sail-world.com -- Raja Muda 2012 – round and round the ragged rocks
Raja Muda 2012 – round and round the ragged rocks
Sun, 25 Nov 2012
Langkawi Inshores for Cruising classes: In spite of being first in the bar on Thursday night, the Racing divisions got Friday off while the Cruising classes were back on the water. If you have finished a passage race at 0508h you may not feel ready to start all over again at 1300h, but they were all there, from long-legged Antipodes to long-suffering Eveline.
A cruise around the islands, taking in some of the best sailing scenery that Langkawi has to offer, and testing navigational and tactical skills to the full. This is needle-threading stuff, where the passages between islands are narrow, and where a different route through the maze can make for big gains or losses – time, currents, disturbed wind patterns.
And then there’s the view. Quite possibly this is the only racecourse in the world that takes the sailors through a UNESCO Geopark, where the rocky islets a combination of the shattered remains of volcanic activity many millions of years ago, and the marine erosion of what was once the uplifted limestone seabed. It’s breathtaking stuff (a bit of sunshine would have been nice for the pictures!) and provides a totally unique venue for inshore racing. Adam Mowser, skippering Geoff Hill’s Antipodes, and rather more used to short, sharp, windward/leewards in the Racing division, said ‘this is awesome – never mind doing sausages at the top of Bass Harbour – I want to do more of this!’
All classes behaved themselves and went away ‘clear’. The course went straight down Bass Harbour towards Pulau Kentet Besar (Big Fart Island) and around and through the maze of small islands there. Antipodes delivered a sparkling demonstration of how to sail along the edge of a filling breeze line when she cruised around the outside of Miss Saigon and Mojo, who were totally becalmed, and just kept going. She was less lucky shortly after when the wind angle between the next two islands forced her to take the long way round – Australian Maid, just behind, took advantage of a shift and ‘cut the corner’, making back her time. Enough, in fact, to take the race on corrected time and level the scores for the series and make tomorrow’s closing race a decider.
For most of the cruising divisions and the multihulls it was a relatively slow race – the wind never died completely, but went very soft towards the end making for a slow finish. Those that got away, got away. Once again the venerable Eveline scored a first place – her second for the regatta which may be some sort of record – but three DNFs in the early races keep her well out of the reckoning. The sleek-looking Mojo squeaked home by 13s on corrected time in front of Fantasia to level the scores at the top of the multihull division. Clearly, there is a lot to play for tomorrow, the last day of the 2012 Raja Muda. Around-the-islands again for cruisers and multihulls, and two final windward/leewards for the racing classes.