At the conclusion of the championship yesterday, the heavy-weights, Aussies Nicholas Skulander and Richard Scarr squeezed erstwhile leader, Benedict Tan (SIN), into third place in the vital last three races of the Laser full rig division.
With six first placings, a second, third and fourth in the nine races counted out of the eleven sailed, Nicholas, on 15 penalty points, was well ahead of compatriot Richard's 28-point score. The wily Ben, who has survived many a close Laser encounter, finished just one point behind Scarr. First Thai Olympic sailor and multiple Laser national champion of Thailand, Verasit Puangnak was fourth on 33, with Indian skipper Sandeep Srikant, making a late bid by winning two of the last three races, to finish fifth on 36 points. Rounding out five nations in the first six placings was Japan's fine sailor, Youichi Lijima on 43.
In the Radial Division, India's ace sailor, Rajesh Choudhary, with two firsts, five seconds, a third, fourth and fifth placing, for a total of 24 penalty points in the 10 races counted out of the 12 sailed easily won the in the Radial Laser Division, from Singapore's Leong Koh Seng (30), with Singapore's Stanley Tan Kheng Siong, third on 38, just one point ahead of first Thai sailor, Chulapong Chanyim (39).
Japan's Noriaki Tanaka (61) was fifth, just ahead of Thailand's first Lady sailor, Siri Chandler who had sailed brilliantly in the lighter conditions but was overwhelmed when the anenometer reached the 12 plus level. As with the full rig division, the Radials featured five different nationalities in the first six.
This championship represented the third time that Thailand - specifically Pattaya's Royal Varuna Yacht Club - has hosted such an event. The first was the Asia Pacific Laser and Masters Championship in 1984 and, then, was four years ago, the Asia Pacific Laser and Radial Laser championship, known as the "Loy Krathong Regatta".
This last has been a tribute to the Royal Varuna Yacht Club's management skills: Al Chandler, the man in charge of the enormously-complex details of the land-based activities and Lawninn Crawford, the man in charge of the equally-challenging events out there on the water.
Normally, to prepare for an event of such international scope, a year or more is required. Royal Varuna had but four months notice, when the original venue reneged. Paul Milsom, the Laser man in Australia, came a week in advance to prepare Varuna Club boats for charter. Eventually some forty participants joined the regatta- "one of the best ever", according to one Laser veteran - coming from seven countries to join host country Thailand : Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar Singapore and, out- of-region entry, Uganda.
LASER FULL RIG (first 12 only)
1. Nicholas Skulander (AUS, 15); 2. Richard Scarr (AUS, 28); 3. Benedict Tan (SIN, 29); 4. Veerasit Puangnak (THA,33); 5. Sandeep Srikant (IND, 36); 6. Youichi Lijira (JPN, 43); 7. Manat Pothong (THA, 55); 8. Stanley Chan Hian Gee (SIN, 69); 9. Mitsuhiro Okubo (JPN, 88); 10. Morton Jakobsen (THA, 91; 11. Shuo Liang Koh (SIN, 95); 12. Frank Theeuwen (THA, 96)
APPRENTICES (35-44 YEARS)
1. Veerasit Puangnak (THA); 2, Morten Jakobsen (THA); 3. Frank Teeuwen (THA); 4. Neil Semple (THA). MASTERS (45-54 years) 1. U Tiha (MYA) .
GRAND MASTERS (55-64)
1. Paul Milsom (AUS); 2. A.T Chandler (THA); 3. Barney Lloyd Smith (THA).
YOUTH (under 19)
1. Mitsuhiro Okubo (JPN); 2. Shuo Koh Liang (SIN)
LASER RADIAL RIG (first 10 0nly)
1. Rajesh Choudhary (IND, 24); 2. Leong Koh Seng (SIN, 30); 3. Stanley Tan Kheng Siong (SIN, 38); 4. Chulapong Chanyim (THA, 39); 5. Noriaki Tanaka (JPN, 51); 6. Siri Chandler (THA, 54); 7. Mohd Romzi bin Muhamad (MAS, 56); 8. Takayuki Harada (JPN, 60); 9. David Leung Kwok Tung ((HK, 64); 10. Marco Miagostovich (THA, 76).
1. Sarah Searle (UGA)). MASTERS 1. Takayuki Harada (JPN); 2. Marco Miagostovich (THA); 3. Gary Martin (AUS). YOUTH 1. Leong Koh Seng (SIN); 2. Mohd Romzi bin Muhamad (MAS); 3. David Leung Kwok Tung (HK); 4. Sinsupha Wannasuf (THA); 5. Schuyler Rockey (THA); 6. Pongpicha Chatasaeneey (THA).
1. Siri Chandler (THA); 2. Sinsupha Wannasuf (THA); 3. Tin Thiri Aung (MYA); 4. Quek I-Gek (SIN); 5. Sarah Searle (UGA).