|Best Langkawi Regatta ever|
Great weather, great winds celebrate RILR's 12th sailing
Report compiled from the genius of Captain Marty Rijurkis
At the start line
In the IRC 1 Class, Anthony Root's Archambault 35 Red Kite II was leading the Asian Yachting Grand Prix (AYGP) pointscore, heading in to the RLIR closely followed by the Sorensen/Ketelbey/Brown Beneteau 44.7 Fujin, and Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6, which was on a four regatta winning streak and rapidly advancing up the AYGP rankings. The Russians on Aleksandr Trofimenko's First 40.7 First, Andrei Andrey's Young 11 Ruby Tuesday and Vincent Chan/Dr. Gerhard Pils Titan 36 BMW Yachtsport would present a formidable challenge for the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy.
In the IRC 2 Class, Niels Degenkolw's evergreen IOR 3/4 Ton Xyacht Phoenix was hoping for their fourth win in a row. Last year John Kara's Dehler 10.6m Skybird put up a good fight and ganged up with Fudo Yasuto's new Fortissimo X and fellow Japanese Tomoko Matsuzaki on the Sail in Asia Farr 1104 Farrgo Express, to try and put an end to Degenkolw's Phoenix winning streak.
Six one design Platu 25s competed for the Langkawi Sports Trophy. Two foreign teams took on a formidable lineup of Malaysian teams. From Australia, Max Perrins' Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and the Phuket Youth Sailing were up against the Royal Malaysian Navy which has won here before. The Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA), Abu Talib Abdullah Rahman's Putrajaya Sailing Club (Siput) and Kevin Yong's Royal Selangor Yacht Club (Setia West) are honing their skills for the revived Malaysian match racing circuit. Trophies would also be handed out for the under-25 age group.
Four contrasting Multihulls competed for the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup. Grenville Fordham's 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet Niña, which has won here twice before faced some stiff competition from Daniel Renno's Stealth 11.8 After Burner. After a few years absence Bob Mott returned with Oasis and along with James Harris Lagooon 410 Fleur d'Epice their heavy displacement could give them a run for their money in the handicap stakes.
A mixture of past winners and old favourites fronted up in the Club Cruiser, Ocean Rover and White Sail classes. They vied for the RLYC Commodore's Cup. Over the years Charles Hay's Jeanneau 45 Smystery, Gavin Welman's Hallberg-Rassy 53 Rascal, Kevan Perrins 13.10m Holman and Pye Rusalka and Adale's Oyster 55 Chantique skippered by Hakim A. Klunker have all won different classes here before. Down from Phuket Reinhard Haiber's Meridien 47 Pytheas Aura and James Wylie's Sun Odyssey 45.2 Carrioca had a chance if they can produce some consistency. Old favourites include Henning Lenz 10.36m My Toy, Datuk Richard Curtis' 100-year-old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline and Dato' Alex Nah's Hunter 49 Virgo.
A combination of harbour and outside courses was raced, including the 39 "Round the Island Race" over the five days of racing. The warm weather and clear waters surrounding the legendary and dutyfree islands were a feast to enjoy and to top it off the organizing team went to great lengths to plan daily, fun-filled prize giving parties to dance the night away.
On the Water
On the fourth day, there was no let up from Mother Nature, as uncharacteristically the 20-knot northeasterly tradewind whipped up white caps, on top of the waves in Bass Harbour. This created all sorts of problems, as it overpowered some boats into huge broaches, stretched the rigging to breaking point, shredded some sails and caused minor injuries to unsuspecting crew members. This has been the windiest regatta in the 12 years the RLIR has been running. To stem the monotony of windward/leeward courses, PRO Simon James sent the IRC classes on a passage race with long reaching legs to the south of Langkawi nearby Telaga Harbour and back.
On the last day there was more wind than most crews and their boats could handle. Gusting to 30 knots, the casualty rate soared on the spinnaker run, which resembled a demolition derby. Even seasoned professionals struggled to keep control of their yachts and as the retirement list rolled in; it included some of the biggest names on the Asian circuit. Second place on the first race on the last day for Ahern/Wilmer & Bailey's TP 52 Oi! was enough to seal the deal in the Racing Class and hold aloft the Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy for a fourth time. Despite winning the last six races in a row, Frank Pong's 75ft Jelik had a slow start and one retirement held them back in second place. The duel between the two Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47s, ended in Uranus skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor claiming 3rd spot and Ishak Jab on Utarid taking fourth.
By winning the first race on the last day Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 won 8 of the 10 races and took home the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy on their first attempt. This is also their fifth regatta victory on the trot. Despite putting up a good fight, Anthony Root's Archambault 35 Red Kite II couldn't match the pace of Foxy Lady 6 downwind with asymmetric spinnakers and had to settle on second place. For the second day running the Sorensen/Ketelbey/ Brown Beneteau 44.7Fujin had sail handling issues but did enough in the earlier races to hold onto third overall.
Niels Degenkolw's IOR 3/4 Ton Xyacht Phoenix won nine of the ten races and wrapped up the IRC 2 Class on the second last day. This was the fourth time Degenkolw's Phoenix has won an IRC Class trophy. Despite mixed results in the final races John Kara's Dehler 10.6m Skybird strung together seven second-place finishes in the earlier races to hold onto second overall. Brian Porter's Farr 1104 Orion Pacific (Farrgo Express) went up and down the table and ended in third place.
As the heavy going downwind, was taking its toll on the six one design Platu 25s, only one race was called on the last day to determine the overall Sportsboat winner. Defending champion Mohd. Masyuri ATM 1 rebounded after braking its rudder on the second last day to win the race but not enough points to regain the lead and settled in second overall. A conservative fourth place for Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy on Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) earned the Malaysian Olympic sailor the Langkawi Sports Trophy. Rounding the top mark in second place, Kevin Yong's Royal Selangor Yacht Club (Setia West) bravely hoisted the spinnaker and took over the lead until a massive broach put an end to their chances and they finished up in third overall.
By retiring from the final race, Daniel Renno's Stealth 12.6 After Burner opened the door for Grenville Fordham's 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet Niña to snatch victory. This resulted in the two catamarans being tied on 12 points, but by dropping today's retirement Renno's After Burner went on to claim the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup on their first attempt. Although Bob Mott's Oasis suffered equipment failure on the final day, they cling onto third place over James Harris Lagoon 410 Fleur d'Epice in the overall stakes.
The all Chinese crew on Liannet Technology's Liannet hammered home another Club Class victory but a slow start to the regatta left them in second overall. The overall leader, Vaycheslav Somov's Russian Beneteau 45 Elena broke their boom on the second last day but still finished in second place. As they had to race on the final day to secure the title, they once again sailed without the mainsail and still managed to score second place to take home the RLYC Commodore's Challenge Cup on their first attempt. After repairing the steering cables Kevan Perrin 13.10m Holman and Pye Rusalka was back on the water and by recording the same corrected time as Elena, shared second place points to secure third overall.
Reveling in the strong wind, Reinhard Haiber's Meridien 47 Pytheas Aura scored another win on the final day, but languished down in fourth overall. An accident on the mooring prevented Charles Hay's Jeanneau 45 Smystery from racing and the jury awarded them average points for the last race, so they still managed to secure the White Sail Class title. Adale's Oyster 55 Chantique, skippered by Hakim A. Klunker, comfortably held onto second overall. Slogging it out in heavy weather suits Dato' Alex Nah's under canvassed Hunter 49 Virgo to a tee and raised their game to secure third overall. Datuk Richard Curtis' 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline completed a fiverace whitewash against arch-rival Wulf Henning Lenz 10.36m My Toy to secure the Ocean Rover trophy for a second year in succession.
This year the Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award was awarded to James Harris Lagoon 410 Fleur d' Epice for their sportsmanship qualities and the determination they showed throughout the regatta. The winner was picked by nominations submitted by the participating skippers and crew each day throughout the regatta. While there is a standard criteria and list of qualities to be looked for by all participants, the winning team was picked on pure sportsmanship qualities, not on race results or management. Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 became the big mover and shaker in the Asian Yachting Grand Prix (AYGP) pointscore. Although Anthony Root's Archambault 35 Red Kite II still holds the lead, Bremner and Foxy Lady 6 closed to within 2.5 points, having only competed in three regattas as opposed to Root's four.
The Sorensen/Ketelbey/Brown Beneteau 44.7 Fujin dropped to third place in the rankings and Ahern/Wilmer & Bailey's TP 52 Oi! big performance tied them with Ray Roberts TP52 One Sails Racing for fourth place in the rankings. As we enter the second half of the 2013-14 season the race is now on to complete the six race/regatta quota and determine who is going to be crowned the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year. Although there was some carnage on the water, sailors love nothing more than kicking up their heels and thrashing around the race course. Mark January 12th to 17th 2015 down in the sailing calendar as a "must do event" and hopefully the wind gods will smile upon Langkawi once again.