Langkawi is all set to embrace a week of challenging races during the 12th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2014.
The 12th Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) is all set to be the first event of the year to kick off the Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign, a newly launched initiative by the Government to promote Malaysia as a preferred holiday destination. Sanctioned by the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) and ISAF, the RLIR will take place from Jan 13 to 18, 2014.
Forty-four yachts have registered to take part in the annual sailing regatta, which is part of the Asian Yachting Circuit. This year’s event will witness the return of Peter Ahern who will compete in his new yacht Oi!.He is the winner of the RLIR’s Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy from 2003 to 2005. Contenders for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy for the yachts in this year’s Racing Class are Jelik skippered by the Asian Yachting Circuit 2013 skipper Frank Pong; Lero 3 skippered by Alexey Takhovski and Katsu skippered by Ben Copley. S/Y Utarid and S/Y Uranus of the Malaysian Armed Forces are also vying for the coveted trophy.
Many yachts are returning to compete in this annual racing event at Langkawi. They are S/Y Eveline, skippered by Dato’ Richard Curtis, S/Y Smystery, S/Y Skybird, S/Y Chantique, S/Y Andaman Cabriolet Nina and S/Y My Toy. To promote youth sailing in keelboat race, the RLIR is also welcoming youth teams from Australia, Thailand and Malaysia which will compete in the Sports Boat Class.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia is proud to be a partner with the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC) to host this annual regatta. The Ministry is looking forward to working with the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club to ensure this regatta continues to be a popular annual event,” the Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia, Y.B. Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin said in his speech during the Opening Dinner of RLIR 2014.
The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Tourism Malaysia, and the Ministry of Youth & Sports have been supporting the RLIR since the regatta was started in 2003.
The RLIR 2014 Organising Chairperson Y.M. Tunku Soraya Dakhlah binti Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah said the regatta has reached yet another major milestone in the history of the club. “The regatta has surpassed the mark by attracting over 400 yachts and over 3,500 sailors to the island of Langkawi since the inaugural regatta in 2003,” she said in her welcoming speech.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Y.B. Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin presented the prizes to the winners of RLIR 2014 Day 1 Race, which was held earlier in the day.
The yachts will compete in eight classes — Racing, IRC 1, IRC 2, Sports Boat, Multihull, White Sail, Ocean Rover and Club Cruising Classes. Teams participating in the RLIR 2014 will be competing for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy (Racing Class), the RLYC Commodore’s Cup (Club Class Cruisers), the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy (IRC 1 Class), the Langkawi Sports Trophy (Sports Boat Class) and the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup (Multihull Class).
The Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award will be presented to the best team, both on water and land, in memory of the late Founding Chairman and the first Commodore of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club AlmarhumTunku Tan Sri AbdullahTuanku Abdullah. The RLIR was the brainchild of late Tunku Abdullah.
The RLIR 2014 also sees the return of BMW Group Malaysia as the Presenting Sponsor of the regatta, as part of their visions to build yachting activities in Malaysia. The partners and sponsors of the RLIR 2014 are the Ministry of Tourism and Culture & Tourism Malaysia, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, BMW Group Malaysia, Langkawi Development Authority, Guinness Anchor Berhad. It is also supported by Permanis Sandilands Berhad and Neil Pryde. The Media Partners of RLIR 2014 are SEA Yachting, SAIL-WORLD.com, YACHT Style, HOMME, IMAGE asia and Spectrum OUTDOOR Marketing.