Raja Muda 2011- strong finish, Aussie Maid and Mandrake are champions

Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2011
© Guy Nowell / RMSIR
The Rala Muda Selangor International Regatta 2011 closed the way all good regattas end, with good racing in strong breeze on Bass Harbour, Langkawi. There were a lot of very happy and very festive competitors at the Closing Dinner and Prizegiving Party last night. The series has been characterised by slow starts to each racing day, but with the breeze kicking in and giving all divisions in the fleet good racing all the way up the coast from Port Klang to Pangkor, Penang and then Langkawi.

Exception to the AP programme was yesterday’s racing, which started and finished in 16kts of nor’easterly, with two windward/leeward courses for the IRC racing classes and another trip through the fringes of the amazing scenery of the Langkawi Geopark for the cruising classes.

EFG Bank Mandrake scooped the Raja Muda Cup with 10 points for seven races, a handy margin ahead of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s brand new (2 weeks!) DK47, Utarid, on 22 points. The Navy boys did a great job to get the boat up to the pace is such a short time, and were in contention at the top of the table from the very first race. After a disappointing start to the series, David Ross’s Ker 40 KukuKERchu came good in the points count at the end to take the third place overall on the podium. 'Now we are really looking forward to the King’s Cup,' said Ross. 'We have got the boat up to speed and hit the groove. We had a great race up from Penag, and two great races today. We’ll capitalise on the experience next week.' Watch this boat…
At prizegiving time Fred Kinmonth, co-owner of EFG Bank Mandrake, was very generous in his praise of what he called 'Asia’s very best regatta. We’ve competed in this even 19 times, and would not miss it for the world. This is the one you have to do.' Nobody was going to argue!

Premier Cruising champion and winner of the Jugra Cup was Dr John Wardill’s veteran campaigner Australian Maid, after a series score of 3,2,1,1,1,1 which is hard to beat.

There were some rueful smiles from the crew of Foxy Lady 5 after they touched the windward mark on the very last rounding, did the turns, and as a result lost the race by just six seconds. That put them tied on points with Sarab Jeet Singh’s Windsikher who took the Class 3 title on countback. And Neil Ankcorn’s Mat Salleh 'sailed our socks (*expletive deleted!) off' for two first places on the last day and put the Class 4 title in the bag.

The Raja Muda has now completed 22 years of racing in an almost unchanged format. Some of the individual destinations have shifted a little, and some series have run with discards, or double-points offshore races, but basically it has stayed the same. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so why change a winning formula? There are racers like Fred Kinmonth and John Wardill who come back for this event year after year, and somehow the regatta never fails to please – come rain, shine, light breeze or heavy winds. Is a challenging and infuriating combination of inshore and offshore racing, and – with the entire programme completed in just eight racing days - a marathon in more ways than one.

The Regatta Management team of the Royal Selangor Yacht Club, the Race Officer and his assistants, and all the other support personnel responsible are to be congratulated for successfully running an event in four successive locations. It’s a logistical tour-de-force. A new team headed by Malcolm Elliott, Regatta Director, has done a great job to further secure the Raja Muda's place among the top events in Asia.

Any Asia-region sailors who haven’t ‘done’ the Raja Muda are missing out. So don’t make the same mistake next year – the 23rd RMSIR will run 16-24 November 2012. Be there.

Full results at www.rmsir.com