It has been a good outing for local sailors who took part in the five-day Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) which came to an end Saturday.
In the sixth edition of the event, held at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, they managed to put up strong challenges to renowned competitors and some even captured podium positions in a number of categories.
Among them were Vincent Chan who led team Mata Hari that came out third in the International Racing Club category and Mohd Razali Mansor who skippered Navy 1 that won second place in the Sport Boat category.
Their achievements in the event that drew 36 teams from 14 countries, have lifted up the names of local sailors as serious challengers in future competitions.
It is a good sign for the development of the sport in Malaysia.
However, one has to admit that experience and equipment often play a major part in such competitions.
It was the lack of both elements that caused team Zuhal, captained by Lt Commander Malik Sulaiman, failing to be among the best three overall. Despite that, it was not a disappointment, said Malik.
It would only fire up the team to strive even harder, he added.
He said the race, in itself, enabled the participants to gain experience and the local sailers who were able to learn from it were the real winners because the event served the best platform for them and the future generations to gauge whether they were in the right path.
Helmsman Mohd Khairul Sharil was also satisfied with the achievement of his Navy Janda Baik team after being placed sixth overall in their international debut at RLIR 2008.
The race was won by defending champion Quantum Racing of Australia which was led by Ray Roberts. Team Jelik from Hong Kong was second while Hi Fi, also of Hong Kong, was third.