Langkawi Harbour Day 1
After days of fickle and unpredictable weather, the sun and wind came out in full force to greet sailors on the second last day of the 32nd Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta.
It was five straight line honours in a row for Sarab Jeet Singh/Nick Burns’ Windsikher as it crossed the finish with an elapsed time of 2:08:14, beating Gordon Ketelby’s Ramrod and Ahmad Fakhrizan’s Malaysian Navy’s Uranus with Prime Factor having withdrawn from the regatta. Windsikher has a three-point lead heading into the final race so barring disaster they will win the Raja Muda Cup.
Hans Rahmann’s Yasooda took first place in the three-yacht Premier Cruising followed by Simon Piff’s Firstlight and YP Loke’s Eagle. Yasooda and Firstlight are tied in points going into the final day, so this class will go down to the wire for the honour of hoisting the Jugra Cup.
Once again, Dominic Liddell’s Venture with the Raja Muda on board took top spot in the five-boat Sports IRC class followed by John Kara’s Insanity, Steve Manning’s Red Rum One and Max Palleschi’s Prime Factor. Yi Lee Min’s Silhouette was unable to finish the race. The cagey Liddell has this class sewn up but Insanity and Red Rum One will fight it out for second spot on the podium tomorrow.
The three-boat Cruising IRC saw Thomas Reckenfuss’ Born in Fire win again with Laurence Ruslecki’s Rainbow Dream coming in second as Pang Kim Ann Daniel’s Mystic River was unable to finish the race today. Born in Fire has won this class with some excellent sailing but second and third overall are still in play for Rainbow Dream and Mystic River.
Cruising Non-IRC saw Rama’s VG Offshore edge out M J Logaa S’s Recca and they will finish one, two, in this class when all is sailed and done, Dato Alex Nah’s Virgo and Zulkifli Radzi’s Hannakin have dropped out of the regatta.
The Classic non-IRC division saw Mustakim Ros Saidi’s Royal Malaysian Navy yacht Marikh with Dato Richard Curtis’ gaff-rigged cutter Eveline joining the regatta for the first time finishing second. Shah Azlan’s Tofan placed third and Ken Yap’s Millennium 2 was fourth. Marikh has won this class but second and third will be decided tomorrow on how well Tofan and Millennium 2 perform.
Tengku Amir Shah, the Raja Muda of Selangor, is sailing in the regatta for the fourth time. In earlier regattas, he sailed on Baby Tonga, Scallywag and Fujin. We can’t say enough about the dignity he has shown throughout the regatta, endlessly posing for photographs and gracefully handing out trophies, while pulling his weight in Venture - a total class act throughout.
Also, a big shut out to two media personalities who have played a huge role in publicizing the regatta over the years. The late great Captain Marty Rijkuris spread the word of the Raja Muda far and wide through his Asian Yachting Grand Prix. And famed photographer Guy Nowell’s spectacular images captured the essence and action of the regatta as they traveled around the world.
Unsung photojournalist Chris Howarth is covering the regatta for Fragrant Harbour while traveling on VG Offshore and The Next Factor in the passage races. Chris is a veteran of many Asian regattas and his sharp prose and excellent photography have graced David Robinson’s fine publication for years.
Credit always goes to the sailors and organizing committee during an event like this, but we just can’t say enough about Miza and all the staff at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club who have put in a huge effort and did a lot of work to make sure this regatta could happen. The logistics of moving excess boat equipment and crew baggage up the coast is the biggest problem the committee faces each year.
The regatta ends with windward-leewards tomorrow in Bass Harbour and a gala dinner and prizegiving at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.