BY APB Staff on 2 Apr 2024

The event, which took place in Hong Kong from March 27-31, promotes parasailing as an inclusive sport.

Sailability Hong Kong

The second South East Asia Parasailing Championship took place in Hong Kong from 27 to 31 March 2024. 

A delegation of sailors from Thailand competed against some of the best parasailing talent across the region. Organised by Sailability Hong Kong in collaboration with the Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China, and supported by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, World Sailing, and the Asian Sailing Federation, organisers say the event marked a significant milestone in promoting parasailing as an inclusive sport.

READ: Sailing for a Cause with Sailability Hong Kong

Participating from Thailand were Thitapa Saelim, Boonkoed Ratchapon, Supakit Duangngern, and Alan Edward Hart. These individuals, supported by Disabled Sailing Thailand and prepared by Sailability Phuket, brought with them a legacy of determination and success from previous international competitions, including the World Championship in the USA (2018), Peace Cup in Japan (2019), Top of the Gulf in Thailand (2019), and the Inclusive World Championship in Germany (2023).

The championship unfolded over five exhilarating days, with sailors from Hong Kong, China, Mainland China, Macau, Thailand, Nepal, Jordan, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Competitors battled it out in various classes, showcasing the diversity and talent within the sailing community.

Sailability Hong Kong

Special mention must be made of the Thai team, which came both first and third in the Hansa 303 double-handed division, despite having never sailed in that boat or in Hong Kong before.

Foo Wai Yuen dominated the 2.4mR class, winning all nine races in the Championship. Fung Wai On dominated the Hansa 303 single-handed division. In the Hansa Liberty class, it was a tight finish for first place, with Chan Tsun Ming coming out on top.

There were medals for the first three placed competitors in each class. Special certificates were awarded to coaches, and volunteers in the race management team, the media team and support team.

The ceremony closed with a presentation to Kay Rawbone, Sailability CEO, of a photograph commemorating the recent award of her BEM medal.

Sailability Hong Kong

Sailability Hong Kong

In 2022, the sailing charity Sailability Hong Kong received its first-ever sailing yacht, Mo Han, a Solaris 40 performance cruiser from the Li Ka Shing Foundation. It has a fleet of almost 40 boats – many of which are up to Olympic racing standards. World Sailing, the global governing body for sports sailing, considers Sailability Hong Kong the flagship sailing charity in Asia, and the International Paralympic Committee has recommended new Sailability branches around the world look to Hong Kong as an example of how to operate.

“I feel very fortunate to be here in Hong Kong, which I believe is a special place, doing what I’m doing, with all these amazing people,” Kay Rawbone told APB in an interview. “Some people aren’t comfortable around people with disabilities at first, but after spending time with them, you understand they aren’t any different from you or me. Sailability breaks down barriers.”

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