15th Raja Muda International Regatta 2004

AsianYachting Race Reports

This annual island hopping regatta started life as a rally for cruisers from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang, up the west coast of mainland Malaysia stopping at Pangkor, Penang and Langkawi islands to initially be known as a moving social event with a bit of racing thrown in. Over the years racing has taken a priority and 4 inshore races amongst the legendary duty-free islands of Langkawi where added to the 3 coastal passage race program. These overnight legs are designed to improve the sailors seamanship abilities and coastal navigation skills, whilst the inshore races will test the crews ability to handle a yacht over a short course and enjoy a bit of friendly 'ole fashioned' Malaysian hospitality. This is one of the hardest regatta's in the region to win as it not only needs a skillful crew but one with an iron constitution that can keep up with a hectic social scene planned ashore during the week.
More info at: http://www.rmir.com

15th Raja Muda International Regatta 2004

AsianYachting Race Report 5 & Summary

The curtain comes down on another successful RMIR
Neil Pryde's HI-FIDELITY added a further 2 wins in the final races today to score a run away win in the Racing Class and add another prestigious silver and gold Raja Muda Cup to his already overflowing trophy cabinet. MANDRAKE skippered by Warwick Downes ran a very close second and took line honours in all races except one but lacked a little speed to capitalise on a fine performance.Troy Yaw's ULUMULU skippered by Bill Nichols filled third spot overall after putting in a very consistent effort and are presently experiencing a very steep learning curve.

Peter Cremers SHAHTOOSH clean sweeped the Premier Cruising Class with 5 wins despite the close racing which provided some spectacular photo opportunities for the assembled media. Hans Hvide's Irvmiren finished up in 2nd spot scoring 4 second places and Hijjas Kasturi's VALTAIR ended up third despite being involved in a collision as they approached the finish line in the final race.

In Cruising Class 3A Glenn McFarlane's SIMBA scored seven wins to squash the opposition in the split class results. Gunnar Berg Leknes CHANT DE LUNE finished up taking second place and Alex Nah's EL SEA third after discarding the retirements from the first overnight passage race of the series.

Coming into the final round Keith Brown's MIXXIA and Andrew Findlay's PELANGI were tied on points and expecting a close bout to separate them. Keith Brown's MIXXIA drew first blood taking the first race after PELANGI lead for most of the race. As MIXXIA was lining up for the second start of the day, Hijjas Kasturi's VALTAIR on a port tack was approaching the adjacent Premier Cruising Class finish line and a loud collision resulted which saw them both consequently retiring from their respective classes. A protest seeking redress from the jury was dismissed as it was deemed that the crew on MIXXIA where not keeping a proper lookout to avoid the accident. Andrew Findlay's PELANGI raced on to record a resounding victory in the final race. Fatimi Afendi's JANJI ended up filling 3rd spot in Class 3B.

The Overall Cruising Class which combines 3A and 3B sees Andrew Findlay's PELANGI taking the honours for a second year in succession. Keith Brown's MIXXIA ended up 2nd after the juries decision and Glenn McFarlane's SIMBA claimed third from Cruising Class 3A.

Classic Class 4 - Paul Hopkins CHINOOK OF HAMBLE won the final race which gives him overall first place. Although Alan Main's catamaran BACKCHAT took 2nd spot today it is not enough to displace Klaus Karthe's GREENSLEEVES from 2nd place overall and finished up in third.

Classic Class 5 - Lt. Mohd Hamdan's dominance throughout the regatta on MUSYTARI sees his crew getting the better of Zainal Misran and his fellow sailors from the Royal Malaysian Navy on MARIKH with Dato' Richard Curtis's 100 year old EVELINE finishing a distant 3rd place overall.

Having enough wind to complete the entire racing program for the first time since 2001 keeps the sailors very happy and can be considered as a measure of success. Originally designed as a cruising event it is a pity that more visiting yachts have not included the regatta into their itinerary as the hectic social program and the camaraderie created between competitors makes it a good introduction to Asian waters. Racing wise the combination of overnight passage races and inshore races is not everyone's cup of tea but those interested in improving their navigation and seamanship skills will find the event very challenging indeed.

The RMIR 2004 is the 3rd AsianYachting Grand Prix event to be held this year. The RMIR result lifts Neil Pryde and HI-FIDELITY to the top of the leaderboard. Take a peek at this seasons progressive pointscore or see how your favourite racing team is shaping up on the 2004/05 AY Rankings at: http://asianyachting.com/news/Rankings0405.htm

15th Raja Muda International Regatta 2004

AsianYachting Race Report 4

The overall results are becoming clearer...
Neil Pryde's HI-FIDELITY scored 2 wins today to lift them to the top of the leaderboard and rest one hand on the Racing Class trophy. MANDRAKE skippered by Warwick Downes finished up with 2 second places and Troy Yaw's ULUMULU with 2 third places and unless there is any dramatic changes in the last 2 races they will finish up in that order.

In the Premier Cruising Class Peter Cremers smaller handicapped SHAHTOOSH added another win to his tally making it 4 wins in a row and a run away win in the overall class results. Hijjas Kasturi's VALTAIR finished second after Hans Hvide's Irvmiren had to retire after the main sail halyard failed.

In Cruising Class 3a Glenn McFarlane's SIMBA added another win to his tally leaving Gunnar Berg Leknes CHANT DE LUNE and Alex Nah's EL SEA fighting it out for the minor podium places. Keith Brown's MIXXIA took the fight to Andrew Findlay's PELANGI by winning both races today. Fatimi Afendi's JANJI although late for the start seems to be filling third spot. This result sees MIXXIA and PELANGI tied on points coming into the final 2 races in the combined overall Cruising Class stakes and dependant on tomorrows performance.

Classic Class 4 - Alan Main's catamaran BACKCHAT came to the fore by taking the first inshore race from Paul Hopkins CHINOOK OF HAMBLE and Klaus Karthe's GREENSLEEVES. CHINOOK OF HAMBLE's earlier wins on the passage races sees them heading the table with an unbeatable lead going into tomorrows final.

Class 5 sees Lt. Mohd Hamdan's MUSYTARI getting the better of Zainal Misran and his fellow sailors from the Royal Malaysian Navy on MARIKH with Dato' Richard Curtis's 100 year old EVELINE having to retire gracefully from today's race. After 4 races have been completed they will finish overall in the same order.

Although Langkawi has long been a favourite holiday destination this year we have the pleasure of Liz George and a CNN film crew that will be featuring the RMIR on her popular sailing show MAINSAIL. Also Bryan Willis the Jury Chairman and Chief Umpire for the America's Cup has taken up part time residency in Langkawi where he finds time to produce interpretations of the racing rules in book form and CD.

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15th Raja Muda International Regatta 2004

AsianYachting Race Report 3

The pace is hotting up...
With the 4 leading yachts in the racing class being tied on 10 points they all headed out early in search of the elusive extra knot of boatspeed crucial for victory in this leg 3 decider. The passage races carry double points so a podium position is essential to stay in the running. As typhoon "Muifa" approaches Southern Vietnam and expected to sweep a path to the north of Langkawi across the Gulf of Thailand organisors are hoping the winds will increase in time for the inshore races over the next few days.

Even the Cruising and Classic Classes have upped their pace and hit the starting line with avengeance. A 5 to 6 knot Southerly breeze initially saw the yachts slowly running downwind of the start which soon turned to the west for a reach and around to the North West forcing the yachts to sail close hauled till sunset. The familiar North Easterly materialized shortly after 7:00pm which quickly built to 18-20 knots and saw the yachts accelerate off for the remaining half of the 60 nm leg.

Neil Pryde's HI-FIDELITY overcame its earlier problems to clinch handicap honours for the first time from Warwick Downes MANDRAKE who has taken line honours in all 3 passage races. Troy Yaw's ULUMULU ended up third and the pointscore remains very close between these 3 which will ultimately be decided on the remaining 4 inshore races.

Although Peter Cremers smaller handicapped SHAHTOOSH has won all races to date the racing in the Premier Cruising Class has been very close with all three yachts finishing within minutes and traveling in sight of each other. Hans Hvide's Swan 68 Irvmiren has taken line honours and Hijjas Kasturi's Lyons 66 VALTAIR scored consistently 3rd.

In Cruising Class 3a Glenn McFarlane's SIMBA added a third win to his tally and Gunnar Berg Leknes CHANT DE LUNE reversed the places with Alex Nah's EL SEA this time to share 2nd spot overall. Andrew Findlay's PELANGI added another win to his score and take a handsome lead in Cruising Class 3b plus the combined overall Cruising Class stakes. Fatimi Afendi's JANJI surprised Keith Brown's MIXXIA this time round to begin closing the gap on the leaders.

Classic Class 4 sees Paul Hopkins CHINOOK OF HAMBLE taking the honours yet again from Klaus Karthe's GREENSLEEVES and Christian Rannou MEMESTRA back in third place this time. Class 5 sees Lt. Mohd Hamdan's MUSYTARI getting the better of Zainal Misran and his fellow sailors from the Royal Malaysian Navy on MARIKH with Dato' Richard Curtis's 100 year old EVELINE trailing in 3rd spot.

With it's easy lifestyle the legendary 99 islands of Langkawi have long been a favourite holiday destination for local and International travelers as it enjoys beautiful weather year-round. Being close to the heart of Malaysia's former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir the islands now have a International airport with direct flights from London which plays host to many sporting events and some of the best resorts in Asia. It's duty-free status makes it a popular stop over for cruising yachties and has a choice of 4 modern marinas including the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club which hosts its own regatta in March each year.

15th Raja Muda International Regatta 2004

AsianYachting Race Report 2

Full speed ahead...
Spinnakers up and drawing in 8 to 10 knots of South Westerly breeze with beautiful Pangkor Island in the background made a picturesque sight at the start of Leg 2. After surviving the Leg 1 presentation night and sharing one of Malaysia's badminton greats Tan Yee Khan's wonderful hospitality at his Seaview Resort the yachties bid farewell and headed off to the start line.

To everyone's surprise a good following breeze was there to greet them. Some of the cruisers had to brush the cobwebs of the spinnakers whilst the racers made quick work of sailing through the fleet after starting last on the grid. Even Elaine Chua let the handbrake off this time on her Mini Transat Feng flying her largest asymmetric kite for the first time in a race.

About half way along the 65nm course the breeze increased as it swung around to the west forcing a change to jib tops or close reaching sails for the remainder of the leg. Although the breeze died a little after sunset the unusually clear skies persisted and the big boats romped home to the finish line in near record time.

MANDRAKE a Farr/Mills 50 skippered by Warwick Downes from Hong Kong took line honours for the second time averaging over 8.5 knots to keep their time over the others and take the daily double. Troy Yaw's ULUMULU climbed up into 2nd spot to beat Neil Pryde's HI-FIDELITY by a little over a minute after they got entangled in a fisherman's net in the latter stage of the race. Leg 1 winner Jonathan Mahony's HAPPY ENDINGS ended up 4th but the juggling of the places sees the leading 4 place getters all sharing 10 points after 2 races.

A magnificent sight to behold is watching the 4 big yachts in the Premier Cruising Class jockeying around for position at the starting line. Peter Cremers Warwick 55 SHAHTOOSH took the handicap honours for a second time from Hans Hvide's Swan 68 Irvmiren and Hijjas Kasturi's Lyons 66 VALTAIR narrowed the gap after being under canvassed in the first race.

Anyone still out there after 10:00pm had to endure fading conditions until a light land breeze filled in which only increased in strength in the early hours of the morning. Glenn McFarlane on SIMBA just made it through to score 2 out of 2 from Alex Nah's EL SEA.

Last years overall Cruising Class winner Andrew Findlay on PELANGI managed to turn the tables on Keith Brown's MIXXIA in Cruising 3B with Fatimi Afendi's JANJI coming in a distant third. The combined Cruising Class 3A and B score sheet sees Andrew Findlay's PELANGI tied with Keith Brown's MIXXIA on 6 points edging out Glenn McFarlane's SIMBA in third. Unfortunately for Tony Sobey's refitted BLUE ROYALE a deck fitting parted after finishing the race and promptly dropped the mast over the side so they will not be taking any further part in this years regatta.

The battle of the heavyweights in the Classic Classes where rally rules apply and motoring hours are taken into consideration sees Paul Hopkins CHINOOK OF HAMBLE taking the honours in Class 4 from Alan Main's Backchat and Klaus Karthe's GREENSLEEVES in third place.

Class 5 sees Lt. Mohd Hamdan and the boys from the Royal Malaysian Navy getting the better of Dato' Richard Curtis's merry crew on the 100 year old EVELINE.

Penang is known as the "Pearl of the Orient" and has a long association with seafaring and trade having been created as one of the Straits Settlements by the British back in the 18th century. Long the hub of the spice trade modern Penang is a base for light industry and a bustling tourist trade, carefully preserved heritage buildings and all sorts of recreational facilities including a hectic nightlife. Therefore it seems appropriate that the RMIR stops here each year for a little R & R.


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15th Raja Muda International Regatta 2004

AsianYachting Race Report 1

And they're on the way...
Most yachts opted for a very conservative start to Race 1 on this years RMIR. Perhaps after the opening welcome dinner at the RSYC the crews realised that it is going to be a long, hard week and decided to pace themselves if they want to give themselves any chance at winning. The first leg from Pt Klang to Pangkor Island is a 90 nautical mile drag race and the skippers welcomed the 7 to 8 knot North Westerly to send them on the way. The Malaysian Navy's tall ship Tunas Samudera graced one end of the start line and it was fitting that the first yacht to cross the line in the reversed starting order was Lt. Hamdan skippering Musytari, one of the navy's training yachts.

The three big racing class yachts of Neil Pryde's HI-FIDELITY, Nick Burns/Warwick Downes MANDRAKE and Troy Yaw's ULUMULU were quick to hit their straps off the starting grid and settled in to the fine reaching conditions, checking each others pace, until well after sunset when all havoc usually breaks out. Who turned off the lights? The wind completely died forcing some astute yachtsmen to anchor (as they were going backwards) before filling in from the other side with a land breeze.

A lot of time can be gained or lost during these periods of changing gears up and down which requires good crew communication and management skills on a big yacht. Jonathan Mahony and crew certainly had a HAPPY ENDING on his Mumm 30 when the results were tabulated as they snatched victory from Neil Pryde's HI-FIDELITY by a mere 1min 48secs. Troy Yaw's ULUMULU skippered this time by Bill Nichols snuck into third place from the fast finishing MANDRAKE who lead the fleet into Pangkor taking Line Honours for Leg 1 shortly after 2:00 in the morning.

For anybody still out on the water approaching the islands around 3:00 - 4:00am a big thunderstorm struck leaving a huge area completely windless and shrouded in mist until a light sea breeze started to fill in around noon or about seven hours latter. All the big Premier Cruisers and the leaders in the Cruising Classes managed to sail through it all and finish but those further back endured hours of drifting in the current before deciding to call it a day and gracefully retiring.

Full RMIR 2004 results can be found at: http://www.rmir.com/event/results.html

Pangkor Island is the largest of a delightful group of islands at the mouth of the Dindings River in the state of Perak. An exclusive resort hailed amongst the finest in Asia has been constructed on the privately owned island of Pangkor Laut where international celebrities and business tycoons are known to take some time out. There are also numerous sheltered bays that offer a welcome stop-over for yachtsman cruising through the Straits of Malacca.

AsianYachting Pre-Race Report

The RMIR 2004 (Nov 19 to 27) is the 3rd AsianYachting Grand Prix event to be held this year. Take a peek at this seasons progressive pointscore or see how your favourite racing team is shaping up on the 2004/05 AY Rankings (Here)

Date : 19-11-2004 (Fri)
The Raja Muda International Regatta is back again!

The organisers are ready in good time this year, considering the Indian Deepavali and Islamic Hari Raya holidays have just been celebrated and a strong contingent of foreign officials and helpers need to be organised to ensure that the rolling regatta runs smoothly this year.

Over 20 yachts are signed up for this year's RMIR, which promises to see some keen contests in all classes. A new initiative is to double score the passage races by a factor of 2 as they are considered to have a higher degree in difficulty and keep the round the cans races single scoring events.

In Racing Class the Nick Burns/Warwick Downes MANDRAKE will be challenging Neil Pryde's HI-FIDELITY which has just had a keel change in Pt Dickson on the way through to further improve performance. Neil won the Raja Muda Cup back in 2001, scoring 6-zip on the old HI-FIDELITY hull and Warwick won it in 2002 on STELLA and has consistently been in the placing's over the years. Joining them is Troy Yaw's ULUMULU and the Miri men from Sarawak have taken on a 6 man SVEA Racing Team from Sweden to help put them through their paces this time and may surprise a few.

Keeping everybody honest will be Singapore's Elaine Chua on her new 21ft future Mini-Transat entry FENG, sailing 2-up with Sir Steve Corrigan to get used to the boat and comply with the IRC Racing Rules on her first serious outing in Asian waters.

In Premier Cruising Class, past RSYC Commodore Hijjas Kasturi will be trying out his remodeled VALTAIR for the first time before they join the Blue Water Rally from Malaysia to Gibraltar. This should give regatta stalwart Peter Cremers some competition in SHAHTOOSH. The class winner will be awarded a new Jugra Challenge Cup, specially commissioned by the Regatta Patron, who will be at Langkawi to present it on the 27th November.

Keeping inline with the cruising origins of the RMIR a strong fleet of home based cruiser-racers have entered the Club Cruising Class including the present RSYC Commodore, Aziz Kadir's brand new First 27.7 pitted against last year's winner Andrew Findlay in his newly painted PELANGI.

Efforts to revive the Multihull Class has produced only one Australian entry, Alan Main's Backchat from Perth who is looking forward to some fast reaching speeds on the long drag race like courses. Perhaps all the Phuket based multi's are to busy getting ready for the King's Cup and coming charter season.

For the more leisurely sailors, Class Five or Classic is proving popular, with Klaus Karthe returning with his elegant GREENSLEEVES, several Singapore based cruisers, and the Regatta Chairman Dato' Richard Curtis's own 100 year old classic cutter EVELINE.

One thing for sure, there will be some thing for everyone to enjoy along the way and providing the weather holds up some quick passage times may result.

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