|Royal Langkawi International Regatta sails for 14th time|
The 14th Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) 2016 saw 37 boats compete in 8 classes with 12 of the boats being newcomers and 14 being locallyowned. Since the timing of the regatta was moved back a week in 2014 the RLIR has been the windiest regatta on the Asian circuit with sailors enjoying winds gusting up to 30 knots the 99-island Langkawi archipelago. Team Ulumulu (Troy Haw's boat with a Juan Kouyoumdjian design) with its young all- Malaysian crew skippered by local match-racing champion Jeremy Koo made a comeback after almost a decade and along with two other TP52s (Oi! & Millenium Racing) took on three maxi yachts—Philip Turner's Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive, Frank Pong's Dibley Custom 75 Jelik & Doug Pasnik's Andrews 70 Trader in the prestigious racing class.
The last day of the RLIR saw grey skies and no winds but the poor weather and light wind did not seem to damper the participants' spirits, even if they did not get to race on the last day.
"The Race Committee and I went out hiearly searching for winds around the island but everywhere we went we had very low amounts of wind, or little gusts that came through and disappeared. It became harder and harder to set a course and eventually at 1.00pm we had to cancel the race," said Simon James, Principal Race Officer.
He added, "This year is probably the most competitive regatta we've had in all classes with results coming out by seconds. The redevelopment of the club is phenomenal and it's going to be one of the best clubs in Asia."
In the four days of the regatta, the Racing, IRC-1, IRC-2 and Sports Boats Classes completed eight races; the Multihulls seven while the Club Cruisers, Ocean Rovers and White Sails had four races each as they all started together.
Alive's first time at the RLIR saw it capture the Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy for the Racing Class, Millenium Racing came second and Oi!, last year's winner, finished third. The young all-Malaysian crew of Team Ulumulu managed to slip into fourth, ahead of Jelik and Trader.
Five evenly matched "Flying Forties" made up the IRC 1 class, but when it was all raced and done five wins in a row for Mick Tilden's syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin earned them the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy on their third attempt. They can now add that to their impressive title list as they have won many of the regattas on the Asian Yachting Grand Prix and now sit first in the AYGP standings. The Royal Malaysian Navy DK47 Uranus skippered by Masyuri bin Rahmat came second and Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 Emagine (the refurbished Babe) finished third. Sergey Khramtsov & Evgenii Nikiforov's Cookson 12 Megazip placed fourth and John Cara's Insanity finished in last spot.
This year, the IRC-2 yachts competed for their own trophy – the RLIR IRC-2 Challenge Trophy – which was claimed by Vincent Chan's Titan 36 Mata Hari. RLIR regular X3/4 ton Mk2 Phoenix had to settle for second place ahead of newcomer's Greg Reynolds Farr 30 Foreign Affair.
Fourth place in this class saw a tie between Paul Baker/Liz Scoch's Farr 1104 Farrgo Ladies with Dad, & Neville Burdan's Kerr 32 ReKering Dream, which has won regattas from Ireland to Indonesia. Jeremy Camps Impala 28 OOD Old Pulteney Blue Angel, represented the Royal Selangor Yacht Club, who stage the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta, finished last.
"We won last year so it's good to retain the trophy but we were pushed to the wire by Phoenix and Foreign Affair. The first two races we were shocked by our 16 second and 20 second loss to Phoenix but we stepped it up to take four bullets although in the light winds we really had to work hard to keep our lead," said Mata Hari skipper Vincent Chan.
The one design Platu 25s Sports Boats class has always been an excellent training ground for Asian youth sailors. There was a tight battle with Koh Ling Ying's Singapore Management University and Rizal Mahadi Sazili's Royal Langkawi Yacht Club fighting it out and the leaderboard changed each day. In the end, SMU triumphed by one point to take home the Langkawi Sports Trophy. Heidi b Ahmad's ATM came third. Fourth went to the Phuket Youth Sailing Club, skipped by P. Meeyousamsen while GAPIMA/PNS came last, skipped by Rashidee Hj. Sheriff.
David Liddell's Stealth 14m WOW won the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup with a day to spare winning all but one race, which went to Bob McIntyre's brand new Stealth 13m Allegro. Grenville Fordham's 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet IMAGE Asia Niña, who won the class last year, placed third.
Fourth and last place in this class was Manta Blu, who won the Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award, which had Tunku Soraya Dakhlah on board. The award recognizes competitiveness, fair racing and comradeship, on water and land. It is presented annually in memory of the late Founding Chairman and the first Commodore of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC), Almarhum Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
The RLYC Commodore's Challenge Cup for the Club Cruisers stayed with the Kiwi sailmaker, based in Langkawi, Phil Auger whose Davidson 36 Sophia won every race while Chris Mitchell's Lady Bubbly placed second & Arne Hayn's Dehler 34 Delite came third and Bernard Di Tullio Amel 64 Indulgence placed fourth in the class. The 105-year-old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline beat defending champion Henning Lenz's 10.36m My Toy in three out of four races to take the 2-boat Ocean Rover title. Hakim Klunker's Oyster 55 Chantique made a clean sweep of the White Sail Class with Ramasamy Menon's Dehler 38 VG Offshore placing second & Gavin Welman's Hallberg-Rassy 53 Rascal coming third. Masako Izumi's Viva Layla & Lyu Rui Lin's 13.8m Amel Maramu Alakaluff rounded out the division in fourth and fifth, respectively.
The RLIR is the only regatta on the Asian circuit conducted from a marina, the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club and as Captain Marty says, "It's great to have walk on and off facilities, in close proximity to the racing area, which distinguishes this regatta from many others in Asia."
RLIR 2016 was grateful for the continued support of the Ministry of Youth & Sport Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia as well as its commercial sponsors and supporters.
The Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) 2016 is organized by the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC) and sanctioned by the ISAF and Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA), and supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia. The RLIR is part of the Asian Yachting Circuit.http://www.langkawiregatta.com