Back to champagne racing to Langkawi...
On the approaches to Langkawi, the leaders had to put in a few gybes, as the breeze backed further around to the SE and remarkably finished in daylight to set some new race records. As the late afternoon drizzle descended on Langkawi, it started to effect the breeze and left the mid fleet runners struggling in fading conditions.
It only took Meitatsu Fukumoto / Seng Huang Lee’s ORMA 60 SHK Scallywag FUKU with His Highness Raja Muda Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah on the crew list, 3 hours and 49 minutes to complete the shortened 52nm course and lay down a new Multihull record.
A straight line drag race is always going to favour the long water line yachts and this time was no exception. Five yachts from IRC 1 and the Premier Cruising classes, Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes, Kevin Whitcraft's TP52 THA 72, Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II, Troy Yaw's TP52 Ulumulu and Peter Cremers Warwick 75 Shahtoosh were never more than a mile apart, all flying different headsail's and utilizing different techniques, to extract the extra knot of boat speed. Antipodes broke away at the start and the others had to reel them back in and several place changes took place along the way and ended up finishing in the respective order above.
Singh's Windsikher II claims the daily double in IRC 0 and IRC 1 classes and narrows in, to within two points of the overall IRC 1 leader. Yaw's Ulumulu takes a well earned 2nd place, after zigzagging along the course, with shy spinnaker and changing to headsail's on several occasions. Overall leader Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Sydney GTS 43 Mandrake III got caught up with the fading breeze towards the finish line and settles in 3rd place, reducing their lead to two points, in the process. Fourth place for Gordon Ketelbey's Farr 40 Ramrod opens the door for Windsikher II, to step up into 2nd in the overall stakes and relegates Ramrod to 3rd overall, with work to do on the remaining inshore races to improve their standings.
For the second race in a row Windsikher II has beaten Whitcraft's TP52 THA 72 and have the lead in the IRC 0 class. Yaw's Ulumulu has joined the fight in the three yacht subdivision.
Stella performance by Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes to claim line honours and the daily double in the Premier Cruising class, to come back into contention in the overall stakes. Peter Cremers Warwick 75 Shahtoosh stretched their legs to keep up with the leaders and was rewarded with 2nd place. They also break the tie with the Malaysian Armed Forces Farr 520 Zuhal skippered by Salleh Ahmad and take over 3rd overall in their own right. Third place for Dato Khalilur Rahman's DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Zakaria, breaks their winning streak and reduces their lead over Antipodes to two points but can expect them to come back in the remaining harbour races.
After everything that has gone on this week, we are reminded that we're only half way through the race program. Weather permitting there are 4 or 3 races, depending on the class, left to run over the next two days. Charlie's Bar at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club is in full flight and as stated at the AY Pre-Regatta Report, this regatta is a marathon and it takes a crew with an iron constitution and fast boat to succeed.
Steve Manning / Paul OMalley's A 40 RC Red Rum, established an early lead but as the breeze faded and clocked around, over the last 10 miles, the others closed ranks and left them down in 4th place. Second place for John Kara's Beneteau First 45 Insanity is an improvement but still languish in 4th overall. Third place for Max Palleschi's IOR Farr 40 Prime Factor, now has them tied on 9 points with Red Rum for the overall lead. RMSIR Chairman Jeff Harris' J 92S Nijinsky skippered by Alessandro Lodovelli, came through to claim first place, but their 5th place on the Penang Harbour Race, leaves them one point shy of the tied leaders and everything to play for.
Victory for the Aussie's on Tristram Denyer's Dufour 350 Iseulta extends their lead in the Cruising Class. Norma Noordin's Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 Nafi, with a combined Klang Boy Scouts and Girl Guide crew onboard, have stayed on form for 2nd place and despite their slow start to the regatta, are climbing back into contention with 3rd overall. Third place for Rama's Dehler 34 V.G.Offshore keeps them to 2nd overall but will have to watch out for the Nafi troop, who are only one point behind them.
In light weather the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces Contessa 32OD Marikh skippered by Mohd Hanif Husain, can go faster than the bigger Cruising Classic yachts and have now posted their fourth win on the trot. Dato Richard Curtis 100 year old Bristol cutter Eveline skippered by James Lee, were the last boat to finish at 03:52 but corrected out in 2nd place, once the times were adjusted. Although Florian Zeh's William Garden Esperanza struggles to move in light weather they persisted to sail the entire course and rewarded with 3rd place and hold onto 2nd overall.
While it took Meitatsu Fukumoto / Seng Huang Lee’s ORMA 60 SHK Scallywag FUKU skippered by David Witt, 03:49 to complete the course, versus 09:07 for Goran Andersson's Antrim 40 Angela, there is really no comparison, even when the OMR handicaps are applied. Having His Highness Raja Muda Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah onboard and the onboard reporter producing short interviews and videos of the action and posting on Facebook, is a wonderful undertaking and good to raise the profile of the regatta and everyone involved.
The late finishing has delayed sending this report but its no rest for the wicked, as racing continues on Kua Harbour today and tomorrow to conclude the event.
More info and results on the Raja Muda Selangor Int. Regatta
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