Fickle winds hamper progress on Pangkor to Penang passage race
PRO Simon James let off the first warning signal at 11:55am for the 65km passage race from Pangkor to Penang with all yachts again using the same start line and classes 1, 2, 3 & 7 grouped together for the first start with classes 4, 5, & 6 in the second start, five minutes later. It had been drizzling in Pangkor all morning, but the rain abated just before noon, allowing the sailors to get away under clear skies.
Early good wind gave the impression that competitors might be able to make it to Penang to see the tail end of the England-Iran World Cup match, but the wind didn’t hold.
A wizened ancient mariner at the Lumet pier had warned, “Be aware of the fishing nets for if you snag one the wrath of Neptune will be upon you.” And, indeed, they are a problem, as the shallows at the Kra Bank tend to be the favourite fishing grounds for local fishermen, so a fishing net can creep up on you at any moment during the passage.
Results wise, once again, Sarab Jeet Singh guided Windsikher, his Welbourn 52, to line honours with an elapsed time of 10:39:14, winning the passage race. Ahmad Fakhrizan’s Malaysian Navy’s DK46 Uranus was second with Gordon Ketelby’s Farr 40 Ramrod third and Rolf Hermskerk’s another Farr 40, taking the final spot in the four-boat Racing IRC class.
About three hours into the race The Next Factor damaged their replacement main sail, but they were able to reef it and finish the race. Some of their crew took a Grab taxi back to Lumut from Penang to get their original main, which was being repaired there, so they would be ready for the inshore racing in Penang tomorrow.
The three-yacht Premier Cruising saw a repeat finish of passage race one with Hans Rahmann’s Judel Vrolik Yasooda taking top spot with an elapsed time of 13:10:54. Simon Piff’s Firstlight, a Beneteau First 50, was second, and YP Loke’s Eagle, a Hanse 588, placed third.
The five-boat Sports IRC class saw John Kara and his yacht Insanity take top spot with Dominic Liddell’s Venture, a Beneteau First, with the Raja Muda on board, claiming second. Steve Manning’s Red Rum One, an Archambault A40, was third, with two Farr 40s: Yi Lee Min’s Silhouette, and Max Palleschi’s Prime Factor, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Veteran campaigner & long-time RSYC member John Kara and his crew on Insanity noted that the winds, which tend to be favorable inshore during this stretch of the regatta, this time, were better offshore.
Cruising IRC has three yachts competing as Thomas Reckenfuss’ X-99 Born in Fire once again won the class with Pang Kim Ann Daniel’s Mystic River, a Hanse 400e, coming second. They were followed by Laurence Ruslecki’s Rainbow Dream, a Lavranos, which did not finish the race.
During the race, Mystic River broke its main halyard and damaged the top of their sail; they were able to fix it and continue racing. However, they restarted close to 3km down course from where they ran into trouble. The ruling is you can start your engine if you run into trouble but you can’t make any real progress forward.
Roger Wilson, the judge and arbitrator for this regatta, was ruling on the penalty as we went to print but the outcome won’t affect Mystic River’s second-place finish in the three-boat Cruising IRC class.
Roger’s daughter Pippa, by the way, won a gold medal and the MBE that comes with it at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, competing for Great Britain in the Yngling class.
Cruising Non-IRC had four boats competing. Rama’s VG Offshore, a Dehler 38, won again with M J Logaa S’s Recca, a Beneteau First 45.4 placing second and Dato Alex Nah’s Virgo, a Hunter 49 coming in third.
The fourth boat in the class Zulkifli Radzi’s Hannakin, a Moody 37.8, was the first casualty of the regatta as they did damage to their steering system and were not able to finish the first passage race. The boat was being repaired at the Pangkor Marina and while they missed the Pangkor-Penang race, they were hoping to rejoin the fleet in Penang.
The Classic non-IRC division had three yachts racing as Dato Richard Curtis’ Eveline, is yet to join the regatta but Shah Azlan’s Tofan, a Westerly Storm 33, sporting Mike Downard’s distinctive Sail in Asia light blue colours. did compete after missing the first passage race. They won this race with Mustakim Ros Saidi’s (Royal Malaysian Navy) Marikh, a Contessa 32 OD, coming second, and Ken Yap’s Millennium 2, a Hunter 326, coming third.
Regatta chairman Jeff Harris’s Serendipity is the only competitor racing in the Multihull OMR class.
The rickshaw races take place today at 5:30 at Staits Quay Marina boardwalk with two inshore races scheduled in the Penang Harbour area.