Hoist the Blue Peter

In preparation for the 12th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014 (RLIR), the fleet of racers, cruisers, multihulls and sport boats will venture on to the waters of Bass Harbor in Langkawi today to shake out sails, test sea and weather conditions and coordinate crew efforts in their pursuit of the coveted prizes and trophies offered during the 5 day Royal Langkawi International Regatta. Bass Harbour, notoriously fickle this time of year with gusty and ever changing zephyrs, requires constant trimming of sails and headings and the crews will do their utmost to get every knot of speed from their machines.  Today is the day to practice.

The Principal Race officer (PRO), Simon James, will also be out practicing with his Regatta Race Team, which for the most part are experienced yachtsmen but with little or no experience of Regattas.  These men and women, all volunteers, will be coached and trained by the PRO to perform those duties needed to keep the fleet sailing on a straight and even keel to the finish line. These folks will be busy laying brightly colored buoys to mark the courses, recording times and positions and generally ensuring the race proceeds as the PRO has laid it down. Today is the day to work out the glitches.

The Regatta Team ashore will be expending all their effort to ensure a speedy, courteous and precise registration for the visiting yachts while the Royal Malaysian Customs and Immigration will be on hand to welcome and clear-in those yachts arriving from foreign shores. This team, comprised of local volunteers and staff will be assigning berths, measuring sails, issuing equipment and providing all the information that the yachts require to conduct a fun and successful Regatta.

The Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC), the host of the Regatta, is already a frenzy of bustling activity in last minute efforts to make the multitude of sailors, race management personnel and guests who are about to descend upon the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, welcome, comfortable and well taken care of during the Regatta.

Wicky Sundram, the newly installed Regatta Director and Executive Director of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club has stated that he is very pleased with events thus far; the number of quality participants, the high level sponsors and the expertise of those concerned in organizing and making this Regatta happen. Wicky is looking forward to an exciting, action- packed and successful Regatta, and he hopes to enhance those prime elements necessary into a premier Regatta that “gives back” to the Regatta the same world-class results which this event produces. Toward this endeavor, he has pulled out all the stops to ensure this Regatta runs smoothly and efficiently and his enthusiasm and energy has inspired his staff and his Regatta Team to stage the best Regatta ever. Today is the day.

Tomorrow, the real fun begins with the first race of the12th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014 and the start of five exciting and action-filled days of full- on World Class International Yacht Racing.

“Don’t just sit there, sail something!”  Chery Fee.