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The Rowing & Canoeing Association of Thailand (RCAT)

formerly known as "Amateur Longboat Association," founded in 1988. Admiral Bandit Chunhawan, the first president, saw that there were many rivers in Thailand. Not only long boats had been weapons of warfare since ancient times, but they have long been used for water transportation in many districts and for important ceremonial vehicles. When many boats from various localities came together, there was a long boat race tournament that was popular among Thai people. It can be considered as an inherited cultural tradition that should be conserved and disseminated among the people and the youth who are interested. Therefore, they will continue to participate in activities that will keep the longboat sport as a Thai national heritage.


In 1989, Admiral Dilok Phattharakosol, Chief of Naval Operations, was appointed as the president of the association. He focused on traditional long boat sports which was very popular in Thailand. In that year, the association sent athletes to the 15th SEA Games in the Philippines.


In 1991, the Amateur Longboat Association was permitted by Sport Authority of Thailand to be able to carry out sports-related activities on behalf of the Thai nation in accordance with the law. Therefore, It was renamed the “Amateur Longboat Association of Thailand” in 1992.


In 1992, Admiral Winyan Santiwisat, Deputy Commander of the Navy at that time, was appointed as the third president of the association. He continued to develop longboat sports by sending athletes to the 17th SEA Games (1993) in Singapore and the 18th SEA Games (1995) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He also developed longboat sports into many international levels. In November 1994, International Rowing Federation (FISA) sent its representatives to promote rowing sports. In 1995, the association sent athletes to participate in the canoe competition in Taiwan.


In 1996, the Amateur Longboat Association of Thailand was allowed to change its name to the “Rowing & Canoeing Association of Thailand (RCAT)” to conduct official activities in all types of rowing boat sports including longboats, rowing boats, canoes and kayaks. Admiral Thamrong Wibulsathien, the 4th president of the association, developed more training and sent rowing athletes to participate in the 19th SEA Games (2540) in Indonesia, in which there were competitions in all 3 types of sports. In that competition, the RCAT was successful because the rowing athletes won 1 gold, 4 silver and 8 bronze medals. After that, the association continued to develop rowing sports and was able to send rowing athletes to compete in the Asian Games, Asian Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.


In 1998, Admiral Wasin Sarikapute, former Commander of the Navy, was elected as the fifth president of the association. He developed athletes to the world level. In the traditional longboat sport in the 20th SEA Games (1999) in Brunei, Thai women’s team won silver medal.  In 1999, Miss Puttaraksa Nikri was sent to participate in the World Championships in Canada. She won the 23rd place. In 2000, she was sent to participate in the Asian Championship in Japan. She received a silver medal and was qualified to be the first in Thailand to compete in the Olympics. In 2000, she was sent to the 24th Olympics (2000) in Sydney, Australia. She was ranked 18th. Then she went back to win a gold medal at the 21st SEA Games (2001) in Malaysia and the 14th Asian Games (2002) in Busan, South Korea. Finally the association sent 3 types of athletes to the 22nd SEA Games (2003) in Vietnam.


In 2004, Admiral Wichai Yuwanangkoon, the Commander of the Royal Navy, was selected by members to be the sixth president of the association. He managed to enter the world stage by sending Ms. Puttaraksa Nikri to the 25th Olympics in Athens, Greece, sending 3 types of boat teams to compete in the 23rd SEA Games (2005) in the Philippines, and sending a rowing team to the 15th Asian Games (2006) in Doha, Qatar. In that competition, the Thai national team won a silver medal for the first time.


In 2007, Admiral Kamthorn Pumhirun was elected by the members as the seventh president of the association. He held the job for a short while before resigning because he was graciously accepted as the naval commander. At that time, Thailand hosted the 24th SEA Games (2007) in Nakhon Ratchasima. By the way, the three types of boat races were held at Mabprachan Reservoir, Pattaya, Chonburi.


In 2008, Admiral Niphon Chaksudul, the Deputy Commander of the Navy, was selected by members as the 8th president of the association to carry on the mission of Admiral Kamthorn Pumhirun. He sent athletes to compete in the 25th SEA Games (2009) in Lao, the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games (2010) in Singapore, the 16th Asian Games (2010) in Guangzhou, China, and 26th SEA Games (2011) at Palembang and Jakarta, Indonesia.


In 2012, Admiral Pholwat Sirodom was selected by the members to be the 9th president of the association. He ran the association for 2 years. He sent athletes to the 27th Olympic Games (2012) in London, United Kingdom, 27th SEA Games (2013) in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games (2014) in Nanjing, China, and in other Asian levels.


In 2014, Admiral Chainarong Charoenrak was selected by members as President of the 10th Association. He was appointed the President of the Association for a term of 2 years from 2014 – 2016. He was later elected as the president of the association for a period of 4 years from 2016


– 2020. While holding the position, he initiated the construction of the Royal Navy Rowing Training Center, located at Bang Phai Reservoir, Samnak Thon, Ban Chang, Rayong. It was well-established training center capable of organizing national and international tournaments, and it held many international competitions. It was considered the golden age of rowing boats because they won gold medals in the region, the SEA Games, the Asian Games, the World Championships, almost all kinds. In the 3rd Olympic Youth Games in Buenos Aires, Argentine, we were ranked the 6th place of canoe kayak, the 9th place of canoe slalom, and the 11th women rowing boat of the world. In 18th Asian Game Jakarta – Palembang 2018 in Jakarta Indonesia, athletes won 7 bronze medals. The association has also submitted many international programs to date.