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Raja Muda 2013 – race 2 – A classic south-of-Penang hole

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 19 Nov 2013
Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2013. Sea View Resort, Pangkor. Guy Nowell / RMSIR
With some crews evidently in recuperation mode after the previous evening’s prizegiving party, it rather looked as if the breeze had been at the bash as well. All starts were slightly delayed, and classes 5 and 6 had their start position moved out of the lee of Pulau Pangkor into the beginning of a breeze from 320? - precisely the direction of Penang.

Even so, it was a slow start. First Class 6 boat started a full 90 seconds after the gun (how do they do it?) and the last one had still not crossed when Class 5 went off five minutes later.

Classes 1-4 were a bit more sharpish, and those that went right and in towards Pangkor found a back eddy in the tide that lifted them the end of the island before they rounded the point and began the long beat to NNW. Neil Ankcorn’s Mat Salleh had additional problems starting, having spent the night in Pangkor Marina in a berth 'not deep enough for a rowing boat.' Stuck fast, they were obliged to wait for the rising tide, an almighty pull from 400 horses on the tail of the Pangkor Laut service boat, and then – a 9-knot tow in the direction of the start. 'We were only 15 minutes late, and then we worked like little furry animals until we caught and then passed the fleet.' Hard work was rewarded with a win in Class 4.

Simon Piff and the merry matelots on Rainbow Dream (Class 5) decided to cross the southern end of the Kra Bank instead of the top end near the Penang finish line. 'We got fed up with the depth alarm telling us that we were in shallow water every 20 seconds or so, so we switched it off. Did the Great Southern Route work? Well it might have at a different state of the tide (no, we didn’t go aground) but we still ended up last in the division, so maybe not.'

Sea Bass (Class 3) reported 'good solid breeze all the way' except for a hole guarding the finish line – the ‘classic south-of Penang hole that caught nearly everyone. The exception was Neil Pryde’s HiFi, who missed the hole completely and romped home to a Class 1 win, finishing a massive 3 ½ hours in front of the next boat home (KukuKERchu, David Ross) and 2 ½ ‘corrected’ hours ahead of second-placed Foxy Lady VI (Bill Bremner). The Foxys missed out on the current lift round the end of Pangkor, and then 'fought like badgers through the entire remaining 50+ nm and managed to claw back into position before we were all becalmed.' (It was that Penang hole again. If sailors need evidence that there is a vengeful God controlling the Universe, then surely windless holes parked in front of finish lines like a bunker guarding the third green are all the proof required). When the wind built once more, Foxy Lady squeezed past her Class 1 competitors to record a second second place from two races, putting them at the top of the table one point ahead of HiFi and Sarab Jeet Singh’s Windsikher.

Once again Geoff Hill’s Antipodes made full use of the available breeze and her 72’ waterline to power up for a rhumb line run. But after close racing with HiFi nearly all the way, she bloted her copybook with an unscheduled stop on the Kra Bank and watched HiFi sail away. Neverthe less the Antipodeans claimed Line Honours win and a Class 2 win for the second time. After the stoppage, the Antipodeans finished 40 minutes behind HiFi on the water, but 4h 8m ahead of the next Class 2 finisher, Australian Maid.

Crews will be doing some rather different racing later today – the traditional Penang Rickshaw Races. Inshore racing off Penang tomorrow. Watch this space.

Short results after two races:

Class 1
1. Foxy Lady VI. 2, 2 (4)
2. HiFi. 4, 1 (5)
3. Windsikher. 1, 4 (5)
Class 2
1. Antipodes. 1, 1 (2)
2. Australian Maid. 3, 2 (5)
3. Shahtoosh. 2, 4 (6)
Class 3
1. Fujin. 1, 1 (2)
2. Steel de Breeze 2, 2 (4)
3. Sea Bass. 3, 3 (6)
Class 4
1. Mat Salleh. 1, 1 (2)
2. Nijinsky. 2, 2 (4)
3. Skybird. 3, 3 (6)
Class 5
1. Lady Bubbly. 1, 1 (2)
2. Cibeles. 2, 3 (5)
3. Chantique. 4,2 (6)
Class 6 (no race 2 results at press time)
1. Kay Sira. 1 (1)
2. Sade 2. 2 (2)
3. Aeolus X. 3 (3)

Full results at

Mackay BoatsNebo 660x82 2RS Sailing BOTTOM