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Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2019 – Penang to Langkawi

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia 22 Nov 2019 09:41 PST 16-23 November 2019
Islands ahead. Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2019 © Guy Nowell / RMSIR

Whenever possible, Sail-World Asia swaps out the camera boat. 700 horses shoving you towards Langkawi is quick and effective, but this last coastal race of the RMSIR nearly always turns up the breeze volume a little. 30kts of boat speed and 15kts of breeze with the seas forward of the beam means 45kts of salty water Malacca Straits water in the face, and the novelty wears off pretty quickly. However, on board the good ship Antipodes (prop: Geoffrey Hill) it is a pleasure. The long legs that come with a 72ft waterline are welcome on a 45nm race.

Plan the sail; sail the plan - unless your plan is rudely interrupted by a sea monster in the way or a typhoon somewhere down the track. We encountered no sea monsters, and typhoons are mercifully rare in this part of the world. “Right,” says Matt Humphreys, “we are starting in a (very) moderate sea breeze. We want to clear the start line, and then tack over and head to the right, towards the land. We anticipate a change in the afternoon with a new breeze coming off the land. That will allow us to tack back onto starboard and head for the finish.”

And so it was. Antipodes started in soft breeze, cleared the line, tacked onto port and headed for the islands. Boat speed was never less than five knots and never more than seven, with the course grazing the little spots of greenery that mark the right side of the course. Toasted sandwiches were of course the order of the day.

Team Hollywood and Windsikher were to seaward of us when the change came at about 1730h, and gained from being on the inside of the shift. The breeze freshened, the J1 was replaced with by the J2, up went the staysail – and now we were pointing straight at the finish line from 29nm out. 11kts and sometimes 12. A little over three hours. Actually, it was a 20.18.56 finish, making for an elapsed time of 5h 56m, one round of toasted sandwiches, and two mugs of coffee.

Many thanks to Geoff Hill and the crew of Antipodes for welcoming a extra bod on board. Here’s to the next time!

In other news…

“Going right” was the right way to go. The Yellowbrick tracker records almost every boat in the fleet making an big arc to the east and then curving in towards the finish. Class 1 was won by Rolf Heemskerk and the increasingly slippery crew of The Next Factor. Antipodes was relegated to second place in Class 2, thanks to a tenacious effort from Doug Collis’s Colie who just refused to stop chasing all the way. Finishing 1h 2m in front doesn’t cut the mustard when the opposition’s waterline is 18ft less than your own. Simon Piff and the Rainbow Dreamers surprised themselves (again) with another win in Class 3 – it must be the rubbish bin on the transom, so don’t move it.

The Royal Langkawi Yacht Club is a great place to end a race, with good food ready and waiting and copious quantities of cold beer on tap. Welcome to The Pearl of Kedah. The Raju Muda Selangor International Regatta 2019 has now reached its third state (Selangor, Penang, Kedah) and final destination. Remaining: two days of inshore racing.

Standing by on 72.

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