7 Children from the phuket sunshine village to join thailand optimist nationals

Topper Sail Phuket is arranging to give seven children from the Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation the opportunity to compete in the Thailand Optimist Nationals at the Top of the Gulf Regatta 2010 in Pattaya next month.

The Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation was founded in 2004 after the Tsunami hit Phuket and provides a safe and secure home for children who are either orphaned or who are no longer able to live with their natural parents.

The Top of the Gulf Regatta is one of the most prestigious events on the South East Asian sailing calendar and attracts top class sailors from all around the world. It runs from 30th April to Tuesday 4th May and would be an incredible experience for these children.

The children have been sailing for just over a year on most Sundays and have been joining in with the club racing at Phuket Yacht Club under the supervision of Katy and Paul from Topper Sail Phuket. They will also be joined by two other club members meaning there will be a total of nine junior entries from Phuket.

To prepare the children for the Nationals we are arranging for them to join the Advanced Optimist Course run by the Junior Sailing Squadron ( JSST) at Sattahip Naval Base, Chonburi from the 17th – 25th April.  This will give them a great opportunity to improve their sailing skills and racing knowledge and the chance to practice with a larger fleet.  Arrangements are also being made for them to stay on for further practice before competing in the Nationals.

Staff at Topper Sail Phuket have been donating their time to teach these children to sail and arrange races for them every month and Phuket Yacht Club have allowed the children to use its facilities for these races at no additional cost. However the cost of sending the children to the training camp and the regatta itself is estimated at approximately 100,000 Baht to cover accommodation, food, course fees, boat charter, entry fees and transportation.

Travel arrangements have not been confirmed and therefore we are looking at various options including the possibility of any sponsored flights from Phuket to Bangkok and/or Bangkok to Phuket.

Katy Gooch of Topper Sail Phuket says, ‘I am happy to donate my time to these children from the Phuket Sunshine Village but unfortunately I am not in a position to donate 100,000 Baht as well. These children love to sail and have improved so much since they started learning with us and it would be fantastic for them to have the opportunity to go and compete in the nationals. Sailing helps to instill self-reliance and quick thinking and I have seen first hand how it has helped these children develop both on and off the water.’

Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Katy Gooch at: 0852159185 / toppersailphuket@gmail.com

About us:

Topper Sail Phuket is founded and run by Katy Gooch and Paul Firmin. It was through their involvement in the Phuket Yacht Club in Ao Yon and the club’s struggle to meet the demand from people interested in learning to sail, that they decided to import Topper boats from the UK and start their own sailing school. The Thai company has now also gained the dealership for Topper International in Thailand.

Katy Gooch, Commodore of Phuket Yacht Club, has a background in teaching outdoor education activities in the UK. She has been teaching and coaching sailing for over 20 years. Katy is an RYA trained Senior Sailing Instructor & RYA endorsed Power boat operator.

Her passion is sailing and kayaking and she has been a keen yacht racer, participating regularly for fifteen years in local and offshore racing with RORC. Katy is a member of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), the Crouch Yacht Club (CYC) and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (RCYC).

Paul Firmin also has a background in yacht racing. Back in the UK, he spent much time racing “Squibs” (22ft keel boat) where he regularly participated in the Inlands and Nationals. Paul is a member of the RCYC, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex.


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