Another perfect day for racing in Langkawi. Especially after Li Yang the press officer from Longtze described the sub zero temperatures being experienced in Qingdao and across China these days. She can’t believe that Malaysia’s tropical climate provides an all year round sailing destination that everyone can enjoy.
The yachts got away on schedule in 15 knots that peaked during the first race and started to fade from there on in through out the afternoon. This milder wind strength is responsible for some changes to the order and clearly states that the first day victors still have allot of work to do if they want to hold onto their places at the top of the overall class leader boards.
The tide swung in Ray Roberts DK 46 Quantum Racing favour by recording two handicap wins and going directly to the top of the leaderboard. Peter Ahern’s Farr 40 YO!2 stayed in contention with a second place in race three and Chris Meads Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket is steadily improving with a second place in race four. The starts can only be described as close encounters of the third kind but the very experienced racing skippers and crews can handle their boats with due respect of the rules and each other. Frank Pong’s 75ft R/P Jelik finished with two third places to be knocked of the top of the mantelpiece but it might only be temporary if the wind returns to the 15 – 20 knot level.
Changing fortunes amongst the top three boats received a added dimension when Antony Hastings Beneteau 53 Baby Tonga 99 Degrees East grabbed a first and fastest in race four by a mere five seconds. This should please the hard working crew that have suffered dreadfully by a lack of pointing ability with a roller furler jib in the stronger breezes. Right from the start of race three Keith Dunn’s Mount Gay 30 Lunchcutter II took a commanding lead and stormed around the track to score a handy win in a nick of time. Vincent Chan’s Titan 36 Matahari and Neils Degenkolw’s X 3/4 tonner Phoenix have battled it out around the course and shared the honours finishing with 2, 3 in race 3 and reversing the roles with 2, 4 in race 4. In the individual class score this puts Keith Dunn’s Lunchcutter II at the top of the IRC Premier Cruising and Neils Degenkolw’s Phoenix leading in IRC 1.
Pierre Mas helming the 6.8m Longtze-Premier put on a show of sailing finesse on the long upwind beat to secure a handicap victory over Scott Duncanson’s Phuket Sports 8 Raimon Land that won both races yesterday. With the breeze lightning up the square top Longtze mainsail is not so overpowered and can realize her full potential under sail instead of forcing her along. Thierry Barot had the Malaysian crew moving their weight around to induce some surfing action downwind which produced a third place in race three for Longtze Langkawi. Not to be outdone Scott Duncanson’s Raimon Land rebounded with first and fastest in race four but Pierre Mas nailed all the downwind angles to score second place for the smaller 6.8m Longtze-Premier. Mohd Razali’s Navy 1 is the best of the Platu 25’s and slotted into third spot in race 4 to put a wedge between the two Longtze sports. Teiki Ballian’s Thai International team lead the way in the under 25 youth class pointscore.
Racing multihull (Firefly)
Despite being dressed in tutu’s and donkey tails the mixed crew on Bill Phelps Twin Sharks managed a first and second place to lead the overall standings. Roger Kingdon’s Moto Inzi has been hot on there tails all regatta and finally over came them in race 4 to narrow in the scores making it an exciting series to come. Henry Kaye’s Mamba is slightly of the pace scoring consistent third places and may need a rig tweak to reach the winning performance they reached at the windy King’s Cup last month.
Bob Brindley’s 39ft Xcatriot blitzed the course and his opposition by up to an hour to secure two wins by a country mile. Bernd Nordemann’s 41ft Twin Magic is the only cat that could make any impression but had to settle on two second places. Ever consistent Greenville Fordham on the chartered 32ft IMAGE asia Ceberus lifted their game but after handicaps were applied finished with two third places.
Club Cruising Class
Only one race today for the Club Cruisers saw John Ramsden’s Elan 44 Sofa So Good back on track with first place and relegate Wulf-Henning Lenz comeback kids on his Roberts 34 My Toy to second place. Labbadi Gilles modest 36ft Eloise just scraped into third spot by sixteen seconds from Kevan Perrins fast finishing Rusalka.
After two days of harbour racing PRO Mark Pryke vows to take the fleet offshore for tomorrows racing. This will certainly produce another mixed bag of results and once again turn the pointscore table topsy turvy. Never the less if the wind is in, the rougher conditions will be a good test of the sailors skills and there racing machines over the final days of racing.