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Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2013 – HiFi High Fives

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 12 Jan 2013
Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2013. Happy HiFi crew with the Prime Minister’s Challenge Cup. Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
After ten years of trying, today Neil Pryde lifted the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy at the Royal Langkawi International Regatta for the first time. With a day to spare, HiFi went out and scored one last first place (just to prove a point) and then ducked the last race in favour of a trip back to the marina, the dockside trophy presentation (and maybe a cold beer).



The beer would have been well-earned – it was a bright hot day out on Bass Harbour, and RO Simon James sent away the first sequence in marginal breeze which, thankfully built all through the morning. Standard sausages for the racing classes, and thinly disguised windward-leewards for everyone else. Quite happy with lighter conditions than yesterday, HiFi cruised home to an easy win over Jelik by 1m 14s, thanked the Race Committee for their efforts, and cleared the course. In the second race the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Uranus eventually broke off a private engagement with her team mate and sistership Utarid to score her first bullet of the regatta. The real contest today was between Jelik and Walawala 2, separated by two points at start of business – they both scored a second and a fourth leaving the staus quo unchanged. Racing Class: 1. HiFi, 2. Jelik, 3. Walawala.



Nils Degenkolw’s Phoenix completed the whitewash in IRC by scoring her eighth consecutive first place, discarding a win and standing on 7 points after 8 races.



It was rather more interesting in the Ocean Rover class, where Dato Richard Curtis’s Eveline, counting no less than four skippers among her crew, and carrying enough ‘supplies’ to compete with the RLYC bar itself, needed a win today to claim the division. Second place behind Sirius 1935 would provide for a tie on points and the big schooner taking the title on countback. Eveline started substantially late, got her spinnaker sock stuck (twice) and looked to have thrown it all away. But the freshening breeze allowed her to o claw back to a mere 11-minute deficit on the water and a win by 9 mins on corrected time. In the process the media boat was treated to the sight of Eveline steaming past a Sunsail 41 to leeward on her last upwind leg, and then (after disentangling the sock for the second time) cruising past the same 41-footer under spinnaker. Very educational.

The Sportboats division, sailing in Platus, continued their gun’l-to-gun’l battle on the longer course signalled today. The racing was tight between the top four boats on all days, and today Mohd Rahmat’s ATM (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia) Team capped off a competitive series to win the class five points clear of the MYA/KFC ‘youth’ entry. A finger-lickin’-good effort.



It’s been a long hot five days with only a paucity of wind, but as we all know a decent breeze on the last day make up for a multitude of ills. RO Simon James managed to complete a full card of races for all classes, and was ably supported by an on-water team that seemed to get it all right. There have been no complaints about lost marks, misplaced buoys, dodgy courses or poor communication. It’s not easy to keep things rolling along when the racing conditions are substantially below par, but they managed it. Tick that box.

The RLYC was dealt a tricky hand when it came to class splits – something that seems to happen quite often in Asian regattas. There were seven entries in the Racing class and eight in Club Cruising, leaving all the other divisions as three- or four-boat races or (in one instance) just two. Forgive us for being old fashioned, but surely there is very little achievement in coming third in a division of three – and it’s certainly not worth a trophy. That sounds suspiciously like getting a prize for coming last.



Tonight the Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2013 will close with a Gala Dinner hosted by RLYC Commodore Y M Tunku Dato’ Ya’acob bin Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah, RLYC Vice Commodore Y T M Dato’ Seri DiRaja Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz binti Sultan Haji Adbul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, RLYC Rear Commodore Y M Tunku Soraya Dakhlah binti Tunku Tan Sri Addulla, and attended by Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr Mathahir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, and the Malaysian Tourist Minister Y B Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen. They don’t do things by halves around here. There will be speeches, prizes and awards, fireworks, and a goodly amount of congratulations. Final analysis is (and this comes from asking around) that over the last five days more than 300 sailors have had an A1 good time, and the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club has thrown some first class parties and made everyone more than hugely welcome. Long may the RLIR continue, and grow. Put it in the diary for next year.

Full results: www.langkawiregatta.com






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