|Raja Muda sails for 26th time|
A competitive fleet of thirty-one yachts (28 started from Port Klang with 3 multihulls joining in from Penang) raced in the 26th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR), with seven classes competing in challenging, island-hopping event raced along the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Organized by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang, the regatta consisted of three overnight passage races, 260 miles in total, plus 3 days of harbour racing in Penang and Langkawi. Making it a total of eight days of racing and six prize-giving social events.
Everything from top-class IRC racers to classic 100-year-old cruisers had to cope with unpredictable weather, strong tidal currents and they must constantly be prepared to change their tactics to suite. After celebrating the silver anniversary last year, the regatta has stood the test of time and will always remain strong in the memories of all those who have competed in this unique and challenging event.
Both the winners of the recent China Coast Regatta (Ray Roberts TP52 Millenium Racing) and the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race (Steve Manning and Anthony Root's Ker 42 Black Baza), were pitted together in the RMSIR's IRC Class 1 and underwent further optimization in Singapore before proceeding onto Malaysia. Also, the Class 1 winner in Vietnam, Philip Turner's Reichel- Pugh 66 Alive is good in light wind and was expected to lead the way but may lack local knowledge on their first outing at the RMSIR.
Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II, has won here before under Neil Pryde's stewardship and fully intends to keep up their winning form. Returning for the umpteenth time, Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Sydney GTS 43 EFG Mandrake aim to add another silver cup to their bulging trophy cabinet.
Always in the running is the Royal Malaysian Navy DK 47 Uranus skippered by Norhafisam Ahmad having a grudge match with Troy Yaw's all Malaysian crew on TP52 Ulumulus skippered by Jeremy Koo. They are being billed as "The Great Malaysian Hope" aiming to be the second Malaysian team to ever win their own Raja Muda Cup.
Due to some late withdrawals, there was only two yachts in the Premier Cruising Class. Geoff Hill's Custom Smith 72 Antipodes was back to defend the title, and is very familiar with the course and often fickle weather conditions. After a series of mishaps on their debut last year, Andrew Cocks Simonis Voogd 56 Starlight was hoping for better luck and prepared to take the fight directly to Antipodes this year.
For the last two years, Gordon Ketelbey's syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin has cleaned up in the IRC 3 Class and aims to repeat. That doesn't mean there isn't any competition, as John Kara has traded up to a Beneteau First 45 Insanity in search of the elusive title and Chris Furness' Elan 410 Rikki Tikki Tavi is ready to exert some pressure. Stiffer competition also comes in the form of Craig Douglas big Beneteau 47 Popeye and Simon Piff's smaller Ker 32 Rekering Dream with a great winning pedigree around the world.
Whatever happens, the winner will require good performances in both passage and round the cans racing disciplines, as there is no drop race and a crew with an iron constitution to keep up with the pace, at the social engagements to succeed. In the IRC 4 Class, two Royal Selangor Yacht Club yachts are taking on Thailand's Pete Waa on the Farr 1104 Farrgo Express. RMSIR chairman Jeff Harris' J 92S Nijinski i s always tough and Jeremy Camps has upgraded to a Hunter Impala Old Pulteney Blue Angel. Although the local boats have sailed this course many times before, they need to be on top of their game, as Farrgo Express comes from the famous Farr 1104 stable.
Six yachts in the Cruising Class return to compete each year. Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly and Philip Auger's Davidson 35 Sophia have won here over the last two years. Rama's Dehler 34 V.G.Offshore and Dato Alex Nah's Hunter 49 Virgo have played bridesmaid on several occasions. Ken Yap's Hunter 326 Millennium 2 are due for a podium place. Up from Singapore, Leslie Sharpe's Moody 376 Southern Light has performed well at home and could spring a surprise. As the boats vary dramatically in design and performance, which will keep the arbitrary handicapper busy.
The grand ole dame of the Raja Muda Regatta, is Dato Richard Curtis' 100-year-old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline, skippered by Trevor Richards. They will fight it out with students from the Langkawi Sailing School on Barry Wickett's Slipper 42 Kay Sira, who are defending champions. Simon Read's Beneteau 350 Aeolus XC and Keith Miller's Harmony 38 Sade 2 fought over third and fourth places last year and aim to go one better this year. The Royal Malaysian Navy is back with Masyuri Rahamat skippering the aging Contesa 32 Marikh, which has won here in the early days.
Three multihulls started their series in earnest from Penang onwards. Danny and Nigel Moore's Bali designed and built 3Itch i s optimized and the centerboard has been strengthened, since their debut last year. Defending champion Rolf Heemskerk has chartered Alan Carwardine's Stealth 11.8m Hurricane again but will have to contend with David Liddell bigger Stealth 14m WOW and the improved 3Itch before taking the trophy home.
The Regatta Patron, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor, has continued to support the event both on and off the water. He enjoys meeting and greeting the competing sailors each year, as well as presenting the magnificent Raja Muda Cup in Langkawi, which he commissioned from Garrards of London in 1994.Captain Marty's Notebook
.Folding Sail (Xcess Communication)
Good wind conditions in the harbour races in Langkawi helped push the frontrunners in the 2015 Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR) ahead to win their respective classes.
Sarab Jeet Singh's Windsikher put on a strong show to take home the overall Class One title and coveted Raja Muda Cup while F. Kinmonth and N. Burns' EFG Mandrake and Ray Roberts' Millenium Racing finished second and third, respectively.
Despite being new to the RMSIR, Phillip Turner's Alive – skippered by Duncan Hine – has been speeding to the finish line in the passage races to claim line honours. However, the newcomer had to settle for fifth place overall after the handicap and harbour races. In Class Two, Geoff Hill's Antipodes retained its Class Two title and the Jugra Challenge Cup after its competitor, Andrew Cock's Starlight, had to retire when it ran aground during yesterday's harbour race. Antipodes won the Class Two title and the trophy for the first time last year.
Class Three saw Gordon Ketelbey's Fujin going home with the title and the Dato' Abdul Aziz Ismail Challenge Trophy once again leaving Craig Douglas' Popeye in second place and Simon Piff's ReKering Dream in third place. Sailescapes' Farrgo Express won the Class Four overall title and JCC RE Challenge Trophy, while Jeff Harris' Nijinsky and Jeremy Camps' Old Pulteney Blue Angel took second and third in the division.
Philip Auger's Sophia held on to the title and the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Cup in Class Five. Finishing in second place was Chris Mitchell's Lady Bubbly and in third, Ramasamy Menon's VG Offshore.
Meanwhile, The Class Six overall title and Eveline trophy went to Keith Miller's Sade 2 with Simon Read's Aeolus XC taking second place. Third place then went to Richard Curtis' Eveline, skippered by Trevor Richards. The Class Seven title and Westports Cup went to Alan Carwardine's Hurricane – skippered by Rolf Heemskerk – once again leaving David Liddell's Wow and Danny Moore's Three Itch in second and third.
More info and results at: www.rmsir.comFuture Regattas