LANGKAWI: Seasoned skipper Mohd Ishak Jab had to dig deep into his reserves to help Malaysian naval yacht Utarid stage a strong comeback on the second day of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta.
Utarid, who won the opening day’s race, slumped to a dismal sixth placing in yesterday’s second race, clocking 1’37:08. But Ishak skilfully steered them to a second placing in the third race, clocking 1’09:10.
Favourites HiFi of Hong Kong flexed their muscles to win both the races yesterday in 1’26:00 and 1’09:04 respectively.
Ishak admitted that the pressure of their opening day heroics “may have made my crew nervous”.
“We had a technical problem after our ropes got entangled … it affected our start. We panicked and wasted even more time,” said Ishak.
“Thankfully, we did much better in the third race. We stayed calm and managed to close in on HiFi before finishing second.
“I think the crew put too much pressure on themselves to do well after our glorious start on Tuesday. But all credit to them for showing good character to bounce back immediately in the third race.”
The mixed results on the second day of competition dropped Utarid to third spot in the Racing Class standings behind leaders HiFi and second-placed Hong Kong boat Jelik, who finished the two races in second and third places respectively.
“I believe we still have a good chance to win the competition as there are seven more races to go,” said the 37-year-old Ishak.
“We have some new members on board who, despite being good sailors, still lack experience.”
By K. RAJAN