Taking Your Lumps

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The day was as expected for a Coastal Course race at the Royal Langkawi International Regatta; 10 to 12 knots of ENE breeze, a slight chop on a half meter sea running moderately out of the NE and the local attraction of the Kuala Kedah ferry barging through the race course every hour on the hour. Just a typical Langkawi International Regatta Coastal Course race, barring a few minor adjustments.

The first racing of the day started promptly at 0940 and JELIK, in a close start in racing class, took the lead to the black mark, 1.5 miles to windward of the Start Boat. As the racing fleet bashed their way through the chop and the sea, IRC-1 set off in an obviously lumpy start with FIRST setting the pace. The IRC-2 and Sport Boats were a combined start onto the same course with all three classes headed for the windward mark. The Racers did a three lap course, IRC-1 did a two lap course and IRC-2 and the Sport Boats were given a one lap course around the windward/leeward marks; a course popularly known as a "sausage".

The AP (postponement) flag was hoisted after the last start as the PRO wanted to reposition the start line for the next classes of yachts since they would be sailing different courses. The Multihulls and Club Cruising Class were going to race on one of the long Coastal Courses and the Ocean Rovers and White Sail Classes would be sailing a Coastal Course slightly longer..

As they got underway, AFTERBURNER smoked the rest of the Multi's at the start while LIANNET led the Club Class away up the long, bumpy course. SMYSTERY pipped the start line for the combined start of Ocean Rovers and White Sail Classes, and the race was on.

Due to the shorter course, it was not surprising to see PHOENIX (IRC-2) as the first boat to finish followed by the Sport Boat, MYA-UITM. And, in what was an exciting photo finish, FARRGO EXPRESS inched out SKYBIRD by a bowsprit cap for second place in IRC-2.

FOXY LADY IV romped home all alone to take the IRC-1 horn with FUJIN a distant second and JELIK brought the racing class back with Oi! following.

With IRC-2 and the Sport Boats quickly finishing the shorter course in the fresh breeze, the PRO decided to send them out again, However MYA-UITM, one of the Platu Sport Boats, had ripped his spinnaker in the first race and rather than send him out on the course without the sail, the PRO decided to have it sent to shore, repaired and brought back out. In the interim, IRC-2 was given a start for race two on a long coastal course with PHOENIX again leading the pack; this time through a swarm of police and media boats who had just chased JELIK down the track.

Meanwhile, AFTERBURNER must have had it on as he crossed the finish line far ahead of his competitors. When the rest of the Multihulls did arrive, the PRO gave them the rest of the day off and there was only one race for them today. Additionally, the White Sail Class had come over the horizon and CHANTIQUE nosed out SMYSTERY at the finish line for a win in their first race of the day.

Back at the Start line, the Racing Class was sent down the Coastal Course with JELIK in front and RED KITE II took charge of the IRC-1 boats, one of which was heard muttering "oops" in a distinctively Russian accent as he clipped the rear corner of the Start boat on his way past adding a nice big black streak to his bright color scheme.

The repaired spinnaker sail was delivered to MYA-UITM and with a 1200 start, the Sport Boats were sent down the 'sausage' on a two lap course. MYA-UITM, in the excitement of getting his sail back, was OCS, over the line at the start and had to go around. ATM 1 managed to take the horn and the win for the Sport Boats in race two.

When the White Sail Class were all across the finish line, the PRO offered them a shortened 'sausage' race where SMYSTERY nosed out CHANTIQUE at the start and managed to hold his lead to the finish line for the win in race two.

On the starboard side of the Start boat, the Club Cruisers were headed for the finish line after their long lumpy Coastal Course and SABABA finished ahead of the pack, handily, with ELENA second. The Club's were allowed to head for the bar where they joined the Multi's and the Ocean Rovers with only one race today. EVALINE and grabbed first for the Rovers with MY TOY a not surprising second.

There weren't many surprises in the second race for the Racing Class, IRC-1 and IRC-2; it looked like an emerging pattern. Racing Class had JELIK over the line first followed by Oi!; IRC-1 was FOXY LADY VI followed by FUJIN, and IRC-2 had PHOENIX taking the horn and FAARGO EXPRESS taking second.

It was an interesting day on the Coastal Course with many course changes, long lumpy courses, short lumpy courses and the boats a little more animated in the lumpy seas and fresh breeze and as satisfying as it was, everyone is looking forward to the next three days and the excitement and challenges that await them at the 12th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014.