|The sky’s the limit for the talented Thai sailor|
The sky's the limit for the talented Thai sailor:
Patinyakorn "Ging" Buranrom
Sailing as a sport, can be seen as a juxtaposition. An image of tranquility alongside an image of excitement; cruising alongside speed; a relaxing experience alongside the a thrillseeking experience. And the sport can provide personalities with similar traits.
One such Thai personality is Patinyakorn Buranrom, more commonly known by his nickname, Ging. Having taken up the sport only recently, Ging learned to sail the Ao Chalong Yacht Club on Phuket Island in 2009, and today, just five years later he is the first-ever Thai skipper to race in the Transpacific Yacht Race – the longest of the two oldest races in the world.
Ging has a warm demeanor and friendly smile. He is polite and welcoming, and is always willing to help. Yet under that calm exterior is a steely determination. A single-minded determination that is the underlying reason for his successes to date. A determination that is essential to completing one of the toughest offshore yachting challenges.
Taking time out of his busy schedule, Ging sat down with Ghislaine Bovy to discuss his sailing achievements and how his sailing journey began.
"I went to all the Sunday races in Phuket at the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, and practiced on all kinds of boats – catamarans, keelboats. I learned from professionals. Sailing is about practice. You always need to practice."
"I learnt a lot from Bruce Issell, Captain and Manager at DaVinci Yacht Charters when I worked with them for one year.
As crew member of the DaVinci racing team, Ging also learnt a lot from Mark Pescott – the respected Australian multihull designer and winner of many regattas in Australasia – who was always willing to help, offering guidance and support.
Discussing what it is about sailing Ging likes so much, he offer a holistic response. "For me, sailing brings everything together. I like the sea and I like travelling. Sailing is a sport and I like sports and competition. It is also a perfect way to relax with friends and go to the islands." "That's why I bought Ooh La La, my first boat, in August 2012. I wanted to practice and to have friends on board to spend some time together. Sailing is about teamwork."
Helping to bring Ging's Transpac dream to realist has been leading Thai property developer Sansiri PLC. However, their support of Ging started long before this.
In 2012, Ging approached Sansiri to support his Thai sailing team on Ooh La La, firstly in the Phuket King's Cup Regatta that year, and following great success, the relationship developed and the Transpac opportunity was presented.
Commenting on Sansiri's support, Ging said "Sansiri wants to support sports because it's good for people; it's also good for education. Their motto is "Construct a Life, not just a building". Sansiri's commitment extends not only to their customers, but also to society at large by giving back to communities."
"I'm very pleased that they choose to support sailing because there are not many Thais who sail and I want to introduce sailing to the Thai youth".
"His Majesty the King of Thailand is a very good sailor. I want Thai people to have the opportunity to sail. I want to teach Thai people. I have friends who have sailing schools in Koh Samui, for example, and I want to help."
Having the opportunity to compete in the Transpac, a race across the Pacific Ocean, from Los Angeles to Honolulu some 2,250 nautical miles away, was a dream for Ging and together with the crew he is very proud to have won Third place in Division 7 on the sailing yacht Sansiri, a Tripp 40 design. "I was the first-ever Thai sailor to skipper a yacht in a major international ocean yacht race."
Together with co-skipper Michael Spies and a crew of three, Sansiri had a good start and headed south of the Rhumb Line, their tactics, and throughout the race were consistently placed in the top three in their division.
"We had some great professionals on board, like Michael Spies and Richard Hudson, the navigator, who both have participated in many Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races, the wellknown annual event hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. The crew were very good and it has been an honour racing with them all."
"After the Transpac, Sansiri was brought back here to Asia to join the AsianYachting Grand Prix Championship. The next race will be the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race then probably the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta and the Phuket King's Cup Regatta."
Ging is both talented and driven, and he lives his life by his own motto: "Think positive". "Every day, you can see the negative aspect of everything everywhere and I decide only to look at the good things."
Looking to the future and Ging's passion for sailing, he discusses his selfless dream to help more Thai people enjoy sailing. "I want Thai people to learn about sailing. Just a few people know about sailing here. I want to teach them how to sail because it's a good sport. It's healthy, it builds teamwork and also because people who sail love the sea. Loving the sea is also loving nature. This is very important to me."
Ging is an excellent Thai ambassador for sailing, and following his performances as owner and skipper of Ooh La La at the Top of the Gulf Regatta 2013, the Samui Regatta 2013 and the Phuket King's Cup Regatta 2012, as well as coskipper in the 2013 Transpac, there is no doubt he will win many more races and have a successful sailing career.
At just 29 years old, Ging, Patinyakorn Buranrom, has experienced so much and yet has many more years of sailing and racing to go. We look forward to seeing more of Ging on the AsianYachting Grand Prix Championship circuit.