His Majesty the King attends sailing competition in Cha-am

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His Majesty the King Vajiralongkorn visited Cha-Am on Friday morning to witness Her Majesty the Queen participate in a sailing competition.

The race, which spanned across the bay to Ao Teoyngam in Sattahip district, Chonburi Province, is part of the ongoing celebrations for His Majesty’s upcoming 72nd birthday on July 28.

The day began early, at 08:20 AM, when the royal couple proceeded to the Regent Hotel in Cha-Am to prepare for the event. The competition was the highlight of the sailing festival.

Her Majesty the Queen, a skilled sailor, took the helm of a TP52 type sailing boat, IRC Zero, numbered THA72 and named Team Vayu. Under her guidance, the vessel navigated a route from Cha-Am Beach to Ao Teoyngam, covering a challenging distance of 45 nautical miles.

The King took a keen interest in the proceedings, first attending a briefing in the Casa Mare building where details of the race, including the navigation route, were discussed. His Majesty then traveled to Regent Beach and boarded a RIB boat to join the sailing action on the bay.

The Queen’s sailing skills are well-documented; she holds motor and sailboat licenses from Switzerland and an RYA Coastal Skipper certificate from Italy. Her participation added a personal touch to the competition, which saw eight teams from various countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan, making up approximately 115 participants.

Following the start of the race, His Majesty the King transitioned to an aerial view to continue his observation. He boarded the royal helicopter at Naresuan Camp and later the royal ship HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej. The vessel, christened by His Majesty on October 16, 2019, and named in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, provided a mobile platform for following the competition from Cha-Am to Sattahip.

The Royal Thai Navy, under royal patronage and in partnership with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, organized this cross-bay sailing competition. It not only marks the King’s birthday but also honors His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great’s legacy in promoting sailing sports.

The historical significance of April 19th adds depth to the occasion, recalling the adventurous 1966 sailing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Then, he navigated an OK-class boat named “Vega” from Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin, across the Gulf of Thailand to Ao Nawik Navy Bay. This 60 nautical mile journey, covered with a modest entourage, highlighted the enduring royal connection to the sea and sailing.

Upon reaching Ao Nawik Navy Bay after 17 hours at sea, King Bhumibol Adulyadej ceremoniously planted the Royal Thai Navy flag at Ao Teoyngam Beach, embodying perseverance and resilience.

This year’s sailing event also helped to continue the Royal Family’s tradition and passion for sailing. The event showcased not only the competitive spirit of international sailing but also the cultural heritage that continues to inspire and lead the nation.

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