Seven crews lined up at the start of this highly competitive event. International crews from Australia, Malaysia and Russia joined four local crews to provide a top quality entry list and ensure another hard-fought and exciting regatta.
Day one did not follow the weather forecast, keeping the kept the Race Officer busy until it finally settled down to a steady 8 knots all day from the southwest.
Crews were given the usual practice race and were allowed one drop score for the day in order to get the team settled down and into race mode without being penalised too much. Easy Tiger and Stingray had to work hard to keep the new YRAT crew and Team Viewpoint at bay. Rolf Heemskerk and his crew were enjoying a welcome return after three years lay off due to covid restrictions. Their bowman thought the foredeck was much smaller and rockier than he remembered it!
Day two brought much stronger winds, increasing from a perfect 12 knots up to an energetic 20 knots later in the day. At these wind speeds, crews are tested to the full, but Sergey on board Nam Prix reveled in the conditions and popped out three convincing wins from five races to lift himself into second on the leaderboard, just behind Easy Tiger and equal on points with the young guns on team YRAT.
Platu One Design Championship of Thailand 2023 – photo © Kev Scott
And so into the third and final day, which as always concludes with a double point medal race. The wind came in strong right from the start, with 14 knots increasing to 19 as the day progressed. The number of races per day is always controlled only by the wind speed and length of the courses. No set number of races are ever declared in advance. This intentionally allows the RO, and not the NOR, to determine when crews should return to shore, based on events of the day. On this occasion four races were run before 13.30, allowing the medal race to start at 13.45 – and what a race it turned out to be. Stingray got a great start and was leading by 50m after two minutes, with Easy Tiger in hot pursuit. As always, it is difficult to catch a lead boat in one design especially when it’s a one-on-one fight with match racing tactics coming in to play. So, Easy Tiger was obliged to follow Stingray for the better part of two laps until Stringray made two bad gybes, allowing him to catch up. The finish was a classic, with Easy Tiger getting the benefit of a big wave to increase speed dramatically and catch Stingray right on the line, only to be deemed second by a few centimetres.
And so another battle of the giants was fought out over 12 races in the Gulf of Thailand, with all crews enjoying great fun both on and off the water.
The second round of the Platu One Design Championship of Thailand 2023 will be held 5-7 May. This report and results can be seen at www.yachtsinthailand.com in the Championship 2023/Report and Results section.
Thanks to Scott Finsten and Ocean Marina for providing all the infrastructure necessary.
Thanks to FLS logistics for providing awards and refreshments
Thanks to K Thannasak and his mark boat crew who did a great job in the big breeze.
Thanks to all those crew who travelled so far to take part.
by Kev Scott, Ferret News