Thailand is sending sailors to the Para World
Sailing Championships for the first time, with Suraphong Chitkhong
and Paisal Pa-teh - both from Pattaya, heading to Sheboygan in the
USA to take part in a pre-event sailing clinic followed by the
World Championships from 18-22 September.
“This is a very special moment for sailing in
Thailand,” said Peter Jacops, Founder of Disabled Sailing
Thailand. “Never before have Thailand sent sailors to the Para
World Sailing Championships and Disabled Sailing Thailand are very
proud to be doing so this year. Our Thai sailors have been
undergoing training with coaches at Royal Varuna Yacht Club in
Pattaya and while this is very early days for Para Sailing in
Thailand, the clinic is an excellent opportunity for our Thai
sailors to learn more and the World Championships will be an
experience never to be forgotten I'm sure.”
In 2015 the International Paralympic Committee
opted to drop sailing from the 2020 Paralympics and it was this
decision that lead to the founding of Disabled Sailing Thailand
who's aim is to make the sport more accessible for people with
disabilities and ultimately to support the reintroduction of
sailing to the Paralympics.
“We have been working closely with World
Sailing, the sport's world governing body, and they have been very
supportive in helping us to send sailors from Thailand to this
year's World Championships. There are 125 sailors from 36
countries taking part and we hope our Thai team will inspire
others who wish to try sailing in the future,” added Jacops.
Disabled Sailing Thailand is a not-for-profit
organization registered under the Yacht Racing Association of
Thailand and has received support from many individuals and companies
to get this far, including Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Royal Phuket
Marina, Austhai Marine, Simpson Marine, Pattaya West Winds Masonic
Lodge, Royal Varuna Yacht Club and North Sails.