Photos by Matias Capizzano
Pattaya, Thailand – The 2023 ILCA 6 Masters World Championships, hosted by the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, kicked off with two races in beautiful champagne sailing conditions. The Gulf of Thailand provided sunny skies, warm seas, and 12–14 knots of breeze for the first day of racing at the event.
“Pre-event training was in fantastic conditions, absolutely awesome,” said Great Britain’s Max Hunt, a regular on the ILCA Masters circuit and a master sailing control systems designer with Southeast Sailboats.
There are 117 sailors from 23 countries competing. The 75+ years Legends fleet has 20 competitors, and among the eldest are two 85-year-olds who have only minor issues about having to compete against their juniors. Among the youngest at this regatta are 2008 Olympian Adil Khalid from the United Arab Emirates, who was the first Arab to sail around the world, and 2020 Olympian (and 2024 hopeful) Viktorija Andrulyte from Lithuania.
After the first two races, Andrulyte is leading the Apprentice fleet and Great Britain’s Jon Emmett is leading the Masters fleet, each with two bullets on the leaderboard. American Toshinari Takayanagi is first in the Grand Masters fleet, and Japanese Michio Komiyama is winning the Great Grand Masters fleet. Last but not least, American Jonathan Andron is the leading Legend after day 1.
Two races are scheduled for Saturday, February 11. There will be six days of racing and one reserve day in the middle of the regatta. The Royal Varuna Yacht Club’s mission this week is to ensure the event is a most memorable one, with Thai touches to make it magical, ranging from Thai food tastings to traditional Thai puppetry for the international guests.