It was a terrifying moment for Nor Afiqah Mohd Latif and Nurlyana Mohd Latif of Hobie 16 class when their boat flipped over on the third day of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2011. The duo of Hull 57 contacted the start boat on radio at 11.45am, calling frantically for help when the two girls failed to roll their boat back up during the first race.
The marine police responded to the distress call swiftly and saved the two sailors. Sirius 1935 of Ocean Rover class, which was the nearest boat to the Hull 57, also went to their rescue. Hull 57 was later towed back to the shore.
The sailors only managed one race today as the wind began to weaken after 1pm. But they had a fairly good start as they took on the coastal course, with some gentle breeze around 6 knots. The Race Committee raised the L flag at 1.45pm, asking the boats to head towards the harbour, hoping that there would be more wind for the next race there. Unfortunately, there was still no wind after waiting for close to one and a half hours. The sailors began to get tired and frustrated, as they would rather be getting some cool beer than waiting under the hot sun.
Principal Race Officer Mark Pryke decided at 3.38pm that there would be no more races today when the Race Committee raised the AP/A flag. Prior to that, Pryke called the boats of racing class on radio to ask if they wanted to go ashore or stay on the water for a possible second race. However, majority of them indicated that they wanted to go ashore.
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club general manager Ahmad Zailani Bashah said the Race Committee has decided to cancel tomorrow’s round-the-island race because the wind is unpredictable and might hold some boats on the other side of the island. He said the last day’s race would either be at the Kuah Harbour or the coastal.
When the sailors came ashore, the band was just setting up the music equipment for tonight’s party. What better way is there to end the day with a great party?
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By E. L. Tan