Pattaya, Thailand – Today was the first day of racing at the 2023 ILCA 7 Masters World Championships, hosted by the Royal Varuna Yacht Club. A total of 85 sailors representing 22 countries are enjoying perfect conditions to start the weeklong event. Two races were completed in NNW wind, averaging 12–15 knots, and clear skies over the Gulf of Thailand.
Upon returning to shore, Master sailor from the United States, Peter Hurley shared, “The first race was really beautiful out there, and everybody just banged the left corner and that seemed to be what worked best. Then [the wind] picked up in the second race, which was started under a black flag for multiple fleets. Waves got bigger, going downwind was fun… I think everybody is having a good time.”
Great Grand Master Marcel Dubbelman from Thailand also commented, “There were rip-roaring winds, with lots of great fun dueling around the marks against sailors of all nationalities.”
Thai Olympian Keerati Bualong finished atop the leaderboard in the Apprentice division after two first-place finishes today, only qualifying for his first masters after turning 30 in December. Defending Master World Champion, Greek Olympian Adonis Bougiouris similarly finished first in both races in the Masters Fleet. The largest division of the championship is the Grand Masters fleet, which is currently led by Australian Brett Beyer, 15-time Masters World Champion, who has who won both races. Great Grand Master and defending Masters World Champion Tim Law from Great Britain holds a one-point lead after the regatta’s first two races.
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.