PHUKET: Phuket-based yachtsman Scott Duncanson and his crew Trent Pedersen, Alfie Rowson, Tony Harman and Paul Burke on Kingdom Property have won second place in the inaugural Platu TransWorld Invitational.
The four-day international competition based at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya featured crews from Sweden, Russia, Singapore, Japan, Holland, the United Kingdom and Australia, but was ultimately won by Platu 017 skippered by professional match-racer Matti Sepp from Estonia.
Day one of the regatta started in near-perfect seven to 10-knot sailing conditions. Four races were held, with Sepp jumping to an early points lead over Kingdom Property, followed by Platu 154, Rolf Heemskirk and world number-five match racer Bjorn Hansen from Sweden getting off to a slow start.
The results were subject to a reshuffle, however, after a protest lodged by Platu 154 saw Kingdom Property disqualified for a marginal rules breach and pushed down the leader board.
The Kingdom Property crew responded well in fresher 10 to 15-knot conditions on day two, with 3-3-1-1 placings to win boat of the day.
Hansen also found form to record a 1-2-2-4 and move into third place, but it was the ever-consistent Sepp who continued his march to the title by finishing every race on the podium, with 2-1-3-3 placings.
Very humid and almost-still conditions greeted sailors on the final day, but after a short postponement, racing was underway in a 10-knot breeze that quickly faded, resulting in a mixed bag of results.
Chris Way’s Easy Tiger finally found some form to win Race 9, followed by the ‘all-ladies’ crew from Singapore on The Ferret in second place, and Platu 114 finishing third.
Sepp, knowing that he had only to finish in front of Kingdom Property to win the regatta, applied some very close covering and blocking tactics to sail Kingdom down through the fleet to eighth – and himself to fifth place – thus edging himself closer to victory.
Heemskirk won Race 10, but Sepp again sailed almost flawlessly to claim second place and seal first place overall with a race to spare.
In a building breeze and with one race remaining, the fight was on for the remaining podium positions. A major wind shift 60 seconds before the start caused a quick change of tactics, and in the fresher conditions Kingdom Property jumped to an early lead that they never relinquished.
Easy Tiger followed in second place to win boat of the day and Hanson placed third to claim the remaining podium position.
Final standings: 1st Platu 017, Matti Sepp (22 points); 2nd Kingdom Property, Scott Duncanson (29); 3rd Platu 131, Bjorn Hansen (32).
The Platu TransWorld invitational was the first regatta of the overall Platu Championship for 2015, which comprises four events throughout the year.
The next scheduled event, the royally affiliated Coronation Cup in early May, is held in celebration of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession to the throne.
“Kingdom Property will be attempting to defend the title they won last year, a feat no crew has achieved in the 19-year history of the class,” Duncanson told the Phuket Gazette.
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