Those looking for sailing’s next superstar need look no further than 15 year old superstar Noppakao Poonpat, the diminutive Thai girl who just beat 231 of the world’s best junior sailors to take the overall victory at the 2010 Optimist Worlds in Malaysia. Poonpat took fourth and the girl’s title in the 2009 event in Brazil, but this year she finished the job, taking a bullet in the final race to put an exclamation point on her 12-point win over an almost entirely Asian top ten roster. Full results are here, and photos are here.
Poonpat trains six days a week at the Royal Thai Navy base; it’s not a stretch to imagine she’ll figure prominently in the growing Asian presence in major international competition, though she might be a bit young for the Weymouth Olympics. Nice job, and thanks to SA’er ‘gimmee’ for the heads up.