'Raja Muda' 2013. Race 1. Patience, and shuffle the cards.

Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2013. Port Klang - Pangkor race. Trucking to the finish. Antipodes.
© Guy Nowell / RMSIR
Day 1, race 1, Port Klang to Pangkor, 110nm. Hot and sunny leaving the pontoon, with a promise from all the weather websites of – er, not much – in the way of wind. PRO Jerry Rollin took off at flank speed to set the line for the 1100h start group to the south of the entrance to Port Klang. All boats in Classes 5 and 6 away safely in 5 knots of breeze from the southwest and 3 knots of carrying tide. Course 330? to Pangkor, but not before leaving to starboard the mark on the edge of the Angsa Bank – which not everyone remembered, and paid the price with a DSQ.

Second start sequence, 1300h for Classes 1 and 2 (under an I flag), then 3 and 4 and once again all away in good order. The position of the new start added 20nm as well as sending all boats to the west of the Angsa Bank, littered with fish traps that made northerly progress up the bank against a foul tide an exercise in brinkmanship. Too far west, more tide; too far east, closer to the net stakes and the risk of a wind shift that could suck you into dangerous ground. On board Geoff Hill’s Santa Cruz 72, Antipodes, we were glad to squeeze round the end of the last line of nets and crack off towards less tide and towards the coast and the hope of a late afternoon land breeze.

The weather forecasters were wrong. The race started in 10kts of building breeze, topping out at over 20kts from NNW. It was looking like a fast trip with a Code 0 as Antipodes reached 14kts of boatspeed, overhauling the 1100h starters one by one. But it didn’t last. Gradually the breeze died, and died… until down went the anchor at 1710h and stayed there for 40 minutes. Patience, and shuffle the cards. In the super-light stuff, HiFi crept away to leeward looking for shore breeze, and the rest of the class leaders either slowed to a crawl or parked completely. Cue grey and threating skies in the east. Cue some wandering rain cells. Cue a roll of the dice as the breeze came in from the north east, dumped some heavy rain on Antipodes (but nobody else!), and restarted the peloton. Still at anchor, Antipodes watched while the chasing fleet roared up from behind at 8kts, and decided that some action was better than none just as the filling breeze reached her and delivered a very welcome Get Out of Jail Free card. No 1 jib, then Code 0, then No 3 jib, and the breeze continued to build.

From there on it was a straight line reach in steady breeze to the finish, 60nm away. With 72’ of waterline, and fully powered up, Antipodes trucked up to Pangkor at a steady 10-11kts, taking Line Honours and the win for Class 2 (Premier Cruising) at 0117, 12hrs and 2 min after the start.

The Seaview Resort at Pangkor always makes the arriving fleet more than welcome, with the restaurant (and bar) open all night, ready to serve hot food and cold beer to all and sundry. War stories are swapped on the terrace, with arriving crews greeted more and more enthusiastically as the night wears on. By 0600h the atmosphere was positively soggy with bonhomie.

Today is a day for recuperation, and readying for the prizegiving party tonight. Tomorrow, the 69nm passage race to Penang. Watch this space.

Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2013. Port Klang - Pangkor race. Trucking to the finish. Antipodes.
© Guy Nowell / RMSIR

Short results

Class 1
1. Windsikher (Sarb Jeet Singh)
2. Foxy Lady 6 (Bill Bremner)
3. EFG Bank Mandrake (Burns/Kinmonth)
Class 2
1. Antipodes (Geoff Hill)
2. Shahtoosh (Peter Cremers)
3. Australian Maid (Dr John Wardill)
Class 3
1. Fujin (Gordon Ketelby)
2. Steel de Breeze (Brian de Vries)
3. Sea Bass (Jon Cray)
Class 4
1. Mat Salleh (Neil Ankcorn)
2. NiJinsky (Jeff Harris)
3. Skybird (John Kara)
Class 5
1. Lady Bubbly (Chris Mitchell)
2. Cibeles (Tobias Arnold)
3. Rainbow Drean (Simon Piff)

Full results at www.rmsir.com