Preparations are well under way for the sixth Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2008 (RLIR 2008) to be held from 5 -11th January 2008 at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC) in Kuah, Langkawi.
The RLIR 2008 will see a bigger and more exciting line up of yachts and to date, between
35 to 40 yachts have already registered or expressed interest in participation.
The regatta committee expects to see an exciting challenge in the Racing Class this year as 10 boats are expected to participate, with 6 having registered already. The IRC Class has received 6 confirmed participation while the Sport Boat Class is expected to see 8-10 entrants. In the Multihull Class, 4 Multihull and 1 Firefly have registered to date. As for the Club Class, the committee is optimistic that at least 6-8 boats will participate.
Among the yachts in the Racing Class are popular champions of previous RLIR regattas, Quantum Racing skippered by Ray Roberts and Yo! skippered by Peter Ahern.
There will also be a new entry in the Racing Class with the participation of Full Metal Jacket from Hong Kong. The yacht was manufactured for a ship owner in Hong Kong and is optimised for competition sailing in the IRC Class. Constructed out of carbon fibre by Salthouse Boatbuilders Ltd, it will set sail for Hong Kong after necessary tests in the Gulf of Auraki. The vessel will make its way to the RLIR 2008 after its maiden competition in the King’s Cup Regatta in Phuket, Thailand. Another new entry in the Racing Class for the RLIR 2008 is Janda Baik from DK Yachts Malacca.
The RLIR 2008 will see some minor changes in race courses as the race secretariat may introduce courses that involve participants going around an island in the Kuah harbour races.
RLYC Commodore Y.M. Tunku Dato’ Ya’acob bin Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah is confident that the changes will make the race more exciting for sailors racing in different classes as the new course will see participants taking up to 6 hours to finish the race.
“The RLIR 2008 promises to be highly competitive this year and good wind conditions have already been forecasted during the period of this regatta,” he said.
As for volunteers, the Race Management Personnel will make up volunteers from around the world. Many are from cruising communities around Langkawi while there are also those who are paying their own airfares to become volunteers. Local government agencies are also providing boats for the media, safety and rescue and for race committee usage.
In all, the RLIR 2008 promises to be a highly competitive and fun event for all. Situated in the northern, west coast of Malaysia, the warm, clear waters surrounding the legendary islands of Langkawi will offer sailors and cruising yachtsmen an exhausting but unique 5-day sailing experience.
Organised by the RLYC, the RLIR 2008 is the sixth regatta to be held by the RLYC consecutively since the inaugural event in 2003. Already part of the Asian Regatta Calendar, the event has for the last five years been drawing regular boats as well as new participants who actively race in regional yacht circuits.
The committee expects many yachts in all classes for the RLIR 2008 as the event has been organised to take place between the Phuket King’s Cup and the Singapore Straits Regatta.
Teams participating in the RLIR 2008 will compete for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy, which is open to internationally registered yachts, under the IRC Racing Class and the Commodore’s Challenge Cup, open to club-registered cruisers.
In addition to that, there are three other main trophies up for grabs. Participants of the IRC Class will compete for the “LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy” while participants in the Sports Boat Class will compete for the Langkawi Sports Trophy. Participants under the Multihulls category will compete for the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup.
Major sponsors for the event are BMW Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Tourism Malaysia and Langkawi Development Authority.
Other sponsors include the Langkawi Tourism Action Council, the Kedah State Government, CLINIQUE and Permanis Sdn Bhd.
For more information on the Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2008, kindly visit our website at www.langkawiregatta.com.