Almost ideal conditions greeted the competitors for the first day of the 2014 Kingdom Properties Matchrace Thailand Championships. The sun was shining and the wind was from the south at around eight knots as the first teams got ready for the start. The very first match gave notice to all that the standard of the teams was higher than ever. No quarter was given by Morten Jakobsen and his team from Thailand against Mati Sepp from Estonia. Mati was late into the start area and Morten shut him out preventing him from starting correctly giving the team from Thailand the first win of the day in the first flight of races.
photo - Kingdom Property Matchrace Thailand Championships
The excitement continued in the second flight again involving Morten. This time he was against Maximilian Soh from Singapore and was leading coming down the last run to the finish. However Morten had a penalty awarded by the umpires and attempted his exonerating penalty turn just before the finish. He almost made it but in the attempt he gained another penalty and so just lost the match. Meanwhile Maximilian had given notice that he was the guy to watch with two wins in his first races.
Early on the key question after the start was whether to go out to sea and look for more wind, or to stay closer to the shore to seek less adverse tide. As the day progressed, the wind steadily built to 18 knots by the early afternoon. Boat handling on the short courses used for match racing now became a premium, and those teams who were working together came to the front. Several boats suffered near broaches as they were challenged by the increased wind and the steep chop.
Throughout the day, the battles continued with the racing tough and close between all of the teams keeping the umpires busy. Justin Lui, despite losing his matches against Maximilian and Bjorn Hansen, was putting some good results together and achieved four wins by the end of the day. Both Gunwoo Park and Jeremy Koo both managed three wins in the four races they each sailed and are clearly mounting a strong challenge to Maximilian just ahead of Justin.
After the early start and with the sun starting to set over Koh Larn, the race team called a stop to the racing after thirteen flights. With just under half of the round robin series complete, Maximilian finished as the overnight leader. All the teams are closely matched and with Saturday and Sunday ahead, the promise is for more excellent racing and hard competition.
Results after Day 1 (1 denotes win, 0 loss):
Maximilian Soh (SIN) - 11111
Gunwoo Park (KOR) - 111 0
Jeremy Koo (MAS) - 111 0
Justin Liu (SIN) - 111 00
Denise Lim (SIN) - 111 00
Jon Eriksson (FIN) - 11 00
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) - 11 000
Morten Jakobsen (THA) - 11 000
Ayaz Shaikh (IND) - 1 000
Don Whitcraft (THA) - 1 0000
Mati Sepp (EST) - 1 0000