23rd Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2012 : Wind plays havoc with the fleet...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The lack of an established tradewind has forced sailors to rely on local conditions, which vary from meandering storms with some aggression, to little or no wind. The early morning breeze lasted long enough for PRO Jerry Rollin to get all the starts away on the 89nm Leg 2 Pangkor to Penang. A building storm cell covered the course as they exited Pangkor and provided some exciting moments as the fleet passed through it. Unfortunately on the other side, the wind abated making progress through a sloppy sea very slow and frustrating for the rest of the course. The longer you stay out at sea the more tide cycles have to be endured and many skippers chose anchoring before watching their hopes wash away in the current.

It seems that every boat had their share of glory at some stage in the race. The Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47 Utarid skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor looked set to nail the start line but got stage freight and bailed at the last moment, leaving the way clear for Ben Copley's new RP45 Katsu to lead off the line. The longer the boats stay out on the course, especially if they are stationery on anchor, and as time ticks by, the advantage goes to the boat with the lowest IRC rating. Although David Ross' Kerr 40 KukuKERchu crossed the finish line first in class, after IRC ratings are applied, they finished in the same order as Race 1, with David Fuller's chartered Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban claiming both races. Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake slotted into second place, leaving KukuKERchu and Utarid down in third and fourth places.

Being the biggest boat in the fleet, Geoff Hill's 72ft Antipodes is expected to take line honours but even they found the going very slow and many times not in their favour. Competing on his 20th regatta, Jon Wardill's evergreen Cassidy 55 Australian Maid showed a good turn of speed through the Pangkor storm and managed to eclipse Antipodes for the handicap honours, making it one win each. Dominic Liddell's chartered Beneteau F53 Baby Tonga is dragging the chain in the light air but consolidating with two 3rd places and ready to pounce when the conditions improve.

In the IRC 4 class, Jon Cray's Swan 42 Sea Bass produced some swan magic of their own, to turn the tables on Jeff Harris' J 92S Nijinski that did a horizon job on them from Pt Klang to Pangkor. Perhaps proving the heavier boats momentum can help in these light sloppy conditions, when lighter boats are tossed around like corks and spill wind from the sails. Both Simon Piff's Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dream and John Kara's Dehler 34 Skybird did not finish.

Late this afternoon Cruising Class 5 and 6 are still having a hard time finishing. Some boats are struggling to reach the second gate and as the cut off time expired, face a long motor to Straits Quay on the northern reaches of Penang. It will be some time before all the declarations are received and results calculated.

When we published Race Report 1 the Class 5 & 6 results for Pt Klang to Pangkor were not complete. We are happy to announce that Dato Alex Nah's Hunter 49 Virgo managed to take the daily double in Class 5 with Japan's Fuda Yasuto's Dehler 38 Fortissimo 8 correcting into second place. Nick Smith's Ericson 38 Free Wind snatched third place from Adale's Oyster 55 Chantique skippered by Hakim A. Klunker after a close duel to the finish.

In Class 6 Pt Klang to Pangkor - Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly was announced the winner and Jerry Lau's Bavaria 37 WYSIWYG II managed to tabulate into second spot. Barry Wickett's Slipper 42 KaySira with students from the Langkawi Sailing School claimed third place.

Although the Multihulls don't officially get started untill Penang, Andrew Stransky's defending champion Seven Seas 50 Fantasia and Peter Wilcox very sleek looking Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo joined in from Pangkor for some needy practice and get a feel of the conditions before they tackle the main bout.

The new Straits Quay complex In Penang with its excellent berthing, many food and beverage outlets is hosting the stopover and this afternoons entertainment is the famous RMSIR trishaw race.

Racing continues tomorrow when the entire fleet comes together for the Penang Inshore races, to be held in the vicinity of Batu Feringgi and spectators can get a good view from the many high rise condominiums and hotels built along the northern beaches.

By AsianYachting MultiMedia

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 November 2012 )