17th Raja Muda Selangor Regatta 2006
AsianYachting Race Report 5 & Summary

25Nov06 Langkawi, Malaysia

All over bar the shouting...

As the high noon showdown time approached, most yachts left the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club marina early to study the current direction and wind conditions on Bass Harbour. Five to eight knots of breeze saw the racing classes away with a lot of jockeying for position and covering tactics being employed up and down the fleet. In several classes the pointscore is to close to call and good results in these races will determine the overall class winners. The decision to score the passage races with double points that must be counted or can't be dropped sees quite a bit of juggling the points and much to the upset of some yachts have had to drop a first place in the harbour races.

Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings came to the fore today to pick up both race six and seven today. All eyes were on the clash between Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mandrake that narrowly led the pointscore and Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady that could execute an upset if the conditions suite. Foxy Lady claimed second place and Frank Pong's Jelik third, with Mandrake back in seventh place on race six. A hush descended on the media boat at the start of race seven as both RMN-Zuhrah and Mandrake were called over the line. As the boats were tightly packed, Bill Bremner decided to take the benefit of the doubt and returned Foxy Lady to the start line in case they were over early. The ever irrepressible Neil Pryde on Hi Fi took second place in race seven and Foxy Lady rebounded with a third placing but not enough to clinch the series. Mandrake's fifth placing was just enough to give the Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns owned yacht the overall IRC Racing title this year.

Jon Wardill's Australian Maid gave Andrew Findlay's Impiana a little luff off the startline which may have been the winning move at the end of the day. Although Australian Maid led Impiana by two points coming into the final race, Andrew Findlay's crew were expected to stage a late comeback. After leading by the proverbial mile the wind died out and the back markers closed right in, to look as if they may have completed the task. When handicaps were applied Jon Wardill's Australian Maid managed to beat Impiana by one second to lift the Premier Cruising trophy. It can't get much closer than that.

A third and first place in race six and seven today for Neil Ankorn's Farr 1104 Mat Salleh is enough to clinch the IRC Club Cruising title. Graham Lind's Sumatra finished with two second places which keeps them in second overall. Although Fatimi Afendi's Corina 11 dipped down the order in the final races they have done enough in the passage races to retain third place. Heinz Heyer's Super Duper first place in race six was a little too late to make an impression and finished fourth overall. Capt Fin's Miri Magic had the benefit of a new set of sails finally arriving in Langkawi and was very quick of the startline and up the windward beats to jump a place and finished fifth overall.

The Multihull Class saw Tony Roberts Tactical Directions win four out of five races and claim overall victory. Liam Nicholls bigger Gone with the Wind had to settle on second place after taking most of the line honours. John Mitchell's Merpati Putih came from Indonesia and although a far cry from being a racing boat competed in all the races to end up in third place.

First place today for John Ramsden's Elan 434 Sofa So Good was not enough to take the Non IRC Cruising title. Seventh place in the double points non discardable race one has been their downfall. Instead it is Mohd Hanif Husain's Royal Malaysian Navy crew onboard Marikh that sailed into first place overall despite scoring seventh place today. Gavin Welman's Rascal stayed in the points with a second place today to end up third overall.

Despite Dato' Richard Curtis's Bristol Cutter Eveline finishing with a first place after surviving a protest hearing, it is Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 that runs away with the inaugural Vintage Class title. Lindsey Stewart and Bruce Issel's Willow 11 have added to the fragrance and ended up third overall.

7th Raja Muda Selangor Regatta 2006

AsianYachting Race Report 4

24Nov06 Langkawi, Malaysia

Closing races to determine class winners...

With just enough land breeze to get all boat classes away on a exciting downwind start, it was not long before they ran into a soft spot further up Penang Harbour. The switch over to the afternoon seabreeze seen building on the horizon was relatively painless and the boats quickly reset sails on a fine reach for most of the 55nm passage race to Langkawi. Although storm clouds hanging over Langkawi changed the wind direction and speed at the finish line the big boats had quickly swallowed up the miles in the early part to turn it into a big boat benefit. Frank Pong's Jelik stretched their legs to claim the daily Line and Handicap double but all eyes were on the battle between Hi Fi, Mandrake and Foxy Lady as they all have a chance at the overall title. Eventually Neil Pryde's Hi Fi finished only one and a half minutes in front of the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth owned Mandrake, which was not enough as Mandrake calculated out into second place above the higher rated Hi Fi who had to settle on third place. Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady finished in fourth place and now trails Mandrake by five points for the overall lead and will have to pull a few tricks of their own out of the hat during the remaining windward/leeward races to have a chance at the title.

Although Hans Rahmann's Yasooda claimed Premier Cruising line honours at 21:21, it was Jon Wardill's 55ft Australian Maid finishing only fifty one minutes behind the 70ft Yasooda to claim the handicap victory. Peter Cremer's defending champion Shahtoosh improved their overall standing by finishing with second place and Geoff Hill's Strewth is always around when the trophies are being handed out placed third. With two early wins to their credit, Andrew Findlay's Impiana finished fifth and still top of the table but with the juggling of places and introduction of the drop race will have to score well in the remaining harbour race in Langkawi to stay in front of the hungry pack closing in around them.

Neil Ankorn's Farr 1104 Mat Salleh moved one step closer to the IRC Cruising title by being the fastest in the class and added another handicap win to their tally. Fatimi Afendi's very low rating on Corina 11 earned them second place to retain third overall despite having to retire from the Penang Harbour races. Graham Lind's Sumatra was in the running for the title with Mat Salleh coming into this race but a third place last night leaves them with allot of work to do on the remaining harbour races. Capt Fin's smaller 26ft Miri Magic 1 set a respectable finishing time, only minutes behind the bigger boats which could probably be down to the replacement Tacktick wind instruments finally arriving in Penang.

In the Multihull Class Liam Nicholls Gone with the Wind finally got the better of Tony Roberts Tactical Directions on both speed across the course and on handicap after playing second fiddle to Tactical Directions during the earlier races. John Mitchell's Merpati Putih remains consistent scoring third place in every race.

Gavin Welman's Rascal continues to improve each race and eventually took first place in the Non IRC Cruising class. By correcting out into second place John Ramsden's Elan 434 Sofa So Good have put themselves in the running for the overall title with one race to go. Bryan Levinge's Cavalier enters the podium places for the first time with a timely third placing. Despite finishing fourth Mohd Hanif Husain's RMN entry Marikh early win and second place on the passage races, keeps them on the top of the leader board but will have to fend of John Ramsden's charge on Sofa So Good to win this years title.

It was Simon Morris's turn on Sirius 1935 to record another win this time in front of Dato' Richard Curtis's Bristol Cutter Eveline. Lindsey Stewart and Bruce Issel's Willow 11 came in third and Hijjas Kasturi's classic Mystico was withdrawn in Penang after suffering mechanical problems. This leaves Sirius 1935 and Eveline to fight it out for the inaugural Vintage Class title with one race to go.

Also taking place in Langkawi this weekend is the inaugural Langkawi International Boat Exhibition (LIBEX 24 to 27 Nov) at Telaga Harbour. Along with other exhibitors DK Yachts have one of their regatta winning Mills - DK 46 on display that is available at special boatshow prices. With the culmination of the Raja Muda Regatta and the SailAsia Rally in Langkawi this weekend, all the marina's are full to bursting, which shows that all the promotions to attract visiting boats and build a local yachting industry have been worthwhile and back on track after a few years in the doldrums.

Full Race Results from www.rmsir.com

7th Raja Muda Selangor Regatta 2006

AsianYachting Race Report 3

22Nov06 Penang, Malaysia

Mandrake pulls off not one but two surprises...

After two hours of waiting for the wind to increase, racing got underway and PRO Gerry Rollin managed to squeeze in two races for the racing classes and complete the days scheduled harbour passage race for the cruising classes. The Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake pulled off two the biggest surprises today by winning both races and climbing to the top of the leaderboard. A resounding bang was heard on the press boat after the first start as Jonathan Mahony's Happy Endings tacked with not enough room to bear away below the boats to windward and ran strait into the RMN Farr 520 Zuhrah skippered by Malik Sulaiman. The jury subsequently have disqualified Happy Endings and luckily nobody was injured.

At seventy five foot long Frank Pong's Jelik usually leads the fleet but after entangling a fishing net and dragging it along on the downwind leg is was Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth 51ft Mandrake leading around the bottom mark, first time round. Their crew work and boatspeed looked very slick and perhaps they were responding to part owners Nick and Mo Burns return with perhaps some good news to share with the crew.

Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady rebounded with second and third places today but slipped to second overall, one point adrift of Mandrake. Keith Dunn's Mount Gay 30 Lunch Cutter 11 rounded of the Race 3 podium placing's and RSYC Vice Commodore Vincent Chan's Titan 36 Matahari second place in Race 4 gave the small boats 1B class an upper hand over the big boats 1A, except for Mandrake left trailing in their wake.

Peter Cremer's Shahtoosh has won the Performance Cruising Class for the last two years and despite showing great bursts of speed has not featured on the podium for the two races held so far, until sneaking into first place on the Penang Harbour Passage race by forty one seconds. Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth added another second place to their tally by beating fellow Aussie Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid by a mere three seconds. With two wins to their credit, Andrew Findlay's Beneteau 45 Impiana had to settle on fourth place but retains top spot on the overall leaderboard.

In IRC Cruising, Graham Lind's Singaporean based Hustler SJ35 Sumatra has been constantly climbing the podium placing's to cap it of with a first place in Race 3 and second place in Race 4. A two way battle is developing at the top between Sumatra and Neil Ankorn's Farr 1104 Mat Salleh and after scoring a 2, 1 today, Mat Salleh has regained the top spot on the Overall standings by two points. Fatimi Afendi's Race 2 winning Gibsea 42 Corina 11 fell by the wayside after having to retire from both races.

No changes in the Multihull Class with Tony Roberts Crowther cat Tactical Directions getting the better on handicap for the third time in a row of Liam Nicholls Grainger cat Gone with the Wind despite beating them over the line and some handicap adjustments taking place. John Mitchell's Merpati Putih from Indonesia has consistently scored third place.

John Ramsden's Singapore based Elan Impression 434 Sofa So Good showed just how fast they can sail by taking out the daily double of Line and Handicap honours in the Non IRC Cruising class. Gavin Welman's Hamburg Ratssy Rascal second place came in a nick of time to enter the overall podium placing's in third spot for the time being. Garry Bryant's Scipio of Parkstone third place is a welcome return to the podium after dropping off the pace during race two.

Having to sail the entire course Dato' Richard Curtis's Bristol Cutter crew on Eveline got the better of Simon Morris's bigger Sirius 1935 despite a lengthy windward beat into the incoming current. Lindsey Stewart and Bruce Issel's race 2 winning Willow 11 were forced to retire with damage and Hijjas Kasturi's classic Mystico did not even make it out to the starting line.

After recovering from the traditional Penang prize giving ceremony at the infamous E & O Hotel, the racers set sail for the legendary and duty-free islands of Langkawi on Race 4 or 5. A day of windward/leeward and passage races will follow on picturesque Bass Harbour to complete a very arduous and lengthy program. No wonder the RMSIR is the hardest regatta in all of Asia to win and sailors keep coming back year after year to have another crack at it...

Full Race Results from www.rmsir.com

7th Raja Muda Selangor Regatta 2006

AsianYachting Race Report 2

21Nov06 Penang, Malaysia

The toughest regatta in all of Asia to win...

The forecast was for a light SW breeze with intermittent thunder storms. An adverse 2 -3 knot current made it difficult for yachts to approach the starting line in the light breeze and the committee boats ability to hold station. The successful starters found it easier to time a run down to the line with the current, then swing around the pin end into the current as they raised the spinnaker to help them on their way. As the slower Vintage Class started first Race Officer Jerry Rollin had to extend the interval between starts to allow them to sail clear before the next class could start. The raging Malacca Strait current would once again determine the way to go and have an effect on the results - Inshore to minimize the flooding effects and offshore to maximize the out going stream but were will the wind be this time? After clearing Pangkor the breeze became patchy and crews attention drawn to constantly trimming the sails to suite the wind angle and conditions. The customary afternoon tropical storm held off till approaching Penang, with huge lightning bolts illuminating the sky. A fine display of nature but a worrisome time for the racers which turned a downwind slide into a beat or close reach for an early finish.

Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady, Fred Kinmonth's Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake and Neil Pryde's crew on Hi Fi staged a magnificent pirouette around the pin end of the start line together, then raised the spinnakers in unison and raced out of Pangkor only meters apart (See Photos). Foxy Lady's crew were all fired up after there Race 1 win and led the way over the bigger rivals. The yachts trying to approach the line down current struggled for up to five minutes before they cleared the line. A long asymmetrical kite slide for most of the afternoon allowed the bigger boats to streak away at the front of the fleet and surprisingly it was Neil Pryde's Farr 52 OD Hi Fi that claimed line honours at 23:19 in front of Frank Pong's 75ft Jelik by five minutes. As the smaller boats were forced to anchor when the tide changed, only finishing at 5 or 6 in the morning made it a big boat benefit on this occasion with Neil Pryde's Hi Fi taking out the daily double of line and Handicap honours over Frank Pong's Jelik and Fred Kinmonth's Mandrake claimed there second successive third placing. Bill Bremner's 3:33 finish time on Foxy Lady gives them fourth place and luckily managed to finish before the wind dropped to keep an overall lead in the point score.

Despite a slow start Andrew Findlay's Beneteau 45 Impiana made up for lost ground to make it two handicap wins out of two and firmly stake a claim at this years Premier Cruising Class title. DR Jon Wardill's twenty five year old Cassidy 55 Australian Maid improved a place on Race 1 to secure second place despite some shredding going on with the spinnakers and foredeck hands re-familiarizing themselves on big boats. Stuart and Neil Williamson's Resolution of Whitby were forced to withdraw from Race 1 with boom gooseneck issues but bounced back with a well earned third place. Hans Rahmann's Judel/Vrolijk 70 Yasooda showed some great bursts of speed to record the fastest time in the class but with a IRC rating of 1.377 will have to be allot further in front to claim any podium placing's.

Fatimi Afendi's converted Gibsea 42 Corina 11 led out from the IRC Cruising start and in amongst the crew the Rahim family and friends from the regatta winning Gotcha Lagi Team have a wealth of experience on the Raja Muda, so it was no surprise they came out on top for Race 2. Although Graham Lind's Singaporean based Hustler SJ35 Sumatra managed to find the fast lane to record the quickest time they had to settle on second place but keeps them in the running. The leading five boats finished in a pack within ten minutes of each other, so after handicaps were applied Neil Ankorn's Race 1 winning Farr 1104 Mat Salleh calculated out into third and left Capt Fin's higher handicapped Runnalls 8 Miri Magic and Heinz Heyer's X 402 M/H Super Duper out the back door.

Tony Roberts Crowther cat Tactical Directions again got the better on handicap of Liam Nicholls Grainger cat Gone with the Wind despite beating them over the line by a little under an hour and declaring exactly the same 3:09 hrs engine usage. John Mitchell's Merpati Putih from Indonesia trailed at the back of the fleet and had to motor for eight and a half hours to finish before eight in the morning.

In the Non-IRC Cruising class or hot-water division were motoring is permitted, participants have been busy coming up with new formulas using: time x distance = speed over the course. Usually the high penalty incurred for using the engine rules out getting a place but the the age old formula does not take into account anchoring time or drifting backwards with the current. On this occasion John Ramsden's Singapore based Elan Sofa So Good with 2 1/2 hrs of motoring through the light spots finished early at one thirty in the morning to score first place. Mohd Hanif Husain's Royal Malaysian Navy crew onboard Marikh managed to sail all the way and finished just before seven in the morning to take second place, only missing out on first place by a mere five minutes on corrected time. Doc Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue finished after midnight with 1:22 engine hours to score third place and lift them up the rankings after a dismal race 1 result.

The Vintage Class for yachts over fifty years old is also turning into a maths exercise of balancing out the sailing verses engine hours over the duration of the race. Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 took out the honours this time with only 1:18 of engine time. Due in part to the spinnaker halyard getting jammed and being forced to carry the big kite through the storm until a massive round up wrapped it around the rigging. Lindsey Stewart and Bruce Issel's, Kim Jensen designed Willow 11 with 4:25 on the clock timed into second place. Past RSYC Commodore Hijjas Kasturi's classic Mystico was fast out of the starting blocks and sailed most of the way to finish up in third place. All the work under taken converting Dato' Richard Curtis's almost 100 year old Bristol Cutter Eveline back to the original gaff rig may not have improved her sailing speed as after 10:45 hrs of motoring over eighteen hours of racing puts them in fourth and last place after their resounding Race 1 victory, which was widely publicized by the Malaysian press.

Its not all on the water racing at the Raja Muda as the sailors have a chance to redeem themselves after a short rest, on the Trishaw Race held around the Tanjong City Marina broad walk this afternoon by Penang Tourism to keep the social program on track. Although they will have to preserve some energy as two windward / leeward races are expected to be completed for the racing classes tomorrow in Penang Harbour which introduces another degree of difficulty in winning this event. All vessels can happily move along on a reach or downwind run but put them on a upwind beat over short courses is the traditional measure on how good a pedigree a yacht may possess. Many a yacht has led the overall standings after the passage races only to be let down on the four windward/leeward races expected to be held both here in Penang and Langkawi. As if the difficulties of racing overnight up the often fickle Malacca Straits is not enough but putting together a crack crew that can get the boat smartly around windward / leeward courses is probably the single most reason which makes this event the hardest regatta in the Asian region to win. No wonder, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) with all their high UK standards have included the RMSIR 06 into their classic Asian program of endorsed events.

7th Raja Muda Selangor Regatta 2006

AsianYachting Race Report 1

19Nov06 Pangkor Islands, Malaysia

After all the variables the Race 1 winners are...

From the time Principle Race Officer Jerry Rollin announced "Clear Start" for the six classes, till they completed 90nm's of offshore racing and anchored up in the very tranquil Pangkor Island group none other than three tropical storms had built up overland and descended upon the fleet during the race. Depending where your placed along the track and whether staying offshore or playing the coastal route was your option, these variables ended up determining the boats overall placing's. Despite Frank Pong's massive Reichel Pugh 75 Jelik taking line honours at 1:23:05 in the morning it was Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady that claimed first place on handicap by a healthy margin of a little under an hour. Fellow Singaporean expat Keith Dunn on a Mount Gay 30 Lunch Cutter 11 finished up second to give the smaller racing 1b class boats a one, two score. Fred Kinmonth's Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake claimed third place and just piped Neil Pryde's crew on Hi Fi by a little over two minutes after trailing them in the early stages.

Bill Bremner told AY afterwards that "This race win he considers to be the best of all - They stuck to their game plan - go the inshore route and prepared to play every shift to your advantage. Asian Andy and Bagus Bruce got it right every time to be completely in sync with what's going on around them. It was a miracle sail, we never stopped, even benefited from some short spinnaker bursts on the inshore track where the storms were coming from. We knew we had done well when approaching the finish line we heard on the radio that Hi Fi was only a few miles ahead."

The Premier Cruising Class also had a good go at it and the eight hi-tech yachts ranging from 45 to 80 ft in length, in all their splendor made a lovely sight on the Port Klang start line. Something to reward the committee that have been working hard all year to achieve. As expected Hans Rahmann's very powerful Judel/Vrolijk 70 footer Yasooda took line honours but it was Andrew Findlay's Beneteau 45 Impiana that stole the limelight by filling first place and also the best performing big boat based in Malaysia. Aussie Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth showed they are still on the pace with a hard earned second place and DR Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid had to do a bit of ducking and weaving from Offshore to Inshore before re-familiarizing themselves with the local waters and weather conditions to claim third spot.

The IRC Cruising Class saw the reemergence of one of Kiwi Bruce Farr's early yacht designs that put him on the road to fame and fortune. Neil Ankorn's Farr 1104 so aptly named Mat Salleh (when referring to a foreign person in Bahasa Malay language) set a blistering pace right from the very start and stayed inshore to claim first place overall. Leaving fellow RSYC member Fatimi Afendi's converted Gibsea 42 renamed Corina 11 on this outing with second place. Graham Lind's Singaporean based Hustler SJ35 Sumatra are determined to do well again and are happy with third spot at this stage in proceedings. Heinz Heyer's X 402 M/H Super Duper set the fastest time but was relegated to fourth after handicaps were applied. The much anticipated appearance of Capt Fin's Miri Magic - Team Ulumulu saw them take the unfavourable offshore path to finish down in sixth place but did surprise the leaders on a couple of occasions with her light weather performance.

Tony Roberts Crowther multihull Tactical Directions got the better on handicap of Liam Nicholls Grainger cat Gone with the Wind although they had beat them over the line. John Mitchell's very cruising houseboat Merpati Putih from Indonesia looked as if it was going backwards for a while, had to use the engine for six and a quarter hours to complete the course before the cutoff time was handed third place.

The Non IRC Class which in past years used to be the Classic Class has twelve yachts of varying size and configuration competing under Measurer Dave Richards special performance based system, where along with Class 4 and 6 they are permitted to motor and make a declaration of the engine hours which will be taken into consideration after the race. The Royal Malaysian Navy's Contessa class Marikh this time skippered by Mohd Hanif Husain took a resounding victory at 9:00 this morning after taking nearly twenty hours to sail all the way. Bob Taylor's, John Lidgard designed Nero is the only other Class 5 yacht, not to have motored, slipped into second place and Garry Bryant's Scipio of Parkstone from the UK claimed third after only 35 minutes of motoring. Both James Godwin's Tompa and Doc Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue.have reported to have experienced lightning strikes during the storm.

All the work under taken by Club Commodore and Regatta Chairman, Dato' Richard Curtis to convert his almost 100 year old Bristol Cutter Eveline back to the original gaff rig has paid dividends, as they took out first place in the Vintage Class for yachts over fifty years old. Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 originally built in Sydney, Australia was the only other finisher as both Mystico and Willow 11 were forced to retire.

Although the conditions were very wet and cold, now that they have all arrived at Pangkor and after a little rest before tonight's presentation bash at the popular Seaview Resort you can bet your last dollar that they will be all up and rearing to go again on tomorrows second overnight passage to Pinang. Someone happened to mention that statistically the yacht that wins the first race has usually gone on to win the regatta. So you will just have to stay tuned to see if it is true as the racing unfolds.

Full Race Results from www.rmsir.com

17th Raja Muda Selangor Regatta 2006

AsianYachting Pre-Race Report

17Nov06 Pt Klang, Malaysia.

The crowd on the pontoons is swelling...

Each November around these time, some of the grandest yachts in the region make their way up the Klang River and find themselves crowded alongside the Royal Selangor Yacht Club pontoons. For a couple of days before the start, it is quite a magnificent sight to behold and being the first major SE Asian regatta held each year, a good opportunity for budding yachting journo's to catch up with what's new on the scene and what major changes have occurred during the off season. As most of the participants are foreigners or expats working in the Asian region, the government ministers attending the welcome dinner party at the RSYC have often commented "That it is an amazing sight to see such a large gathering of foreigners with similar interests having such a good time in Malaysia" Having resided in Malaysia for over ten years now, it is always interesting to sit back and watch how these foreign crews (Mostly first timers) adapt to the local culture and customs while they are here. The Aussie girls roped in to do the secretariat this year were heard complaining that they have bruises on the legs from the painful massage they received up the road at the Crystal Crown hotel. Perhaps they never heard of the popular Indonesian massage mainly from neighboring Sumatra that removes the air trapped in the body through the masseurs body. Anyway no worries they were forced to have a more relaxing Thai massage to sooth away the pain afterwards.

The crews on forty four competing yachts will have their navigation, seamanship and team working skills severely tested over the next week up the west coast of Malaysia. Weather wise, tropical thunderstorms have been as regular as clockwork for the last couple of weeks. By two thirty in the afternoon the building black clouds above open up and pelt down a torrential downpour. In front of the storm, some short bursts of thirty to forty knots of wind have been experienced. Not long after the rain starts the wind can completely disappear, leaving yachts floundering around in a vacuum. During the overnight passage races sailors can expect to experience at least three or four rainstorms crossing their paths as they proceed up the coast. After the 1:00 pm starting gun fires the conditions experienced onboard and how the crew handles them over the next twelve to twenty-four hours will determine the eventual winner. Throw in the notoriously strong Malacca Strait currents into the equation and it becomes a bit of a lottery. The rest is down to luck and hope that you are in the right place at the right time.

Looking down the list of entrants there are some skippers and boat owners that have supported this event over the years and enjoy nothing better than the crew camaraderie generated during a good blast up the straits on a sailing boat. Ten racing class boats have entered so the committee have enough to divide the class by their handicaps into 1a and 1b with five boats apiece. Neil Pryde's Farr 52 OD Hi Fi Team Pryde are back to defend last years title and Frank Pong's well prepared Reichel Pugh 75 Jelik crew are hoping to carry on their winning ways after tasting success at the season ending regatta at Koh Samui. Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady heads up Class 1b were three boats from Singapore will be taking on two boats crewed by a mixed bunch of Malaysian sailors entered from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club.

Nine well presented Premier Cruising class yachts adorn the pontoons with the smallest being Aussie Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth, way up to Doc Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue. Jon Wardill's well traveled Aussie Maid returns after a couple years absence and Hans Rahmann's spectacular looking Judel/Vrolijk 70 footer Yasooda with some of Phuket's best racing crews onboard, looks like she could shine by the end of the regatta.

Twenty six yachts make up the bulk of the fleet that have been divided into IRC Cruising, Performance Cruising including three Multihulls to make up a class. Club Commodore and Regatta Chairman, Dato' Richard Curtis has introduced a Vintage Class for yachts over fifty years old. He has since embarked on a massive building program to convert his almost 100 year Evelene back to the original gaff rig. The late arrival of the sails from Quantum SA means that the first time they get to hoist the sails will be on the start line of this years regatta. First photos in Race Report 1 from the beautiful and peaceful Pangkor Island group after Race 1.

11th November 2006


The Royal Selangor Yacht Club today announced the full squad line-up of an all-youth all Malaysian crew to enter the Racing Class category of the 17th Raja Muda Selangor Regatta, to begin off the waters of Port Klang next Saturday. This is the first time an all-youth boat has entered the Racing Class in the seventeen year-long history of the Raja Muda. The overall winner of the Racing Class will take home the coveted Raja Muda Cup, to be awarded by club patron HRH Sultan of Selangor, himself a keen yachtsman, having circumnavigated around the world in the mid-nineties. 

The youth crew will participate in the regatta on-board a fully-sponsored Farr 42, S/Y Gapurna Switchblade, under the supervision of qualified skipper, Mike Downer. In announcing the names, Club Commodore and Regatta Chairman, Dato' Richard Curtis highlighted the fact that the crew of 10 boys and 2 girls are mostly in their teens, the youngest being 15. They will compete against some of the region's best keelboat sailing yachtsmen, including those with over 30 years experience.

The participants are: Ahmad Faizal Ahmad, 16; Mohd Rashidee Shariff, 18; Sharizali Mohd Suhaimi, 24 (oldest); Mohd Rafee Nasaruddin, 18; Muhammad Issad Samdin, 15 (youngest); Ariff Abd Razak, 16; Yvonne Yap, 20; Khoo Teng Jun, 18; Cheang Seu Foong, 17; Ng Heng Li, 17; Muhamad Faiz Norizan, 16 and Ng Ai Li. Most are individually national and regional youth sailing champions in their own right, having participated in and placed in the Optimist categories, Byte championships and in the Asian Games.

The youth are expected to take on 11 other competing boats in their class including those with much more regatta and offshore sailing experience, including 3-time and last year's Raja Muda Cup winner Neil Pryde, on S/Y Hi-Fi with a fully-professional crew; Frank Pong, owner/skipper of S/Y Jelik and also Honorary Chairman of Team China's AC squad and Vice Commodore Vincent Chan, on S/Y Matahari, who will have with him four national youth sailors, who incidentally were in the winning team in last month's Monsoon Cup national qualifiers.

Other racing class yachts include two Royal Malaysian Navy boats, S/Y Zuhrah skippered by Lieutenant Commander Malik Sulaiman and S/Y Zuhal, whilst regional entries, S/Y Happy Endings with Jonathan Mahony as skipper and S/Y Foxy Lady with Bill Bremner are expected to provide stiff competition. The racing class line-up also includes also S/Y Lunchcutter II, S/Y Mandrake and S/Y Yo Mo.

Challenges ahead for the youth crew include trawling fishing nets, uncertain weather conditions with daily thunderstorms and strong tidal currents being forecasted off the Straits of Malacca.

The Raja Muda Regatta will begin its first race next Saturday and race 90 nautical miles overnight from Port Klang to Pangkor. On Monday, they will embark on the second leg of the overnight passage from Pangkor to Penang, spending two nights, before heading onto the third and last passage race from Penang to Langkawi on Thursday. The races around the Kuah Harbour in Langkawi on Saturday will represent tight racing around the cans, often determining the final make or break scores for the smaller, faster boats in the racing and cruising classes.

The 'Raja Muda' is the only Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) accredited regatta in South-East Asia and is one of the most tactically challenging races in Asia.

Boats race in seven different classes according to their hull size and pre-determined handicap. These are: racing class, premier cruising class, club cruising, multi-hull, non-IRC cruising, classic class and what organizers believe to be Asia's only  vintage class category, a first in the region, for boats built pre-1945.

To date, over 500 yachtsmen and approximately 48 yachts have registered. Boats are expected to arrive in Port Klang to prepare for the regatta early next week.

See also www.rmsir.com or www.rsyc.com.my

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Plans are well ahead for this year's Raja Muda Regatta (17th - 25th Nov), hosted by Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang.  Regatta Chairman and Club Commodore Dato' Richard Curtis reports that there has been a much greater response than in the past few years, with approximately 50 yachts committed to entering the event.

The Regatta will follow its customary format, with coastal passage races from Port Klang to Pangkor, Perak, from Pangkor to Pulau Penang and from Penang to Pulau Langkawi.  There will be a day of inshore harbour races in Penang on 22nd Nov and another in Bass Harbour, Langkawi on Saturday 25th Nov.  The all-important social gatherings are interlaced with the racing, with the Welcome Party at RSYC on Friday 17th, a prize giving party at Seaview Resort on Pulau Pangkor on Sunday 19th, a trishaw race at the Tanjong City Marina in Penang on 21st and the famous hawker stall prizegiving dinner at the E&O Hotel on 22nd . The event climaxes with the gala dinner and prize giving ceremony at Royal Langkawi Yacht Club on Saturday 25th Nov, in the presence of the Regatta Patron, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor.

Yachts will be split into 6 classes, reflecting their configuration and performance. The Racing, Premier Cruising and Club Cruising classes are open to boats with the internationally standardized IRC handicap certificates. There are separate classes for multi-hulls and vintage yachts, which this year include one dating from 1911 and 2 from 1935, and a catch-all class for cruising boats which usually includes several round-the-world sailors who are passing through the Straits of Malacca at this time of the year.

Apart from the standard competitions within each class, there is an inter-club battle set within the Club Cruising Class, for the Kra Challenge Trophy, which was won last year by Ao Chalong Yacht Club in Phuket.  The Selangor Youth Training programme students will also be sailing in 2 boats in racing class this year, where they will gain valuable experience of longer races, navigation, seamanship and teamwork.

Media representatives are invited to visit RSYC on Friday 17th November to view the yachts and meet the sailors, and to cover their departure from Port Klang at the start of the first race on Saturday 18th.  There will be a press conference at the Tanjong City Marina in Penang on the afternoon of 21st November, before the trishaw races, and media are invited to go afloat on the following day to watch the harbour races.  There is a similar opportunity to watch the races and cover the final day in Langkawi on Saturday 25th November.

For further information of the event, please view the regatta website www.rmsir.com or call the regatta secretariat at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club Tel: 03 3168 6964

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