|Mad Hatter Challenge & Matchrace Thailand series|
The packed 2012 match race program includes the first ever Thai Umpire clinic on 22 March, which precedes the Thailand Open Championship from 23-25 March (anyone can join in the clinic, just go to be the website for more info). The grade-3 events will as usual attract a very strong contingent of international teams; at least four European teams have requested invitations. The spectators from past events will know what this means: superb entertaining racing – with the start often placed 40m in front of the beach bar at the RVYC, and a super small race course, so the entire race can be followed from the soft sofa at the bar.
If you have never matchraced before, the following event is one to take note of. The Mad Hatter's challenge I & II are one- day events where team entries are not allowed; each sailor registers individually, and the draw of the hat will put teams together on the day. The event will be sailed in the crewfriendly RS Vision 3 person dinghies. And the "MAD" part – just wait to see the compulsory team uniforms… and the NOR!!. It is not often you see penalties like keelhauling in an ISAF sanctioned event…Evil tongues also say that the MAD part could also refer to the party on the Saturday night, but that is probably not true. More information of this and future events can be found on www.matchracethailand.com. (Photos on these pages are from last year's action)
MatchRace Thailand is a group of match race enthusiasts who are determined to make this exciting sailing discipline take root not only in Thailand but throughout Southeast Asia. All efforts are on a volunteer basis, showing the sailors' true love and passion for the sport. By holding a number of low-to— medium level events they are able to help create a training ground for established or aspiring Asian match race teams. In cooperation with the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya, MatchRace Thailand has organized seven successful events since its start in May 2010. With the ever increasing interest of match race, you will likely see at least one Thai team in all regional events. The top Thai team is now ranked 125th in the world among 2000 skippers in the world match racers arena. The match race world ranking is organized and updated by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF.) And there are up and coming Thai teams which are ranked in the 200-500 range.
Matchrace Thailand organizes events employ the same "match race" format used in the America's Cup as racing taking place with identically supplied racing yachts. Matchrace Thailand events held using 7.5 m long Platu 25 yachts or lately the popular 4.5 m RS Vision class. Each match race is comprised of two yachts which race against each other in a match, however, 2-3 matches may take place simultaneously. From electrifying pre-starts to nail-biting finishes, match racing is basically taking two racing yachts and playing cat and mouse with them, often racing only being inches apart.
The race format really put focus on teamwork, communication and sheer determination. Always striving to have fun, the camaraderie between match race teams is unmatched. Between races there is always time to hang out and make new friends with other teams before jumping back on the boats for the next short intensive and fun race.
Racing takes place just off the shore of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, allowing for the general public to follow the races as one would do while watching a tennis match. The Royal Varuna Yacht Club was selected due to its excellent facilities, including a beach bar, where it is often possible to set the start line only metres from the main spectators area making the racing not only fun for the participants but those watching as well.
"In our second year, I feel Match Racing in Thailand is growing substantially," said Jon Eriksson, a regular competitor in match race events world-wide. "The spectator friendly environment of RVYC, the highly organized race, outstanding staff and volunteers, great Platu 25 boats and the active regatta formats has all helped put us on the map in the match racing community in Asia. I really look forward to another great year of racing."
The venue is the Royal Varuna Yacht Club (RVYC) in the heart of Pattaya.
With a dedicated Beach Bar,
it offers Match Race spectating at its best.
What is a Match Race?
Contact: Apple Asawawatanaporn and Morten Jakobsen
Tel: + 66 851 888 144