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Royal Langkawi International Regatta - day 2 - the breeze 'outside'

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 17 Jan 2014
Eveline punches above her weight. Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014 Guy Nowell
At the RLIR the Race Officer gets a choice of race courses to play with. ‘Inside’ meaning inside Bass Harbour, where a northerly-easterly breeze funnels down the channel when there’s enough of it to climb over the hills, and ‘outside’ meaning on the east coast of Langkawi where the wind comes – depending on the season – from everywhere except northwest.

Today is was outside, and the breeze at 15kts plus all day from the northeast under sunny skies and over the top of a lumpy little chop that was a great deal more uncomfortable on the media boat that it would have been on any sensible sailing yacht thank you.

RO Simon James set a windward-leeward course for those that like to go up-and-down, and a big quadrilateral out to sea and round and back again for those that don’t, followed by an offshore geometric for the racing classes – the ones that like to race on rails. With all the dozens of pretty islands sprinkled around the Langkawi archipelago it beats me why they don’t get used as racing marks, but I’m not the RO.

Surprise pick of the day was the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Utarid knocked Peter Ahern’s Oi! off the top spot in the first race of the day. And in the second, longer, race Frank Pong and the Jelik tribe too both line and handicap honours, slightly spoiling Oi!s perfect three-from-three from yesterday. Foxy Lady VI made no mistakes, and added two more bullets to yesterday’s perfect score, as did Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix. We once asked a serial winner whether he got tired of winning all the time, and the answer was no. Silly question really.

The Platus had their hands full today. The MYA boat with Mohammed Afendy on the helm prevailed in the first race, followed ATM 1 in the second – also a Malaysian boat. Incidentally, the Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, put in an appearance this evening, and gave a press conference at which he was asked (among other things) whether he would be sending some Malaysian teams to the de facto Asian Platu champs, the Coronation Cup held at the Top of the Gulf Regatta in May. He was not to be drawn. But seriously chaps, why not face off against Asia’s best Platu fleet? Don’t be shy.

The 100 years old and still evergreen Eveline gets a mention today not only because owner Richard Curtis sailed her to another win today in Classic class (and nobody was more surprised than the owner), but because he later declared that 'I think I’ve got the people at the back under control, but that lot on the foredeck are beyond me.' Hmmm, probably true.

Back to that press conference. We all know how much politicians are apt to gild the lily and then dive for cover behind the nearest planter when questioned, but Minister Abu Bakar came out with a unusually strong statement this evening: 'We want the Royal Langkawi International Regatta to be come the most pre-eminent regatta in Asia, bigger and more prestigious than the Phuket King’s Cup.' Dear Minister, in that case I think you’re going to need a much bigger yacht club, and a great deal more after-party entertainment than Langkawi presently has to offer. One boat owner confided in me tonight that he’s not sailing with his #1 crew – 'they like going to Phuket, and they like the Top of the Gulf (Pattaya), but Langkawi is a bit quiet.' Are you listening, Minister?

Wind willing, tomorrow the fleet is going to be let loose on the Around the Island course. Bring on the breeze, and bring on the scenery – this is what we came for.

Short Results

1 Oi! 1, 1, 1, 2, 2 (7)
2 Uranus , 2, 2, 3, 4 (13)
3 Utarid 5, 3, 3, 1, 3 (15)
1 Foxy Lady VI 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 (5)
2 Red Kite II 2, 3, 2, 2, 2 (11)
3 Fujin 3, 2, 3, 5, 3 (15)
1 Phoenix 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 (5)
2 Skybird 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 (10)
3 Orion Pacific 4, 3, 3, 3, 3 (16)
1 ATM 2, 1, 1, 3, 1 (8)
2 MYA 1, 2, 3, 1, 4 (11)
3 RSYC 3, 3, 2, 2, 2 (12)
1 Afterburner 1, 1, 1 (3)
2 Nina 2, 2, 2 (6)
3 Oasis 3, 3, 3 (9)
1 Elena 1, 1, 1 (3)
2 Sababa 2, 2, 2 (6)
3 Rascal 4, 3, 5 (12)
Ocean Rover
1 Eveline 1, 1 (2)
2 My Toy 2, 2 (4)
White Sails
1 Smystery 1, 1, 2, 1 (5)
2 Chantique 2, 3, 1, 3 (9)
3 Virgo 4, 5, 3, 2 (14)

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