near capacity every weekend. The school summer holiday sailing program has been an enormous success with 6 courses varying from beginners to intermediates being held over the past 7 weeks. Children from the ages of 7 to 16 are welcome to attend with swimming being the only pre-requisite skill required.
What is very encouraging is that nearly 100 children have now visited the club and taken the opportunity to get themselves on the water and try sailing. The PYC’s location in Chalong Bay is very safe, shallow and near ideal for learning to sail. It is largely protected from the full force of the North East and South Westerly monsoon winds making sailing all year round possible.
Not letting the kids have all the fun, adult sailing courses were recently introduced and the first 3 day dinghy sailing clinic held in July. This included a short passage sail to Koh Lon and an overnight stay at the Cruiser Island Resort. Most all of the participants were families and it was fantastic to see them connecting face to face and building relationships through sailing.
Hermit crab racing, collecting firewood, a beach bon-fire, toasting marsh-mallows and mostly the simple things in life were very successful in creating lifetime memories and detaching the young ones from their electronic devices for a few days. ‘They were simply too busy having fun to even ask for them!’