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OMJ Platu Championship of Thailand 2023

by Kev Scott 16 May 2023 05:55 BST 4-6 May 2023
Tight racing. OMJ Platu Champs of Thailand 2023 © Kev Scott

Entries from Australia and Malaysia, as well as local Thai teams, lined up for round two of Ocean Marina Jomtien Platu Championship of Thailand.

Day one delivered substantially shifty winds of about 7 kts all day. In order to give non-local crews time to settle down, the first race was a practise race and teams were allowed to drop their worst score of the day. No drop score on day 2 and 3. Clearly the effect jet lag when coming from Australia (+3 hours) is much worse than when arriving from Malaysia(+ 1 hour), because Rolf Heemskerk started day one with four wins from starts with Chris Way hot on his heels with four second places. Nathan Masopust and Doug Smith began a close rivalry that was to last throughout the event. Simon Boyd was on a borrowed boat with a hastily assembled crew, but managed to get round the course quite well, only to suffer damage that finished his racing for the day after race one. A lot of repair effort overnight meant that the boat was ready for racing on day two.

Day two. Similar patchy winds, but this time they died down as the day went on. Way scored two wins and a second while Heemskerk clocked two seconds and a win. These two have a long history of close competition, and this weekend was no exception. Doug Smith held a slender lead of 3 points from Nathan Masopust.

Day three. This is when the fun really started with Chris and Rolf engaging in some quite remarkable match racing tactics, leaving the way for Doug and Nathan to enjoy an empty race track. As usual the last race of the regatta was a double-points medal race, ensuring that the final results went down to the wire, with the overall win going to whoever won the last race. Start line antics left Chris with a small lead, and Rolf decided that his only chance was to split away to go right. Luck was not on his side, as the breeze on the left proved to be stronger, and Chris came home the winner by 100 metres. Nathan and Doug battled side by side for much of the race, with Nathan crossing the line one boat length in front.

Special mention has to go to the crew of Stingray skippered by Simon Boyd. Sailing with a hastily assembled crew, some with very little experience, they proved that a positive attitude goes a long way towards success. They never finished far behind the regular crews, and continued to improve throughout the last two days. Thank you for taking part and showing the true spirit of competition.

As usual with all these events, everyone got together round one big table afterwards to swap exaggerated stories, play a little bar karate, and prove that the après sail camaraderie is almost as good as the racing itself. Race hard, but above all else respect your competitors.

Many thanks to Scott Finsten and Ocean Marina Jomtien for promoting this Championship, and for providing all the necessary on and off water support, including liquid awards for the winners. Thanks, too, and congratulations, to our Race Officer K Thammasak who ran three days of perfect courses. Thanks to FLS for their general support of yachting in the area, and for providing the trophies. Thanks to FLS, Simon Boyd, Chris Way and Rolf Heemskerk for buying drinks for everyone. Thanks to Doug Smith for his behind the scenes effort to get boats and crew racing.

Overall Results:

1st Chris Way, 18pts
2nd Rolf Heemskerk, 20pts
3rd Doug Smith 34pts
4th Nathan Masopust 37pts
5th Simon Boyd 58pts

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