Good winds greeted the sailors at the inaugural Siam Surveyors Thailand Tasar Championship held 26th and 27th June in Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand. A relatively new introduction to Thailand, the Tasar is growing in popularity and there is no shortage of competitive spirit as was evident in the close racing at the national championship.
G-String, winner of the inaugural Thailand Tasar Championship, sailing over the top of second place finisher, Slipstream. Photo by Infinity Communications. - 2011 Siam Surveyors Thailand Tasar Championship decided on final race
Organised by the Phuket Yacht Club, four Tasars made it to the startline on. A series of 10 races were scheduled over the two days, with two discards. And the winds Gods concurred.
Crews more accustomed to keel boat racing took a little time to master dinghy racing and startline techniques. Race 1 saw the fleet off on a trapezoid course with a windward-leeward leg to finish. The most experienced Tasar crew of Andrew de Bruin and Donna Stephens, sailing Slipstream, lead from the off and most of the way around the course. After rounding the final mark, and with a short sprint to the finish, there appeared to be an adrenalin rush onboard resulting in a capsize and the win was gifted to G-String, sailed by Ian Coulson and Leslie Hand. Slipstream had to accept third place following Lady Pie, crewed by Jim Poulsen and Marcus Overman, with Dragon Fly, sailed by Mick and Liam Kealy in fourth.
Determined to make up for the error, Slipstream went on to take bullets in following two races, closely challenged by G-String. It soon became clear there were two competitions taking place on the water – one for first and second, and another for third and fourth places. The final two races of Day 1 saw Slipstream slip to two second places and G-String winning two bullets, taking a slim advantage into the final day. Lady Pie and Dragon Fly traded third and fourth places with Lady Pie holding the advantage over Dragon Fly going into the final day.
Conditions proved challenging on Day 1 with winds averaging 15 knots, gusting 18-20, and tailoring off towards the end of the day. Three capsizes proved how challenging the Tasar is to sail... and also how fun!
As the sailors arrived for the final day of the national championships, a lake awaited them. The 15 knot breezes of the first day had disappeared, replaced by an eery calm on Chalong Bay.
While prepping the boats, a storm blew threw the Bay and left a steady 10-12 knot winds behind, and the anticipation of an exciting final day showdown was renewed.
Day 2 continued to script with Slipstream taking the first win of the day and drawing level on points with G-String in the series. This was soon followed by two seconds (Slipstream) and two firsts by G-String. Dragon Fly continued their improvement posting a fourth and two thirds, drawing level with Lady Pie with two races to go.
The penultimate race in the series was shaping up to be the decider for all. If G-String finished first, they took the championship, but things did not go to script. Having eight races to tune up their startling skills, Race 9 saw all boats tussling on the startline heading for the pin end. Slipstream broke away for an early lead and managed to hold off G-String on the windward-leeward course posting a first, from G-String in second, Dragon Fly third and Lady Pie fourth.
Going in to the last race, allowing for the two discards, the championship title was still up for grabs and third and fourth places were yet to be settled. Following a poor start by Lady Pie, some good crew work saw them establish a healthy lead over Dragon Fly heading for a third place finish, only to make a mistake, miss the gate and subsequently retire. This handed third in the race to Dragon Fly. In the end, however, it didn't affect the overall standings. After accounting for the two drop races, Lady Pie (26) managed to hold onto third place by one point from Dragon Fly (27).
At the top of the standings, G-String (10) returned to form to post a comfortable win in the last race to be crowned Thailand Tasar Champion 2011, leaving Slipstream (12) second to rue the first race capsize and what could have been.
Boats fighting for the favoured pin-end of the startline at the 2011 Thailand Tasar Championship. Photo by Infinity Communications. - 2011 Siam Surveyors Thailand Tasar Championship decided on final race
1. G-String (1,2,2,1,1,2,1,1,2,1)
2. Slipstream (3,1,1,2,2,1,2,2,1,2)
3. Lady Pie (2,3,3,4,3,3,4,4,4,5)
4. Dragon Fly (4,4,4,3,4,4,3,3,3,3)
The 2011 Siam Surveyors Thailand Tasar Championship was sponsored by Siam Surveyors and Ronstan, and was organised by the Phuket Yacht Club. Racing was held off Chalong Bay with onshore hospitality provided by Ao Chalong Yacht Club.
For more information on Phuket Yacht Club, visit www.phuketyachtclub.info or email Club Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.