Pattaya, Thailand – Today’s sailing followed a different format at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club (RVYC) for the 2023 ILCA 7 Masters World Championships since the Grand Masters were only able to complete one race on Day 3. The Grand Masters were the first fleet to start today and were on the outer-loop course, whereas the rest of the fleets were moved to the inner-loop course. Racing began under clear skies with NNW winds of 6–10 knots that eventually shifted west, where the strong current skewed conditions, also causing the Great Grand Master fleet to abandon the second race. The Grand Masters were finished at the leeward mark and entire course had to be reset.
Grand Master Andrew Holdsworth from the United States recounted, “The first race was a reduced number of starters…it was really difficult sailing. The wind was unpredictable and although the current was there, it didn’t change the racing. We had a big lefty [wind] during the second race and it was really shifty and puffy.”
Morten Jakobsen, Grand Master from Thailand and RVYC sailor, enthusiastically shared, “It was fantastic to sail in the first race, we had three Thais in the top five – number 3, 4, and 5 were racing each other towards the finish line and it was exactly as it was 25 years ago. It was exciting and they all three enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I was last of the three, but it was still a decent result for me.” Morten has been sailing with RVYC for 27 years.
In today’s rankings, local favorite and Thai Olympian Keerati Bualong remains first in the Apprentice fleet. In the Master division, Greek Olympian Adonis Bougiouris continues in first place overall while Olympian Christoph Bottoni from Australia clinched a first-place finish in the last race. Australian Brett Beyer continues atop the leaderboard in the Grand Masters fleet despite Norio Akiyama from Japan taking two race wins. Tim Law from Great Britain continued his streak in the top spot for the Great Grand Master fleet, winning both races entering the last two days of competition.
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.