LANGKAWI, 14 January. – Race Day 3 of the 14th Royal Langkawi International Regatta moved outside of Kuah Harbour into ‘The Flats’ or Coastal Course – an area on the east coast of Langkawi where the sea runs heavier and the breeze is fresher with no restricting land or structures around.
This open sea area, with no depth or shoreline restrictions, affords the PRO some freedom to dive into his bag of tricks and come up with more diverse and challenging courses – Races 5 and 6 for the Racing, IRCs, Sportsboats and Multihulls, and Race 4 for the Club, Ocean Rovers and White Sails.
The breeze was out of the NNE around 8-10 knots and freshened on to 12-15 before it slackened off. The PRO set his windward course up on a bearing of 045 degrees and dropped the black buoy at 1.5 miles upwind and the red triangle at 0.8 of a mile. The Multihulls and Cruising classes were set on a geometric course, adding some variety to today’s yacht racing.
The Racing Class shot off up the course to the black buoy with Millenium Racing leading them out and Alive taking over to bring the fleet back after their three laps of the course.
The heavier seas and winds inevitably caused sail problems with Jelik experiencing the first mishap during a spinnaker take down on her first trip around the leeward buoy. A quick recovery put her back on course but she only managed a fourth placing. The Alive crew did not let their spinnaker hiccup hamper their second rounding of the leeward mark, and finished first again to top the day’s leader board. Last year’s Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy winner Oi! is currently in third place overall.
Uranus, the Malaysian Navy boat topped the IRC-1 Class after three days of racing but is tied with Fujin on overall points. Fujin had good starts and finished first in Race 5 but was overtaken by Uranus in Race 6.
Foreign Affair bounded across the start in front but Mata Hari crossed the finish line ahead of the fleet in both races of the day and retains her first place standing in the IRC-2 Class.
With Gapima NPS still out of the regatta due to damage sustained in their encounter with a mark buoy, only four Platus took to the waters. Team RLYC seemed to struggle despite their stellar performance on Tuesday, and this gave SMU a chance to beat them to the finish line and top the overall standings.
Allegro led the Multihulls out onto a longer and more diverse course than usual but was overtaken by WOW. Last year’s winner IMAGE asia Nina settled for third place while Manta Blu took fourth. WOW’s domination of the Multihull races takes them closer to the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup.
With only one race today, Sophia looks set to defend her title in the Club Class, while Chantique has a firm grip on White Sails, leaving My Toy and Eveline to battle it out in the Ocean Rovers Class.
Day 4 of the 14th RLIR 2016 will continue on Friday, 15 January.