Thailand represented for the first time on the international inclusion sailing stage recently when the two-person sailing team of Tanat Upatising (skipper) and Paul Merry (crew) competed at the Inclusion World Championship for Sailing 2022, held 24-28 August in Rostock, Germany. Competing under the Disabled Sailing Thailand banner as “IMCI Thailand”, they joined a world-class fleet of 25 teams from six countries in an 8-race series over 10 days.
Training from their base in Phuket at Royal Phuket Marina, this was the first international competition for the dynamic duo, and the first time Thailand has been represented at an inclusive sailing championship anywhere in the world.
Having got their series off to a strong start with a second place in the first race, a technical issue saw the team drop down the order. They went on to put together a strong second half of the series with a run of top three finishes which helped them to finish eighth overall amongst a fleet of top international talent. Underscoring how close the competition was, just 2.56 points separated fifth and eighth places. Full results here.
“Being our first time competing, and competing against such a high level of sailing talent, we’re happy with the result. We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to race against others in Phuket but we are seeing more interest in sailing amongst Thais with disabilities and we aim to grow our Disabled Sailing Thailand team in Phuket,” shared IMCI Thailand skipper, Tanat Upatising.
“There are lots of positives we are taking away from the world championships. We can see where we need to improve, and at the same time we’re keen to share our experience with others so we can all learn and grow inclusive sailing and parasailing in Thailand. I hope one day in the future we’ll be celebrating Thailand as world champions!”
The third edition of the Inclusion World Championship for Sailing was held in cooperation with World Sailing, using the S/V14 sailing boat with a crew of two – one able-bodied sailor and one para sailor.
More information on the world championship is available here, and for more information about Disabled Sailing Thailand, visit www.disabledsailingthailand.org.