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Ocean Marina Yacht Club PLATU Championship of Thailand 2022 Round 3

by Kev Scott 14 Jun 2022 20:53 PDT 10-12 June 2022
OMYC Thailand Platu Champs 2022. Part 3 © Adrian Flint

This Championship just keeps getting better, with crews constantly improving their skills and providing good quality, close, exciting races.

Day 1

The predicted wind looked perfect for the three days of the event, with a steady direction from the SSW and a wind strength of 12 knots. Unfortunately this did not hold good, but still allowed three excellent days of racing in perfect conditions. On day one, six races were able to be run, with just enough pressure at the end of the day, meaning that crews had a lot of light weather practice. As usual, crews were given the benefit of one practice race, and one drop score for the day. This allows them to 'settle into' the event if they have new crew etc. In K Ithinai's case, this involved making sure his recent major refits to his two boats had not disturbed their performance. It was obviously all ok, as they recorded two seconds and two thirds straight out of the blocks. Team Stingray started as they intended to continue with three wins. For this event Kevin Whitcraft was unable to race, but his two sons made sure that the family tradition of winning was in good hands. Nathan Masopust also settled in well, with some good results.

Another team on 154 were also missing their skipper, as Rolf Heemskerk was unfortunately unable to come, but entrusted his entry to some very experienced sailors in Marco, Tijl and Ray. They perhaps needed to make the transition from much longer races in bigger boats, but their performance gradually improved as the event progressed. They lost their foredeckie just before the event, but young Alex Flint stepped in to do the job. At 14 years old this young sailor now has the enviable CV to include an overall win at the last event on team Easy Tiger and a podium finish at this one.

Day 2

Team Pine Pacific must have had a good debriefing after day one, and managed to pull out three race wins, a second and a third; Team Stingray had to settle for second best and began their day with a fifth. This meant that the top two teams were drawn equal on 15 points after two days' racing, leaving it all to play for on day three. Team Heemskerk had a couple of bad races but pulled out good results on the other three to maintain their push for the podium. Team FLS are still trying to find the best crewing positions on board, and in one major change they moved their 15-year old foredeckie to helm and pit to foredeck. As with Alex Flint, Alfie Smith, at 15 years of age, is gaining valuable experience with this series.

Day 3

The forecast of 12 knots of wind was not to be, but eventually 5 to 6 knots arrived from the WNW and allowed racing to start on time. The pressure held up, and increased as the day went on, even though it needed three changes of the windward mark to keep up with the shifts. Team Stingray obviously saw the very real challenge coming from Pine Pacific, and began the day with three wins, but then slipped to a fourth in race 5. This was not enough for Pine Pacific to overtake them, but the two boats started the final, medal race, only four points apart. With double points on offer there was still all to play for. The Race Officer increased the length of the course, and the wind gods came in with the promised 10 to 12 knots so that the final race was run in perfect conditions. Once again the "professional" influence within the crew of Stingray showed through, and they won the last race with Pine Pacific slipping to fifth. Team Heemskerk continued their rise through the ranks and came home a very valuable second to put them on the podium.

Once again, another event based at the wonderful surroundings of Ocean Marina. 16 races enjoyed by all with "protests" fairly dealt with on the water in spite of the intensity of this close racing competition. Even Dan onboard 258 managed to remember to do his turn for hitting the mark, in spite of the fact that he was almost knocked overboard when the boom smacked him on the head!

Much of the event's success comes from the organisers listening to the competitors' suggestions - and acting on them. This keeps the event based on what crews want, and not what the organisers want to give them. Several changes to the format were introduced throughout the three days to provide better races in line with what the crews wanted. It is also the primary concern of the RO to keep crews racing as much as possible, and to avoid lengthy delays between races, waiting for 'perfect' courses and winds. It is also part of the entertainment that the RO keeps all communications with his mark boat team on the same channel as the competitors. This lets competitors know what is happening, and enjoy the friendly chit chat as well.

FLS, who move extra large consignments around the world, are helping to increase interest in the sport of sailing by sponsoring Platu 124 and providing all the awards and trophies. They recognize that every team is important to the event, not just those on the podium. This helps to attract not only very experienced crews but just as importantly it generates a great, friendly atmosphere off the water. Their bottle awards, on the podium, to all crews, recognises the fact that taking part is what matters and every team is equally important to the success of the racing here.

Congratulations to the winners!

1st Team Stingray (25 points)
2nd Team Pine Pacific (37)
3rd Team Heemskerk (53)

This report and full results and photos can also be seen on / Championship 2022/Reports.

Thanks to:

  • FLS for sponsoring sailing in general in Pattaya, and for awards and trophies for this OMYC Championship.
  • OMYC for providing the on water crew and facilities and the friendly office staff.
  • Adrian Flint for assistance on the mark boat, and for the report photographs. Also for putting up with a very hard taskmaster who worked him to a standstill!
  • Doug for his work behind the scenes
  • Tony our flagman, and of course... all the competitors! We look forward to seeing you back again for round 4, 10-12 September 2022.

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