Mr Williams: Congratulations Alex. Tell me what you have won.
Alex: In the weekend I won the (Thai) National Laser 4.7 Championships
Mr Williams: What is a Laser 4.7?
Alex: Laser 1 is the name of a single design sailing dinghy used all around the world and most importantly at the World Championships and the Olympic Games. 4.7 just means the size of the sail which youth sailors use.
Mr Williams: What did the racing involve?
Alex: Eight races in total, four a day over the Championship weekend. The races were around a set of buoys set out in a square so we have to sail upwind, downwind and on a reach. Each race took forty minutes to an hour depending on the wind strength.
Mr Williams: How many of the races did you win?
Alex: Six of the eight and I was third in the other two.
Mr Williams: Wow, great effort. What sort of training do you do in preparation?
Alex: I sail every weekend with my club coach, every Friday after school with our Regents team, most days in our school holidays and any other chance I get.
Mr Williams: How long have you been sailing?
Alex: Eight years now.
Mr Williams: What’s your big ambition?
Alex: Firstly to compete in more International events and eventually in the World Championships and the Olympics. I am also thinking about a career in sailing probably in design, engineering and construction, or maybe as an instructor or as a professional sailor.
Mr Williams: What skills do you need to be the Thai champion?
Alex: You have to have a strong desire to sail in races and to win. It needs commitment and determination to win big races. You have to do a lot of training. Oh, and it makes a big difference if you have a good coach who supports you.
Mr Williams: Do you have a mentor or idol?
Alex: Yes, Khun Oat, who is a club coach and who was a world champion has made sailing fun for me and helped and supported me since I began sailing.
Mr Williams: How do any Regents students who are interested get involved in sailing?
Alex: Well firstly join in our Friday after school sailing and then grow from there.
Mr Williams: Thanks for talking to me Alex and again – congratulations and well done!