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Platu World Series 2023

by Kev Scott 30 Nov 2023 02:26 GMT 28-30 October 2023
Platu World Series 2023 © K Tanathorn Kuanchob

In the beginning…

Day 1 started with a lively Skippers’ Briefing with a lot of personal requests being made, all of which were knocked into the park (in the nicest possible manner) by the RO who had heard it all before. The regatta started with winds of 4.5 knots, increased to a maximum of 12 knots for the start of the second race, and dropped back to 5 knots by the finish. There was a 120 degree shift between race 1 and 2, then a shift back 90 degrees for the final race. This kept the RO busy, and delayed the proceeding more than we would have liked, but crews were kept informed as to what was happening at all times over the radio.

With all crews capable of winning races, results were always going to be a well-mixed bag, and so it turned out, except that the 'invited' team from 'somewhere' managed to pull two bullets out of the hat. Was this because finally they were onboard their favourite boat, Stingray, at last? This boat had been very generously lent to the event organisers to assist the introduction of the Platu World Series. Thank you, Tom Whitcraft. Other boats used by the organisers to allow this regatta to take place were 107, 124 and 118, YRAT, FLS and K Suraporn. Tired crews were brought off the water at about 15.00 to enjoy the sausage sizzle and beer provided by FLS.

And then… (day 2)

Just not enough breeze, so the AP was raised on shore. Happily, that only lasted 40 minutes or so, as 8 knots appeared out of nowhere - plenty enough to race. The wind was steady, so we had two races to the same windward mark. Then there was a 180°shift, keeping the mark laying crew busy laying new marks. A rain storm threatened, and the wind increasing to 12 knots. Crews got wet but not damaged. Four good races were run, and crews came off the water tired and wet at about 15.00 hrs.

Wrapping it up (day 3)

And what a day it was. Very little wind and not enough to start a race for an hour, and even then the wind was light and shifty, but as always this RO would sooner see crews racing than sitting and waiting. The wind tried to spoil the party with some big shifts in quick succession, and a mere 5.5 knots - not exciting, but just enough to race. Top marks were moved constantly, and two races suffered 90°and even 180° shifts. With not enough time to change the course during 30 minute races crews had to contend with these shifts. (In future we may need to make the races a bit longer and provide mark laying drivers who know what they are doing. That way we could change the course during a race). However, good luck finally prevailed, and the Medal race had winds of up to 12 knots from a constant direction and provided an exciting finale. Colin Simonds took advantage of the double points on offer and despite having to work very hard to keep Easy Tiger only a few meters behind him won the race and leapt up the leader board and into second overall. Easy Tiger started the regatta slowly, but as always the experience of this crew finally prevailed with two firsts and two seconds on the last day to finish winners of the very first World Series held here at Ocean Marina Jomtiem. Rolf Heemskerk showed enough consistency to finish on the podium in third overall. The crew of the FLS Platu had a mixed regatta but the vast experience of the helm, Scott Duncanson, showed flashes of brilliance to get a few good results. Our "invited" friend Sergei was more than capable of winning races but lacked consistency in spite of his entertaining conversations with his crew. Thank you once again Sergei for supporting the racing here at OMJ.

At the final after-race get-together, the staff of OMJ provided a great sausage sizzle with a few beers to wash it down. Scott Finsten handed out the awards and thanks were made to those who deserved them. We wish all the crews a safe journey home and thank them for travelling so far to support this event.

An extra big thank you to Scott Finsten and his staff. Without their magnificent support the Platu racing would not be the success it has been. The organisers have asked for many things during the year, and Scott never hesitated to provide in spades.

Thanks to my good friend, Doug Smith, for all his background support throughout the past few years.

And an especial thank you to K.Thammasak the joint R.O. His work on the Committee Boat made the whole event possible. His job list has to be seen to be believed. Thank you, Zak.

Thanks to FLS for their financial input to increase awareness of the sport of sailing.

This was my last event as organiser. I have enjoyed the last few years but it is time for new blood and new ideas. I wish the Platu fleet ever more success in the future.

Results 1. 027 Chris Way (AUS) (16) 2. 107 Colin Simonds (GBR) (25) 3. 154 Rolf Heemskerk (MAL) (28) 4. 117 Sergei (our invited guest) (31) 5. 124 Doug Smith (THA) (38) 6. 118 Stellios Snoutsos (GRE) (84) (Interesting to note that without any drop scores the results would have been the same. Food for thought?)

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