Royal Langkawi- Welcome to the Langkawi sports lottery...
by AsianYachting.com, photos Guy Nowell on 15 Jan 2011
Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2011 - IRC 1 start. Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
Skippers and crew have become all to familiar with the glass like conditions and the postponement flag onshore that they were a little hesitant to leave this morning. The only flag on the pole indicated that racing would be offshore. The Police start boat tied up along side further compounded their late departure and to their surprise, when they ventured onto the course there was wind and PRO Mark Pryke was hell bent on starting on time at 9:30. Fortunately the pin boat drifted half way through the first starting sequence and a short postponement was called which allowed the rest of the racing class yachts to reach the starting area. When the sequence resumed they continued through the classes and many boats were still caught well short of the line when their starting signal sounded. In view of the circumstances surely another 15 minute wait which we have become accustomed to would have made all the difference.
Race 5 for the racing class and Race 4 or 3 for all the other classes got underway in six knots of breeze and stayed fairly true for most the race making it pretty even for most the contestants that started on time. Ever since Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing entangled the anchor on the pin end boat during Race 3, they have been on fire posting two wins in a row and lead the pointscore by two points to put them inline to defend the title for the sixth time. Second place for Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi keeps them in the running and depending on how many races and their finishing places tomorrow will determine the eventual outcome. Frank Pong's 75ft Reichel Pugh Jelik III scored third place today but like the rest of the boats don't have a chance of toppling the leading duo. Tiffany Koo skippering the TP52 Jelik V holds onto third overall and on her present performance looks set to take the third podium place.
In the IRC 1 Class, all the top contestants were on time at the starting line. This time China's Rick Pointon's J130 Jing Jing claimed the handicap honours by a minute from Ben Copley's line honours winning Club Swan 42 Katsu. David Ross' nudged his Kerr 32 Kukukerchu into third place and in doing so provided the separation needed to drop Peter Wintle's defending champion Kerr 11.3 Koull Baby down the order and the title out of reach this year. The battle is on between Katsu and Jing Jing which is expected to go down to the wire.
Niels Degenkolw's defending champion Phoenix added another first and fastest to their tally which virtually puts the title out of reach for the rest of the IRC 2 fleet. Second place for John Kara's Dehler 10.6m Skybird lifts them up into second overall and very pleased with their performance so far. Third place today for Jean Rhealut's Souay 1 is a welcome relief as they have had difficulties in the light weather. After an up and down sort of regatta Jeremy Camps Peterson 10.7 Cabaret 6 holds onto third overall but will have to hang in there to secure the bronze medal.
The Sports Boat contestants were most effected by the starting time as several boats were still approaching the line when the start signal sounded. Thailand's Jaray Tipsuk on Mitrmitree made the most of the situation to win the race and go to the top of the pointscore. The combined RSYC/MYA Malaysian Yachting Association and Shaun Toh's Singapore Management University slotted into second and third respectively. Rolf Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint were most affected and started last plus recorded 'did not finish' that drops them from the top of the leader board down into second overall and can't afford any more mishaps if they are to revive their chances.
In the Under 25 class the combined RSYC/MYA Malaysian Yachting Association triumphed over Shaun Toh's Singapore Management University and Hamish Crossan's BBYC (New Zealand). The reverse finishing order presently share the podium places.
Grenville Fordham's 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet Niña have had all sorts of challenges thrown at them but have successfully fended them off to score four wins in a row and put themselves in an undefeatable position to defend the Multihull Class title. Friob Thomas 18m trimaran Spirit of Ireland, continues on its merry way to secure second overall. The royal yacht RLYC 17.38m Manta Blu, is built for comfort not speed and although they suffer in the light weather have a lot of fun in the process.
With the late arrival at the start line a complete separate start had to be organised for the Hobie 16 class. As the wind dropped off several boats did not finish and one boat was dismasted as the side stay parted company. Mohd Amirul Shahiz KSA 1 is still on top of the scoreboard with Norellasari MYA 3 lying in second and today's winner Mohd Shukri MYA 2 is in third overall.
The arbitrary nature of TCF handicap system has resulted in the Club Cruisers being juggled up and down the order each day. Today it was Kevan Perrins 13.10m Rusalka turn to post first place followed by Gavin Welman's Hallberg Rassy 53 Rascal and Charles Hay's 15.85m Smystery in third place. Despite scoring 'did not finish' today Thomas Frith's 12.6m Coruisk still holds onto first overall, Charles Hay's 15.85m Smystery in second and Morten Ringvold's Haffiman hangs onto third overall.
In the Ocean Rovers, James Morris 19m Sirius 1935 has pushed the envelope over the last few days and today earned the daily double by out sailing the other boats. Henning Lenz's 10.36m My Toy slotted into second place and Jelle C Mann's 13.10m Saipin was the only other yacht to finish. This result keeps Saipin on top of the scoreboard with My Toy in second and Sirius 1935 in third. As only one point separates the podium places everything is still open for the taking.
Racing finishes tomorrow. Once the race management team have viewed the conditions in the morning, the course decisions and how many races will be made.
Full results at: www.langkawiregatta.com
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