Chris Way and his Easy Tiger racing team travelled to Thailand to compete in the 2017 Platu Cup at Ocean Marina. This is the Race Directors report on the event.
The wind forecast for the weekend was unprecedented in the Gulf of Thailand and Pattaya area. A front associated with a typhoon crossing south Vietnam with winds of 25 knots and gusts to 35 knots were forecast for the whole weekend.
In spite of this, five Platu crews headed for the racing area immediately north of the marina to take part in the practice day comprising three races which precedes the Platu Cup regatta. With the wind coming off the land it was possible to stay close in to shore in raceable conditions, but this did not prevent massive wind shifts and gusts of up to 25 knots coming through to provide tacticians with a very busy day. Three races were able to be completed before the wind strength had all competitors running for the safety of the marina.
Saturday brought wind speeds and gusts hardly ever seen here in Pattaya and certainly not the weather conditions the Platu was designed to race in. Racing was abandoned for the day with sustained wind speeds of 25-30kn. Sunday morning looked even more ominous and was complicated by a directive from the Marine Authorities of Thailand prohibiting any vessel from leaving the marina until further notice. However the wind abated sufficiently for the order to be lifted and racing was able to commence at 12:30.
Again, the wind direction changes were significant but with winds of 12 knots and gusts up to 20 knots this was within the safe zone for Platus. This did not make it any easier to race however and crews had to work extremely hard. The Easy Tiger crew had obviously learned from the practice races and demonstrated their speed by winning the first three races, followed by a second in the final double points race of the series. Tim Brown’s crew also sailed extremely well and finished just 15 seconds and then 2 seconds behind Easy Tiger for the first two races. Unfortunately for them the double point final race allowed Rolf’s win to lift him to second overall, one point ahead.
In spite of everything, the six competing crews finished the weekend with smiles on their faces and enjoyed the good food and the odd beer or two provided by the excellent staff of the Ocean Marina sailors bar.
Presentations followed with Chris Way winning the Platu Cup and along with it the overall Platu Championship of 2017. Rolf Heemskerk was second and also took second place for the Championship. Tim Browne and his Weasel Crew took third place on the weekend and third overall in the Championship.
This tops a great season for the Easy Tiger crew headed by Chris Way from the RPAYC, Australia who achieved a first in the Transworlds in March, followed by second in the Coronation Cup in May (losing on a countback), then 5th in the world championships in Sicily and finally this win in the Platu Cup and overall Asia Pacific circuit champion.
Many thanks to all the helpers who make these events possible.
The staff of the Ocean Marina Sailors bar
The marina staff who worked in very difficult conditions to lay the course marks and assisted on the committee boat (with special mention to K Chumron who worked tirelessly and never once lost the smile on his face).
And of course to Scott Finston, the Ocean Marina Harbourmaster, who has supported the Platu Racing for many years and provided the staff and equipment without which it would be impossible to race.
Also to the competitors, many of whom travel long distances to support the Platu racing in Asia.
Platu Asia News 6th November 2017
written by Kev Scott