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Royal Langkawi Int Regatta 2016 – not with a bang, but a whimper

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World.com on 16 Jan 2016
Alive. Winners of the IRC Racing Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy, Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2016. Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
The Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2016 ended today at 1300h with N over A for all classes and no racing at all. A shame, but as the philosophical sailor will recognise, 'That's yacht racing'. There was no breeze at 0930h, and the AP was flying (read; ‘drooping’) on shore. The view from Charlie’s Place at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club was not encouraging: grey skies, grey water, low cloud and nothing more than the occasional lost ripple passing by on the water.




PRO Simon James was out on the water with a piece of his favourite Barry Manilow tape on the end of a radio aerial, but even the old crooner couldn’t point up any reliable breeze. “We had puffs – no more - everywhere from 45 to 190 degrees, and we went everywhere from the Western Courses to back at the Club. We even started to set up a course at one point, but the breeze died even before the top mark boat had reached position. The final decision to abandon was based on the time limit for starting racing.”

Scoreboard leader in IRC Racing this morning was Philip Turner’s Alive, having defended strongly in extreme light breeze yesterday, starting the day one point ahead of Oi! (Peter Ahern) and finishing one point ahead of Millennium Racing (Ray Roberts). “We’d prefer to finish this on the water,” said Turner, “but che sera, sera.” Now there’s a new name on the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy.

At the closing press conference winning skippers complimented the Race Management team on a job well done over five days. ‘Outstanding’ was the word used. Vincent Chan, owner of Mata Hari (winner, IRC 2) said, “Of course we would have liked to race today and finish the regatta properly, so to speak, but nobody wants to race in a lucky draw, and that’s what it would have been today.”



Asked what makes the Royal Langkawi International regatta attractive – apart from the racing – Adale Adham Ayudin (Chantique, winner of the White Sails class) said “It is a great event that provides an opportunity to see old friends (and not just the crew!) and meet new people. Sailing really is a very inclusive sport, no more so than at the RLIR.”

To wrap up: three days of good breeze until a right hoolie of a storm killed the breeze on Thursday night. After that it never properly recovered. It wasn’t possible to get the thoroughly scenic Around the Island (Pulau Bunting) Race onto the race card – after all, one of the reasons that Langkawi is a great sailing location is the spectacular scenery down in the southwest part of the archipelago. But when the wind doesn’t oblige…

The Royal Langkawi Yacht Club is in the final throes of a major redevelopment. All concerned with the regatta, and GM Wicky Sundram in particular, deserve special congratulations for successfully running a full regatta under constrained circumstances – but the bar was open, the beer was cold, and the catering was wonderful. The RLIR marina is now the largest wet-berth facility in Malaysia with a capacity of 250 berths, and can accommodate yachts up to 90m in length. So how about it? A superyacht division for RLIR 2017? The Fisherman’s Wharf facility will include 35 hotel rooms, making the RLIR very much a ‘one-stop shop’ regatta. See you next year for the 15th edition of this elegant event – 9-14 January 2017



Winners 2016

IRC Racing: Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy. Alive, Philip Turner/Duncan Hine.

IRC 1: LADA IRC Challenge Trophy. Fujin, Mick Tilden.

IRC 2: RLIR IRC Challenge Trophy. Mata Hari, Vincent Chan.

Sportsboats: Langkawi Sports Class Trophy. SMU, Koh Ling Ying.

Multihulls: Malaysia Multihull Challenge Cup. Wow, David Liddell.

Club Cruising: RLYC Commodore’s Challenge Cup. Sophia, Phil Augur.

Ocean Rover: Eveline, Trevor Curtis.

White Sails: Chantique, Hakim Klunker.


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