Hurry wait and wait!!
It was as if you could hear Tom Petty bellowing “the waiting is the hardest part” as participants in the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta gathered in the Straits Quay off of Penang waiting for start of the Penang-Langkawi race.
PRO Simon James started the race from Penang’s first channel marker with two rolling starts; the first for classes 1-3 (nine boats), and the second for classes 4-6 (ten boats). James, aka “the Wind Whisperer”, was able to get the race underway as the wind gradually built from two knots while the yachts were drifting towards the eventual start line to ten knots when they were well underway.
Baking in the noon-day sun in the Straits Quay is no easy task and can be as draining as dealing with a big gust of wind but as seen in past regattas, good wind in the Penang harbour races the day before is not an indicator of good wind for the start of the Penang-Langkawi passage race.
The custom-built Yasooda made a shrewd move at the start veering right from the rest of the fleet crossing in front of the start boat. Hans Rahmann’s boat then parlayed this into a good sail northward towards Langkawi as it claimed line honours on the day with a time of 6:17:51.
The Raja Muda has always been known as true test of seamanship and Jason Corall who flew in from Penang to join the Yasooda crew in Penang agrees noting the passage races separate it from many of the other regional regattas, which tend to rely on windward leewards and short races, always returning to the same base.
After five races, the four-boat class one has Rolf Heemskerk’s The Next Factor (a Farr 40) in the lead with seven points taking second in the Penang-Langkawi passage race. Nick Burns’s Witchcraft (a Mills King 40) sits two points behind with its win today. The Malaysian Navy’s Uranus, skippered by Hanif Husain, solidified its hold on third spot with its third-place finish today. While Steve McConaghy’s Aftershock (a Davidson 55) sits in fourth spot with 19 points.
The two-boat class two (Premier IRC Cruising) saw Peter Cremers’ Shatoosh (a Warwick 75) beat Hans Rahmann’s Yasooda on corrected time for the fifth straight time despite Yasooda earning line honours.
Lee Yi Min’s Silhouette (a First 40.7) continues to impress as it has won every race in the three-boat class three (Sports IRC) so far. Steve Manning’s Red Rum One (an Archambault A4ORC) sits in second, having placed second in every race so far except for one third-place finish. Max Palleschi’s Prime Factor (a Farr 40) is third.
The three-boat class four (Sports non-IRC) has Chris Mitchell’s Lady Bubbly (a Naut 40) on top with seven points. Karan Khara’s Sitka (a Sun Odyssey 429) is second with nine points. And Sonny Soh’s Lady Elluanne (a Jeanneau 54) was back on the water today after missing the two Penang harbour races. It sits in is in third spot with 16 points. Lady Bubbly’s Chris Mitchell was back onboard after a dehydration scare in Penang.
The three-boat class five (Cruising non-IRC) is quite close heading into the Langkawi round-the-island race after Rama’s VG Offshore (a Dehler 38) win today. With 8 points, it sits one point behind Amir Zohri’s Dash (a Yamaha 36). Ken Yap’s Millennium 2 (a Hunter 326) sits in third with 15 points.
Class six has by Hasani Hassan’s Malaysian Navy Marikh (a Contesa 32) in first spot with six points, winning ever race in its class so far but one. The Royal Malaysian Police’s Penarik (a Catalina 30) sits in second with ten points and Shah Azlan Ramli’s Tofan (a Westerly Storm 33) is in third with 14 points. Dato Richard Curtis’ Eveline hasn’t sailed yet and will join the fleet in Langkawi.
Asp Azam is the security marshal for this regatta and his boats have had an ubiquitous presence on the course making it easier for regatta participants to avoid any unwelcome hazards and distractions.
And, lest we forget, a huge shout-out must go to regatta coordinator Norhamizah Amirudddin. Moving this regatta, all its participants their belongings, and all the equipment needed to keep the regatta running from Port Klang to Pangkor to Penang and finally Langkawi is no easy task and Miza and her team do a fabulous job with the logistics of this event.