Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2013- Change is in the air

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 16 Nov 2013
Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2012 - Langkawi dead ahead. © Guy Nowell / RMSIR

The long title may be a little hard to chew, but the crews of the 36 boats entered for this year’s combination of passage and inshore races along the west coast of Malaysia are going to find that there’s a lot more to chew on than a string of words.

‘The Raja Muda’ is Asia’s one-of-a-kind event, taking off on a 110nm coastal race from Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur) to Pulau Pangkor, then on to Penang where a day’s cans racing gets thrown into the mix before another passage race north to Langkawi and one last day’s inshore racing in the breathtaking environs of the archipelago that calls itself ‘The Jewel of Kedah’.

Passage races start around midday, so inevitably even the fastest boats finish in the small hours. For some it will be an overnighter – followed by scant time for recuperation before the next day’s start. The energy levels become heavily taxed after a couple of days of this, possible depleted further by the socials and prizegiving parties along the way, not to mention a Rickshaw Race Meeting in Penang for good measure. More than one weary competitor has been heard to ask 'what day is it?' as the week draws on, and experienced hands fully understand that this is a series of sprints that very quickly becomes a marathon.


Sailing conditions along the western seaboard of Malaysia are unpredictable, to say the least. Take your BuoyWeather, PredictWind and GRIB files and treat with extreme caution – or ignore. What we can confidently predict is that the weather will be hot, often wet, sometimes very wet, occasionally blowy and often light. Even the official met people, Weather Routers International have expressed some puzzlement at the patterns they have been observing, saying, 'it seems to come from all over the place.' Welcome to the world of the Raja Muda, where a quick eyeball up (and down) the race course on a regular schedule is as good an analysis system as any.

There will also be fishing nets – the closer inshore you sail, the higher the chance of becoming entangled – and on the run in to the Penang finish there are the shifting sands of the notorious Kra Bank with which to contend. Port tack, both eyes on the depth gauge, and go about as late as you dare in order to minimise the mileage around the top end of the bank. A navigator’s delight, or nightmare, depending on your idea of fun. The Raja Muda used to call itself ‘Asia’s Most Tactical Regatta’ and in terms of coastal navigation that’s probably a fair call.

This year the management have introduced a number of departures from the well-established running order. Tonight’s Opening Dinner will take place at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club, but the most part of the fleet is already moored at Pulau Indah Marina instead of in the less-than-idyllic Klang River. Tomorrow’s start line for the trip to Pangkor will be near the southern entrance to Port Klang, with the fleet leaving the Angsa Bank to starboard as they sail north. At the other end of the regatta, the fleet will finish the Penang-Langkawi Race near Rebak and then be accommodated in Telaga Harbour – a change of scenery from the previous location at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.


There are 36 names on the entry list. Five of the seven boats in Class 1 have been here before – Utarid (Royal Malaysian Navy), Foxy Lady VI (Bill Bremner), KukuKERchu (David Ross), EFG Bank Mandrake (Burns/Kinmonth), and the evergreen HiFi/Neil Pryde combo. First-timers are Sarab Jeet Singh’s Sydney 40, Windsikher, and an entirely unknown quantity in Takhovski Alexey’s straight-out-of-the-box Farr 400OD, Lero 3. This evening the KukuKERchus were claiming bragging rights for having a 1/3–ladies crew, but they have been challenged in the gender stakes by Simon Piff’s Rainbow Dream (see below). David Ross has brought in Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, recent winners of the Rolex Sailors of the Year Awards, to bolster the team. Watch this space.

Dr John Wardill’s Australian Maid (Class 2) has done the trip so many times that the boat does its own navigation. Having been beaten to the Jugra Cup by the Maid in the very last race last year, Antipodes (Geoff Hill) will be keen to make amends. Also in the Premier Cruising class is Peter Cremer’s new and very silky-looking Shahtoosh. Her predecessor was a winner of this division, so Cremers and crew have a reputation to maintain. Brian Pozzey’s Sailing Adventures was formerly Baby Tonga. Watch this space.

Class 3 comprises only three boats, but is sure to provide some entertainment. Jon Cray’s Sea Bass used to be La Samudra, and Gordon Ketelbey has changed the name of Ichiban to Fujin. They have both done the trip from Klang to Langkawi before, so roll the dice now, and watch this space. Only Brian de Vries’s Steele de Breeze is a Raja Muda virgin.

The bulk of the numbers come in classes 5, 6 and 7, and enthusiastic followers of the Raja Muda will see some familiar names ther (Eveline, Chantique, Rainbow Dream and last year’s C5 winner Lady Bubbly, among others). Peter Wilcox has brought his Mojo back to chase another Multihull title. Watch this space.

This afternoon it was strangely quiet down at the Pulau Indah Marina. Those well accustomed to lounging on the RSYC balcony and watching the frenetic preparations on the pontoons below might have wondered whether a change of departure venue has occasioned a change of pre-departure behaviour? There seemed to be nobody in last-minute-prep mode. PRO Jerry Rollin delivered his well-honed 'It’s all in the SIs' speech at the Skipper’s Briefing, and was answering questions in a fully fit manner (the answer is always the same – it’s all in the SIs). The members of the media (sometimes known as The Gentlemen of the Press) found that the internet connection at the Marina were better than at the hotel in which they were lodged. Peace and gentility prevailed. But watch this space.

And so back to the Royal Selangor Yacht Club for the Official Opening Party, a traditionally lavish affair attended by a plethora of VIPs and dignitaries, including Vice Admiral Ahmad Puzi of the Malaysia Maritim who cheerfully welcomed all competitors and presented them with memento plaques for their attendance. When the exotic dancers had dispersed themselves, the toasts drunk, and the ‘hello-agains’ had been said, it was time to for the fleet to get down to the serious business of readying for tomorrow. Watch this space.

Next year marks the 25th running of this remarkable event. It’s vintage stuff, but for now let’s concentrate on #24. First start, 1200hrs. Watch this space.

More info and results on the Raja Muda Selangor Int. Regatta at: http://www.rmsir.com

Southern Spars - 100Zhik Yachting 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

Groupama Race – Between the north and Nouméa
Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. The crew was very pleased about his race. The owner and skipper, Karl Kwok, compared the luxury and unspoilt landscapes from the East coast to Polynesia and the West coast to Cebu island in Philippines.
Posted on 28 Sep
68 yachts line up for the first two races of J70 World Championship
In the second race, conditions ranged from 18-25 knots with choppy seas which left more than one competitor on his side After three days of “non San Francisco” conditions over the wekend-85 degrees with sailors waiting around for wind while complaining of it being to hot in the parking lot-“San Francisco” came back. In the second race of the day, conditions ranged from 18-25 knots with choppy seas which left more than one competitor on his side with the gennaker up.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's view of Day 2
Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru captured these images of the always picturesque classics as they sailed in a light breeze
Posted on 28 Sep
Legendary Mitch Booth to compete in St-Barth Cata Cup 2016
Sixty teams have already confirmed they will be competing in the event. As a triple world champion, Booth is no stranger to the F18. For this edition, he will be joined by Andy Dinsdale, a regular on the waters around St Barth.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's images from Day 1
Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones, Nioulargue for the Modern yachts, Pampelonne for the Wallys and the bay for the 15 m JIs, racing in an even swell and glorious sunshine. Most of the Classic yachts are not due to set sail until the second day of racing. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on hand to capture the acti
Posted on 28 Sep
J-70 Worlds - San Francisco - Images from a fired up first day
Images and video of the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Videographer and photographer, John Navas was on the water on the Berkley Circle, San Francisco for the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Here's his view of the day in video and still images.
Posted on 28 Sep
Alcatel J/70 Worlds - Cut-throat competition on Day 1 in San Francisco
World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition, but when you stack 68 of the world’s most popular One Design boats on San Francisco Bay in a crisp, late-September breeze, you can bet your last shackle that the competition will be ferocious.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez France – Day 2 images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two
Posted on 27 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts - Images from Régates Royales - Final day
The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has concluded at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has concluded at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - there ws no racing due to the obvious lack of wind - but the images are still excellent.
Posted on 27 Sep
Team France Jeune selects its group for Red Bull Youth America's Cup
Franck Cammas and Jacques Cathelineau reveal the group of 14 youngsters who will now train together to prepare From 5 to 9 September, the city of Toulon played host to the second phase of the selection process launched by the Filière d’Excellence Team France (TF Excellence Network). After five days of events, Franck Cammas and Jacques Cathelineau (the French Sailing Federation’s Technical Director) reveal the group of 14 youngsters who will now train together to prepare
Posted on 27 Sep