Royal Phuket Marina funds sailing boat for people with disabilities
Published: Wednesday, 01 February 2017
Royal Phuket Marina has committed to funding the first SV14 boat in Thailand – a sailboat designed specifically for the needs of people with disabilities. Part of a global crowdsourcing project, the SV14 will be built by Disabled Sailing Thailand and launched in March.
(Photos: Royal Phuket Marina)
Inspired by the late King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who introduced sailing to the Thai people, Royal Phuket Marina aims to grow boating in Thailand and make sailing easily accessible to all.
“We're very excited to be working with Disabled Sailing Thailand on what will be the first ever SV14 built,” says Royal Phuket Marina Gulu Lalvani. “It will be built here in Thailand and the design means the boat can be easily moved around the country allowing people with disabilities the chance to enjoy sailing – a sport which I love.”
The SV14 project was conceived by marine surveyor Peter Jacops, who upon learning sailing had been dropped from the 2020 Paralympics decided to do something about it.
“While some countries in Asia were offering limited opportunities for disabled sailors, Thailand wasn't offering anything at all – mainly due to the high price of suitable boats. I sought help from the global sailing community to design and create a cost-effective and easy to build boat, and now with the support from Royal Phuket Marina we will be able to launch the first SV14 very soon.”
Designed by Alex Simonis and Marten Voogd of Simonis Voogd Design, the SV14 is ideal for both novice and competitive sailing.
“The SV14 provides a platform for beginners as well as anyone who may wish to compete at the Olympic level in the future, and design plans are offered free to anyone who wishes to build one and help sailors with disabilities. This is such a great idea, an innovative way to help grow boating for the disabled community in Thailand, and any other country in the world for that matter,” adds Lalvani.
As part of its “Grow Boating” initiative which launched last year, Royal Phuket Marina is actively promoting boating in Thailand. Working closely with the industry, it has developed a monthly networking platform which takes place on the first Friday of every month at The Speakeasy Yacht Club at Royal Phuket Marina, and attracts key industry players from Thailand and the region to share ideas and help to grow boating in Thailand.
“Working with Disabled Sailing Thailand to deliver the first SV14 is one of Royal Phuket Marina's ways to further grow boating in Thailand,” concludes Lalvani. “Sailing will help people with disabilities to improve their quality of life and we are very excited to be a part of that.”