Photos by Matias Capizzano
Pattaya, Thailand – Two races were completed today at the 2023 ILCA 6 Masters World Championships, hosted by the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in a steady breeze of 12 knots and with a strong current in the Gulf of Thailand. Because four races have been sailed, the sailors now have a dropped race from their scores, which has stirred up the leaderboards in some divisions.
Coming off the water with an adrenaline high, Japanese Legend Kato Shiego, vice president of ILCA Asia and chair of the Japanese district, said he was ready to go back out. “It was such nice wind, so exciting. I could do one more race today,” he said with a smile from ear to ear.
According to coaches on the course, the strong current challenged the first series of race starts with a few recalls. Much like yesterday, the Race Committee boat was sideways to the wind because of the flood-force current until the tide neutralized, and the wind picked up around 14:00. Coach Mark Tchelistcheff said, “It was less shifty than yesterday, when conditions were tricky. Yesterday, the tide was not meant to be so strong. The general recalls were probably because people here are not used to the tide drifting over line.”
Lithuania’s Tokyo Olympian Viktorija Andrulyte still leads the Apprentice fleet after winning the first race and placing second in race 4, behind Korea’s Bo Jeong. In the Masters division, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett won both races once again, totaling three net points after four races. The Grand Masters fleet is the largest division with 42 competitors, and Ian Jones of Great Britain sits in first after finishing with a fifth and third today. Another large fleet is that of the Great Grand Masters, and after a stellar day of two bullets, Australian Stephen Gunther is in the lead. The third sailor who managed two first-place finishes for day 2 is American’s Legend Bill Symes.
Principal sponsor Idemitsu is a long-term partner to the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, its contribution part of its impressive CSR program. The Singha Corporation joins as co-sponsor, continuing a long-standing relationship that stretches back to the 1970s. Supporting sponsors include Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, Coca-Cola, Element Six Evolution, The Pizza Company, Bonchon, and UF.
Organizing partners are the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and the ILCA. Strategic partners include Pattaya City, the Sports Authority of Thailand, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Two races are scheduled for Sunday, February 12. Monday will be a reserve day for the sailors to rest before three more days of races resume on Tuesday, February 14.