Following on from the drenching at Pangkor crews managed to dry out and get ready to race to Penang... So they thought! Class 6 were given a start, but very soon it was obvious that any wind whisked up by the morning's downpour had dropped. So PRO Jerry abandoned that race and had everyone follow him to find some wind up north. A few miles up the track they found 8 to 10 knots to start with, then shortened the interval between class starts and all got away on a slow fine reach, in bumpy waters, be it 2 hours later than expected.
Despite the grey, gloomy conditions, the tempo has gone up a notch, as teams were eager to get away, the start line became crowded, with skippers jockeying for position. Only a few miles into the leg the breeze backed and faded away, then became a slow and tedious journey for the rest of the night and early morning. After the fast Race 1, this one turned frustrating and difficult to cope with for some. One navigator commented "This race is 10 miles shorter than Race 1, but turned out 10 hours longer to complete" summed up the situation.
Half way into the race, the classes had reestablished themselves into rough groupings, with the big boats back at the front of the pack. But as they all drift at the same speed and the elapsed time gets longer, the advantage turns in favour of the smaller boats, with lower IRC ratings to claim the podium placing's.
After a close tussle with Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes, this time it was Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II turn to claim line honours and the fastest elapsed time. But the sneaky Gordon Ketelbey's crew on his converted Farr 40 Ramrod won the start and stayed in contention throughout the race, to take IRC 1 victory. Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Sydney GTS 43 Mandrake III missed out on 1st place by 52 seconds but added onto their Race 1 victory, to lead in the overall standings. After all the hard work keeping the boat moving, onboard Singh's Windsikher II and beating Ramrod over the line by two hours, they are reduced to third place by a little over 10 minutes.
Similar situation in the Premier Cruising class. Dato Khalilur Rahman's DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Zakaria with a mixed crew, won the start and being a bit more quicker to respond in light weather, came through and claimed the handicap honours, for the second time and lead in the overall stakes. The Malaysian Armed Forces Farr 520 Zuhal skippered by Salleh Ahmad have trained in these waters and managed to take 2nd place, from Hill's Antipodes. by 15 minutes and relegate them to 3rd place.
All four yachts in the IRC 4 class finished within an hour of each other, in day light hours. At the halfway mark, Steve Manning / Paul OMalley's A 40 RC Red Rum, held a handy lead but was whittled away by RMSIR Chairman Jeff Harris' J 92S Nijinsky skippered by Alessandro Lodovelli, to claim the handicap victory. Leaving Manning's Red Rum in 2nd place and Race 1 winner Max Palleschi's IOR Farr 40 Prime Factor in 3rd place. This result evens up the score, with the top three contenders, all tied on 4 points.
There is nothing worse than drifting around all night and being becalmed within sight of the finish line the next day and knowing the big boats are moored up and crews are enjoying the delights of Penang.
In these situations the race committee have placed two imaginary gates along the course, where the Cruising and Classic Cruising skippers have to radio in their times, as they sail through these gates. In the event of not finishing within the 24 hour time limit, the results are calculated back, based on these gate times. Since the start, Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly and Tristram Denyer's Dufour 350 Iseulta have been at odds with each other, they managed to cross the finish line around 1230 hrs and within the cut off time, to be respectively awarded priority 1st and 2nd places. Realising they would run out of time, Rama's Dehler 34 V.G.Offshore could only manage the second gate and the final class results, will be based on these calculations.
The Royal Malaysian Armed Forces Contessa 32OD Marikh skippered by Mohd Hanif Husain, also managed to finish one hour before the cut off time and post their second win, to lead the Classic Cruising class. The remaining places will have to be decided from the gate times and skippers declaration forms.
The onshore activities go into full swing Tues afternoon, with rickshaw racing taking place around the Straits Quay Marina and celebrations afterwards.
Wednesday, weather permitting, the Penang Harbour, around the cans racing takes place and as this style of racing requires different skill sets, they could well produce another shakeup of the order.
Using the first two races for crew familiarisation and fine tuning, Meitatsu Fukumoto / Seng Huang Lee’s ORMA 60 SHK Scallywag FUKU skippered by David Witt, will be joined by Goran Andersson's all carbon Antrim 40 Angela, to get racing officially underway in the Multihull Class. Although both boats are trimaran's, they come from different ends of the size range and performance, but have been issued with OMR measurement certificates, that supposedly will even up the corrected times, at the end of the race.