09:01:2013 Langkawi, Malaysia: Most the top racing boats in their class have signed on this year and raring to go. This regatta is firmly established on the Asian racing calendar and has the pleasure of kicking off the new year in grand style. The underlying aim has always been to provide competitive and enjoyable racing for all crews, irrespective of the design or vintage of their yacht. A ‘White Sails” class has been added this year, to attract more cruising boats that would not normally race but want to join in the competitive spirit and active social activities. Forty three boats divided into nine classes continue the tradition of attracting highly competitive racing yachts and sailors from all over the world, who will go under the starters orders tomorrow.
After their little hiccup yesterday, Neil Pryde and the Hi Fi crew were back on form to claim both handicap wins today and take over the lead in the Racing Class. As expected Frank Pong’s Reichel Pugh 75 Jelik, led the way but missed out by a few seconds after the IRC rating was applied and had to settle on second and third places. Probably why we noticed some crew carrying dive tanks down the jetty this afternoon. After their resounding win yesterday the Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47 Utarid skippered by Ishak bin Jab went left and found the soft spot and never recovered in the first race but rebounded from the mistake to slot into second place, only six seconds behind Pryde in the next race. Steve Manning’s Sydney GTS 43 Walawala 2 fought tooth and nail with the other Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47 Uranus skippered by Mohd Razali Mansur around the track to take third place in the first race and shared the spoils in the second race.
Once again Niels Degenkolw’s defending champion IOR 3/4 Ton Xyacht Phoenix, nailed the start line and led around the course to claim both IRC 1 races. Leaving Jeff Harris J92S Nijinsky in second place and scratching their head on how they are going to overcome the flight of the Phoenix. All third places for John Kara’s Dehler 10.6m Skybird followed suite in third overall.
Using all the skills obtained on the match racing circuit, Mohd Masyuri on ATM won all three races today to go to the top of the Sportsboat class. Three second places for Mohd. Faizal on MYA/KFC drops them to second overall after yesterdays win but still in the running for the title. Three third places for Calvin Lim’s Singapore Management University (SMU) lifts them to third overall and displaced Rizal Mahadi UFS Express down to fourth overall. Mohd. Faizal MYA/KFC still leads the Under 25 class followed by Calvin Lim’s Singapore Management University (SMU) and Alister Rankin’s Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.
Three wins in a row for Peter Wilcox’s Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo keeps them on the boil at the top of the Multihull Racing class. All second places for Andrew Stransky’s Seven Seas 50 Fantasia secures second spot but wondering how to make up the small time deficit needed to overcome Mojo. All third places for Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet Niña leaves them in third place.
In the Premier Multihull class, Malcolm Hone’s Prima Donna added another win to their tally and secured top spot on the pointscore. Second place for George Kettering’s Vertical Time cements second overall after Greg McMaster’s Ivory Street did not start.
Rob Azzopardi’s Beneteau Oceanis 423 Dreamtime continued on their winning ways with the daily double again today and lead the Bareboat Class, Second place for Wayne Bateman’s Marakot and third for Clive Manning’s Sunsail Rattana keeps them in the same order in the overall stakes.
As a result of a protest yesterday, Japan’s Yasuto Fuda Dehler 38 Fortissimo 8 was disqualified and hands over Race 1 victory to Kevin Gillow’s S&S 30 Poco. Today Henning Lenz 10.36m My Toy pulled a win out of the hat and added onto third place yesterday leads the Club Cruiser class. Third place for Kevin Gillow’s Poco has them tied on four points with My Toy and occupying second overall. Fuda’s Fortissimo 8rebounded with second place but leaves them down in fifth place. Once again Brent McInnes Beneteau First 53/F5 Overdrive claimed line honours but relegated to fourth place and after Race 1 being recalculated now rests in third overall.
Simon Morris’ Staysail Schooner Sirius were back in the marina and despite being forty minutes in front, when Datuk Richard Curtis’ 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline crossed the finish line, they had to surrender the handicap honours to Eveline by a mere 23 seconds. Much to the delight of the Eveline crew who struggled to cross the shortened finish line when they were within arms length for some time. Late for the start Tropical Charters/TC Gerrard’s Warisan Duyong painfully lugged the 50 ton yacht around the course only to retire after finishing and sit in third overall.
Once again Adale’s Oyster 55 Chantique skippered by Hakim A. Klunker got the better of Graham Tuckey’s Optoloi to lead the new White Sails class.
Racing continues tomorrow and judging by the weather report, the scheduled Round the Island Race will not be run. Instead a decision will be made in the morning whether outside or inside the harbour but more likely where ever the wind is.