Thai sails to a win in Doha
[SAILING] Veteran sailor Damrongsak Vongthim's great victory aboard his Hobie 16 at the recent Asian Sailing Championship in Doha has lifted Thailand's chances of winning gold at the Asian Games in Qatar in December.
With his younger brother Sakda as crew, Damrongsak outpaced the fleet at the Championships on Sunday to retain the crown he won last year at the Asian Hobie 16 Championship in Hong Kong.
For executives of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), Damrongsak's win was expected. Before he left for Doha on March 18, many YRAT officials were confident he would win after performing brilliantly during training.
With 10-15 knots of wind providing perfect conditions for all 13 classes of boats in the 11-race event, more than 300 sailors and officials from 18 Asian nations battled for the 14 gold medals and the overall crown.
A total of nine boats - two from Qatar and one each from India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Kuwait and Thailand - took part in the Hobie 16 category.
Damrongsak, who won several gold medals at SEA Games and last year's crown at the Perpetual Vega Rudder Royal Trophy in Hua Hin, was the hot favourite in the six-day event.
As the Doha Asian Games will take place at the same venue, YRAT technical committee official Anirut Posakrisna is confident Damrong-sak can win in December.