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Queen Triumphs in Prestigious Gulf-Crossing Sailing Race: A Nautical Celebration of Heritage and Skill

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In an exhilarating blend of tradition, skill, and competition, the Queen not only participated but triumphed in a high-stakes sailing race, marking a monumental moment as part of team “Vayu.” Taking on the turbulent seas aboard the THA72 sailboat, they dominated the IRC zero class, securing a prestigious victory in a race that is as much about heritage as it is about speed.

The event took sailors on a daring journey from the scenic Cha Am beach located in the heart of Phetchaburi province, all the way to the tranquil shores of Toey Ngam Beach in Sattahip district, Chonburi province. The race across these 45 nautical miles was not just a test of endurance but a celebration of maritime prowess.

Gathering at the start line were eight sailing teams, a diverse lineup hailing from corners of the globe – Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand, bringing together a total of 115 spirited sailors. This international congregation underscored the unifying power of the sport, each participant bringing their own unique strategies and experiences to the fore.

With the race kicking off at 10.45am, an air of anticipation enveloped the waters. Meanwhile, the King embarked on the “HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej” ship, setting sail to follow the race’s progress closely, a testament to the fervor that surrounded this esteemed event, tracing the path from Phetchaburi to the shores of Chonburi province.

The Queen’s THA72 boat, slicing through the waves, completed the race in a remarkable 4.33 hours. Their victory, determined by a sophisticated calculation which took into account the type and age of the boat, was not just about their swift traversal; it was a story of strategy, determination, and the artful manoeuvring of their vessel.

Rooted deeply in the nation’s history, this gulf-crossing sailing competition was orchestrated by the Royal Thai Navy alongside the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, paying homage to a similar extraordinary journey undertaken by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on April 19, 1966. That epic voyage saw the King’s father at the helm of “Vega,” crossing from Klai Kangwon Palace to Toey Ngam Beach, a testament to his sailing acumen and indefatigable spirit over a 60 nautical mile stretch that lasted 17 hours.

Post-victory, the festivities continued into the afternoon. At 3.15pm on that auspicious Friday, Their Majesties paid a visit to the Royal Thai Marine Corps Monument, where they captured the moment in photographs with the triumphant Vayu team, leaving their signatures in the visitor book as an indelible mark of their involvement.

The celebrations reached a crescendo at 7.15pm at the Royal Thai Marine Corps headquarters, where an awards ceremony unfolded. The Queen, in a moment brimming with pride, accepted a trophy designed after the helm of King Bhumibol’s Vega boat, an emblem of their victorious saga, on behalf of the Vayu team. The ceremony saw the distribution of trophies across categories, recognizing the dedication and prowess of the participants, followed by the King bestowing commemorative medals, honoring the competitive spirit of all sailors involved.

Before their departure, Their Majesties delved into an exhibition that chronicled the rich history of Thailand’s sailing endeavors and King Bhumibol’s passion for sailing and boat craftsmanship. A fitting finale to a day that not only celebrated skilled navigation and competition but also paid a rich tribute to a cherished royal legacy, before they took to the skies, returning to Bangkok by helicopter, hearts full and spirits high.


  1. NauticalNancy April 20, 2024

    Seeing the Queen participate and win in such an event is truly inspirational. It proves that leadership can also be about setting examples in realms beyond the conventional political and social spheres. A genuine celebration of skill and tradition!

    • SkepticalSam April 20, 2024

      Inspirational? Really? While I understand the appeal, I think it’s crucial to question the underlying implications of monarchs participating in sports events. Doesn’t this blur the lines between governance and entertainment?

      • RevolutionaryRoad April 20, 2024

        Absolutely, Sam! It’s essentially a display of privilege. While it’s framed as a ‘competition’, it’s hard to ignore the vast resources at their disposal compared to the average participant.

    • NauticalNancy April 20, 2024

      I see where you’re coming from, Sam and Road. However, isn’t it possible to view this as a promotion of national culture and sports? It’s a complex issue, but the visibility it brings to sailing as a sport and tradition can’t be understated.

  2. MaritimeMike April 20, 2024

    This race is a fantastic showcase of sailing skill and dedication. But let’s talk about the Queen’s boat, THA72. That’s a beast of a sailing vessel! It would be interesting to know more about the technology and design that contributed to their win.

    • TechieTina April 20, 2024

      Right, Mike! THA72’s design and technology are probably top-notch. Modern sailing competitions are as much about engineering marvels as they are about skill. Would love a deep dive into its specs and how it compares to its competitors.

  3. HistoryBuff April 20, 2024

    This event is a profound homage to King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great’s journey in 1966. It’s touching to see traditions being kept alive and celebrated, bridging past and present. Shows the deep connection between the royal family and their passion for sailing.

    • ModernMind April 20, 2024

      While respecting history is important, it’s also vital to question the relevance of royal traditions in today’s world. Yes, it honors history, but at what cost? Are we celebrating achievements or merely perpetuating privilege?

      • HistoryBuff April 20, 2024

        An interesting point, Mind. However, traditions like these can coexist with modernity. They don’t just ‘perpetuate privilege’ but also foster a sense of national pride and continuity. It’s not about the cost but the value they add culturally.

  4. GreenWave April 20, 2024

    We’re all celebrating the race, but isn’t anyone concerned about the environmental impact? Sailing might seem ‘green,’ but significant events like these have a footprint. From the construction of these high-tech boats to the event itself, there’s a lot we’re not considering.

    • EcoEve April 20, 2024

      Absolutely, Wave! It’s a critical issue often overlooked in the glamor of such events. While sailing is inherently eco-friendlier, the scale and exclusivity of these races could deter from the sustainability path. Time for a sustainability review?

      • MaritimeMike April 20, 2024

        That’s a valid concern. I wonder if there are measures in place to mitigate these impacts? Perhaps using sustainable materials for boat construction, or ensuring that the events promote ocean conservation efforts?

  5. SailingSophie April 20, 2024

    Can we take a moment to appreciate the global representation in this race? The sport of sailing bringing together nations – it’s a powerful symbol of unity and peace through healthy competition.

    • GlobalGuru April 20, 2024

      Indeed, Sophie! Sports have a unique way of transcending boundaries. This event is a testament to how shared interests and mutual respect can bring the world closer, even in competitive settings.

  6. TraditionTerry April 20, 2024

    The connection to King Bhumibol’s legacy is what stands out for me. It’s a reminder of how individual passions can become beacons of national pride. The royal family’s involvement in sailing enriches the sport’s cultural significance in Thailand.

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