“….raise your sail one foot and you get 10 feet of wind.”
Day 5, the final day of yacht racing and the conclusion of the 12th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014 generated a bang-up, whirlwind of a finish to the most exhilarating and challenging Regatta yet. A day filled with edge-of-seat sailing, drama and daring that only a sport like International Yacht Racing can provide.
The PRO brought the fleet into Bass Harbor and proceeded down the harbor to a spot near the Wavemaster Ship Repair facility where he stopped to check wind and conditions. Well, Aeolus was howling today with 15 to 20 knots out of the ENE, but the PRO was leery of a windshift which could compromise his windward/leeward course and being diligent, he took the Start Boat on down the harbor to a better area near the Royal Malaysian Navy Base.
On the way down the harbor, word was received that a couple of sailors aboard FUJIN had slipped over the side and needed assistance getting back aboard in the extremely rough conditions. A mark boat was dispatched to render aid and the sailors were duly helped and FUJIN and her crew carried on. At about the same time AFTERBURNER reported some mechanical problems which rendered her DNS, (Did not start), for the first race.
Conditions appeared to be met at the second site and courses were laid and the AP flag, you’ll remember that the AP flag is the postponement flag; right? At any rate, the flag went down. Abruptly, 5 minutes later the AP flag went back up and the race sequence was stopped. The Start Boat was dragging its anchor and couldn’t hold the start line. The boat was re-anchored and a new start time was given; if the anchor held. Well, it didn’t. Another anchor, a 100 lb CQR, courtesy of JELIK, was being retrieved by a mark boat from shore, but the racing couldn’t wait. The PRO had the Start Boat maneuver in place while the start sequence was restarted
Racing Class was first away into the windy and choppy seas with JELIK taking the lead to the windward mark, 1.5 miles up the course and FUJIN led the IRC 1 boats up the course. IRC 2 and the Sports Boats started together and were on a slightly shorter course as FORTISSIMO and RSYC Setia West took the combined fleet to the course buoy, 0.8 miles to windward. A.CABRIOLET NINA was in front for the Multihulls who were on the same shortened course.
The PRO had grouped the Club Cruising, Ocean Rovers, and White Sail Classes together and sent them down the harbor on a triangle course. INDULGENCE took the line and ELENA crossed with just a headsail, no mainsail; you’ll remember that ELENA broke her boom yesterday, right?
Since the IRC2 fleet romped home so quickly on that short course led in by FAARGO EXPRESS and PHOENIX, the PRO did a quick turn around and sent them down the triangle course. The Start Boat had received the second anchor and was now firmly stuck in the mud, so the starting sequence was made easier.
IRC 1 returned with FOXY LADY VI in the lead and again, the PRO did a quick start dispatching them down the course as well. FOXY LADY VI, however, elected to retire and head for the bar(n). FUJIN had backstay problems and couldn’t finish the race so she had returned to the Marina as well.
When the Multihulls came sliding across the finish line with A. CABRIOLET NINA in front the decision was made not to have another race for them. AFTERBURNER had in fact repaired his problem, but A. CABRIOLET NINA had retired so the POR opted not to race.
Club Cruising, Ocean Rover and White Sail Classes were showing up on the finish line with ELENA the first yacht across the finish line, and she didn’t even have a mainsail! All three classes were given just the one race and were advised that “we’ll see you ashore”.
The Sport Boats were also given leave to return to shore as ATM 1 led the small fleet across the line. Conditions being what they were, the PRO dispatched a mark boat to follow them in case of any incidents. JELIK came planing across the finish line at great speed to lead the Racers back in Race Two and although JELIK has won a few races in this Regatta it may not have been fast enough. The IRC 1 yachts came back with RED KITE II in the lead for a change and they were sent home for the day along with the Racers.
PHOENIX brought the IRC 2 boys and girls home and that was the racing concluded for the 12th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014.
Gear failures, shredded sails, broken booms, sailors overboard, sailors injured, dignitaries, police, dragging anchors, great parties, music, despair, elation, extreme sailing and WIND; all this combined with exuberant participants and exceptional support makes for a magnificently challenging, exciting and successful Regatta; and we had it all!
This was, no doubt, the best and greatest Royal Langkawi International Regatta ever!
Let’s do it again next year!