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Royal Langkawi 2014 – day 4 – There and Back Again

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 18 Jan 2014
Oi!, launched. Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014 Guy Nowell
Only yesterday we were suggesting that there should be more scenic courses in the Royal Langkawi International Regatta. Maybe RO Simon James reads this column, maybe he’s a mind reader, maybe he just thinks so too…

Blowing old boots down in Bass Harbour this morning, 20kts+ and even reports of 25 and more. The litter in the streets of Kuah was getting it on as well. The media boat experienced some ‘technical delays’ early in the day on account of the Chief Minister of Kedah paying a visit and needing a boat for his bodyguards, but that’s a long (and wet) story.

Club Class, the Ocean Rovers and the White Sail boats had only one race today – away down Bass Harbour, bear right at the bottom, and then reach and fetch all the way to a mark off Telaga Harbour and back again. It was a hugely enjoyable powered-up romp for most boats, although Elena (Club) was obliged to limp home with a damaged boom, opening the door for a first win by the Chinese entry Liannet. Sababa hit a rock and went home, and someone else broke their rudder cables.

You needed to be made of stern stuff to race a Platu today. It was hang-on-and-broach weather, but they were all out there. The RO wisely kept them inside Bass Harbour for two windward-leeward courses, but even so series leader ATM 1 suffered a broken rudder in the first race that may have dropped them out of contention altogether. Mohd Afendy and the MYA crew were quick to step up to the plate and take the lead in the division.

Racing and IRC classes started with a windward-leeward in the especially sparky conditions, with Jelik extracting every tenth out of the breeze and getting round every corner flawlessly. Oi! had the inclination but 24’ less on the waterline, and stormed in second. The Royal Malaysian Navy twins, chased each other round the course joined at the hip, finishing in third and fourth places separated by no more than a sneeze. Foxy Lady (IRC 1) recorded her seventh straight win in a row, and so did Phoenix (IRC 2).

After that, the racers bib all set off in hot pursuit of the cruisers on the way to Telaga. Once again, Jelik picked up her skirts and made the most of the distance legs. Right behind was Oi!, although Peter Ahern admitted later that they were never going to be able to stay with Jelik in the prevailing conditions. A small but satisfying (for the victors) change in the running order in IRC saw Red Kite take her first race off Foxy Lady by just 39 seconds after three hours of sailing. Phoenix (IRC 2) made it look easy again, by a factor of 11 mins.

If today’s weather follows through to tomorrow, this will surely have been the windiest RLIR on record. 'I’d like a nice quiet couple of sausage courses and a chance to keep a lid on Jelik,' said Peter Ahern tonight. If he wins tomorrow he will have resurrected the streak that saw him take home the Prime Minister’s Trophy from 2003 to 2005. Met forecast: more of the same. Hold on to your hats.

Short Results after 4 days’ racing (full results at

1 Oi! (11)
2 Jelik (15)
3 Uranus (20)

1 Foxy Lady VI (7)
2 Red Kite II (13)
3 Fujin (22)

1 Phoenix (7)
2 Skybird (14)
3 Orion Pacific (21)

1 Afterburner (7)
2 Nina (11)
3 Oasis (19)

Sportsboats (Platu)
1 MYA (12
2 RSYC (15)
3 ATM 1 (17)

Club Class
1 Elena (5)
2 Sababa 11)
3 Rascal (12)

Ocean Rover
1 Eveline (4)
2 My Toy (8)

White Sails
1 Smystery (8)
2 Chantique (11.5)
3 Virgo (12.5)

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