Clear blue skies, sunshine and 12 to 18 knots of steady breeze greeted sailors on Race Day 1 of the 13th Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) 2015.
First off were the Racing Class boats with Ahern/ Wilmer & Bailey’s TP 52 Oi! taking the lead to the windward mark, 1.5 miles upwind of the start boat. They were closely followed by the three Royal Malaysian Navy yachts, DK47 Utarid, Farr 520 Zuhrah and the Farr 520 Zuhal but Oi! proved too superior and stole the show with two wins.
In the IRC-1 Class, Island Fling was first over the start line, leading the other six yachts to the windward mark but it was Foxy Lady VI who won the first race, leaving Island Fling in the number two spot. Island Fling’s win in race 2 gave them the overall win for the day.
“It was enjoyable weather today. We had problems on the first race but the second race went well. We’re in a strong class with at least two other boats that are doing well but the plan is to stay ahead,” said Winkelman.
Vincent Chan’s Titan 36 Mata Hari dominated in her class, with clear wins in both races ahead of the other five IRC-2 yachts. Boasting a mix of some of Malaysia’s most experienced and junior sailors, the Mata Hari crew includes the nation’s top-ranked, Jeremy Koo.
“We had a good day and the crew worked well together despite having four members who were first-timers. It was rough conditions and we had to broach but we recovered enough in both races to win. We may have to sail a lot faster to stay ahead of the competition in our class but we did 9 knots downwind and close to 7 upwind today. If the conditions over the next week are like today we should do OK,” said Koo.
The seven Sports Boats were next off the start line with the Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA) yacht leading the way and finishing first in Race 1 but a snapped baby shroud took them out of the second race.
“It’s too bad but just as we crossed the finish line in the first race, the baby shroud snapped and so we couldn’t continue racing today. It just means we’ll have to work a lot harder to catch up over the next few days,” said skipper Nur Elia Anuar.
The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron who won Race 2 now tops the standings after two races with with Setia West in second place ahead of SMU.
In the Multihull Class, Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet Nina lead the pack down the first course of but next race went to 2 Fast For You, earning her the first place in the Multihull division on Day 1.
In the Club Cruising Class Charles Hay’s Jeanneau 45 Smystery took the 11 other yachts out on to the course on the first race, coming in third, but retired along with Rascal with sail related problems for the second race.
Sophia managed to race to the finish line first in the second race for first place honors for the Club Cruising Class while Bob McIntyre’s Baveria 42 Jelita of Langkawi took the top spot among the Ocean Rovers.
The RLIR 2015 will continue on 14 January with more exhilarating races for both participants and spectators. Race time is scheduled for 9.30am.