Raja Muda Regatta is under way...
Never more than a mile separated Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood and Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II during the day and while they drifted around, waiting for the change over. Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes stayed in close company leading the Premier Cruisers and kept the fight for overall line honours alive. As they tried to urge the boat along in the light conditions, the handicap honours was shared around the fleet, as the back markers made up ground, until eventually they got moving again.
It wasnt until 2200hrs when the land breeze arrived and the two Farr 40's, Rolf Heemskerk's The Next Factor and Gordon Ketelbey's Ramrod ll came from behind, to be in the running for handicap honours. Similar situation in the Premier Cruising class, where Doug Sallis' Hanse 575 Colie trailed and took over the handicap lead.
As the inevitable storm came through before midnight, Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood held on for overall line honours by six minutes, from Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes and was closely followed by Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II one minute later.
The calculator went into overdrive as they crossed the finish line and confirmed that Rolf Heemskerk's The Next Factor clung on to claim the IRC 1 handicap honours and Gordon Ketelbey's Ramrod ll slotted into 2nd place. Although the Malaysian Armed Forces DK47 Uranus skippered by Norhafisam Ahmad, was four minutes further adrift, they managed to claim 3rd place and dropped the two 52 footers down to 4th and 5th.
In the Premier Cruising class, Doug Sallis' Hanse 575 Colie also managed to hold onto the lead, over Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes by a little under an hour.
The race for line honours in the IRC 3 Class turned into a match race, between HH The Raja Muda Of Selangor, skippering the Beneteau 44.7 Fujin and John Kara's Beneteau First 45 Insanity. Eventually during the drifting section, Insanity got the better of Fujin by a mere four minutes. Standing off further out to sea, Simon Piff's Lauranus L34 Rainbow Dream held onto the handicap lead and was closely followed by Amir Zohri helming J 92S Nijinsky, that hugged the shore. Dominic Liddell's chartered Farr 1104 Farrgo Express, also managed to slot in front of the dueling leaders to claim 3rd place.
In the Cruising Class, Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly jumped into an early lead and held onto it till the end. On their first attempt Lily Sophiah's Yamaha 36 Dash came from 38 minutes behind to correct into 2nd place by 15 minutes and in front of Lucas van Maarschalkerweerd's X-342 Minx, by one minute and relegated them into 3rd place.
As the two graceful classics, Dato Richard Curtis 100 year old Bristol cutter Eveline skippered by Goran Leif and David McKeown's classic Stow 78 Rona were fighting it out at the back of the fleet, the defending champion, Royal Malaysian Armed Forces Contessa 32OD Marikh skippered by Lt Khairul Azmi, were once again making good time up the course and claimed the daily double. When the wind picked up, Rona hit her stride and happily sailed into 2nd place. Both Eveline and Shah Azlan's Westerly Storm 33 Tofan incurred early start penalty's and corrected out in 3rd and 4th respectively.
Festivities continue tonight with the dinner and Leg 1 trophy presentation at the Puteri Bayu Beach Resort before heading off tomorrow on Leg 2 to Pinang. On past performances the yacht that wins the first leg, usually goes on the win the regatta, but in these unusual circumstances, it will be interesting to see how it turns out this year.
More info and results on the Raja Muda Selangor Int. Regatta
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