Junior's World Championship Report 2013
by Jake O'Donnell
It was late April when we travelled to Sydney to meet up with Team Wangi (Mum & Dad, Stumpy, Kerry & Brodie Lynch, Mark & Leslie Skelton, Steve & Leonora Schmidt, and our guide and shore manager Bob Fennell) before our flight to Bangkok for the 2013 Worlds in Pattaya. After the 10 hour flight it was a good feeling to get off the plane, only to find out it was about 35 degrees C & as humid as. After a long hot bus trip we arrived at the Siam Siam hotel where we settled in for a feed and a rest. Later Bob took us out to see the night life, markets, bars etc. The next day we went on a long-tail boat trip on the river visiting temples & seeing a different side of the city. Day 3 we visited The Bridge on the River Kwai, the International War Cemetery which involved a river cruise in a long tail boat and then a walk over the bridge. Day 4 was a trip to The Tiger Temple where the monks raise and train tiger cubs – a great experience walking with a full grown tiger. I then got to feed tiger cubs.
Leaving the Siam Siam Hotel we had a 3 hour bus ride to take us to Pataya. We booked into our accommodation and then went to the sailing club to unpack our boats. When we got to the sailing club we found our boats were already unpacked from the container (thanks Team Victoria). I rigged my boat and went for my first sail on the waters of The Gulf of Thailand. The Royal Varuna Yacht Club has a very large covered area with a bar and kitchen with plenty of tables & chairs looking out over the Gulf. The weather every day was hot & humid with no wind in the mornings. The wind filled in from the south about midday ready for the races starting at 1pm. The locals were always friendly & helpful – especially the sailing clubs boat boys – helping to launch & retrieve our boats from the beach. There was free beer provided by the regatta sponsors – SINGHA beer. They also provided free water during the racing.
The invitation race was sailed in 15-16 knots of breeze & beating against the tide. I finished 46th out of 46.
DAY 1: Race 1: started in 12 knots of breeze from the south. After several general recalls there was a black flag start. I found out when I got back to shore that I was over the line & received a BFD.
Race 2: the breeze had increased to 18 knots, I finished 57th after a tough day on the water.
DAY 2: Race3: started with more recalls – the tide was pushing the fleet over the line early. I finished 55th a little better than race 2.
Race4: The conditions were similar to race 3 only the tide had increased. I placed 58th.
DAY 3: LAY DAY was well earned after 3 tough days of sailing.
DAY 4: Race 5: saw the wind at 10-12 knots with a strong ebb tide and again started with several general recalls. I finished 51st – my best so far.
Race 6: the wind had increased to around 15 knots & the tide reducing in strength. I finished 57th.
DAY 5: Race 7: the strongest breeze of the regatta so far with 18-20 knots I finished 58th.
Race 8: I was DNC due to gear failure (I was lucky to finish race 7).
DAY 6: Race 9: was the lightest day of the regatta, we floated around for about 2 hours before the RCO could start us in about 3 knots of wind, I finished 61st my worst result of the regatta.
Race 10: could not be run due to time restrictions.
I ended up 64th overall out of 72 entrants & 3rd in the juniors just one place behind Tom Lonsdale from Great Britain & well behind the Junior Champion; Jake Weekes from New Zealand, placed 48th. Congratulations Jake & well done.
It was a fantastic experience meeting the foreign competitors and going out in Pattaya with them, and getting pointers from some of the top sailors.
After the regatta I went to Phuket with my parents where we relaxed & went on a boat trip to James Bond Island before our flight home.
I would like to thank the Clive Roberts Trust for their continued support. I have had assistance to compete at several national titles in the past gaining more experience at each one. I have now been able to sail in my first World Championships and it has been an incredible experience. I recommend the experience to all OK sailors and I look forward to developing in the class & encouraging other juniors to enjoy sailing in our class.