[FHD video and podcast
below
] Inclusivity has been at the heart of Thailand’s
Top of the Gulf Regatta since it was
first sailed in 2005, as organisers aim to support sailing across
a diverse range of boat types, sizes, and sailor abilities.

From Optimists and Lasers (Radial, Standard and 4.7), 29ers and
49ers, 420s and 470s, and beach catamarans, to ocean multihulls,
keelboats, one-design 25-foot Platus and the radio controlled IOM
class, organisers this year have added a Para Sailing class for the first
time, using the SV14 two-person dinghy.

“We have up to 16
classes competing this year and expect more than 200 boats of all
sizes and types out on the water. Our goal has always been to organise an inclusive regatta and this year we are taking it one
step further with the introduction of the inaugural Thailand SV14
Para Sailing Championship,” said William Gasson, Co-Chairman of
the Top of the Gulf Regatta Organising Committee.


Inclusivity has been at the heart of Thailand's Top of the Gulf Regatta since it was first sailed in 2005, as organisers aim to support sailing across a diverse range of boat types, sizes, and sailor abilities. From Optimists and Lasers (Radial, Standard and 4.7), 29ers and 49ers, 420s and 470s, and beach catamarans, to ocean multihulls, keelboats, one-design 25-foot Platus and the radio controlled IOM class, organisers this year have added a Para Sailing class for the first time, using the SV14 two-person dinghy. Picture by Guy Nowell. Click to enlarge.

Ocean
Marina have made the Para Sailing class possible with the purchase
of eight new SV14s from FarEast Yachts in China, and they expect
to take delivery in March. The two-handed dinghy will be helmed by
a Para Sailor who will be paired with an able-bodied sailor and
like other dinghy classes will race over four days with their own
dedicated race area, race management and support team.

“The
regatta have invited para sailors from around the region to
compete and we also expect a good showing from Thailand. We have
been working closely with World Sailing to introduce Para Sailing
to Thailand and over the long term we hope to be able to support
the development of a Thailand para sailing team which can compete
at the international level,” said Gasson.

In addition to
the new Para Sailing class, there are a number of other changes
for this the 16th edition of the regatta. Racing has been extended
one day for all classes. The radio controlled IOM class will
compete over three days, the dinghy classes over four days and the
keelboat and ocean multihull classes will race over five days.

For the keelboat and ocean multihull classes, there will be a
beach party on a nearby island (subject to approval), at the end
of the third day of racing (Friday, 3 May), while all other
classes will gather on the lawn at Ocean Marina Yacht Club as
usual.

After a few years hiatus, organisers are considering
re-introducing a sports boat class and encourage any interested
sailors to contact them with an expression of interest.

The 2019 Top of the Gulf Regatta
will take place 30 April to 5 May 2019 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club
and will be raced on five separate inshore courses, each with
their own dedicated race management and on-water teams.

Having worked with the Windsurfing Association of Thailand
and hosted the Asian Championships for the RS:One class on multiple occasions, and last year hosting kiteboard racing for the
first time, in conjunction with the Kiteboard Association of Thailand, organisers are again open to adding more classes and
diversity, making the Top of the Gulf Regatta the largest and most
inclusive water sports event in Thailand.

“Top of the Gulf Regatta has been a big
supporter of the Thai sailing community and each year we have a
large Thai participation who race alongside many international
sailors who come to compete each year and enjoy the excellent Gulf
of Thailand conditions and Thai hospitality,” Gasson added.

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