Royal Langkawi: The cream always rises to the top

Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2011 - Evolution Racing
LANGKAWI: After an hour’s delay the decision was made to race inside Bass Harbour. Which proved to be the right move as the wind picked up to 10 knots and lasted long enough for three races to be conducted and complete the original schedule of races. In most classes there were two or three yachts vying for the overall title and very keen to get on with the job. After the last few days the wind was a welcome relief and bought the event to a successful conclusion. All is forgiven!

Ray Roberts’ TP52 Evolution Racing started the day with a two point lead over Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi. A start line incident between the two boats had Neil Pryde hailing protest and saw Ray Roberts completing two 360-degree penalty turns, then setting off in last place to catch the fleet. He must of drawn the 'Get out of jail free' card as they managed to get back through the order and score second place behind the victorious Hi Fi. This narrowed their lead down to one point. The plan to keep going through the paces and producing good boat speed worked out in the end. Victory in Race 7 and second place in Race 8 sealed the deal for the defending champion to win the Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy for the sixth consecutive year. After some exceptionally close racing, Neil Pryde's Hi Fi missed out by one point and had to settle for second place. The Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns corinthian team on their Mills 51 EFG Bank Mandrake have excelled, and by consistently scoring minor places ended up in third overall.

In the IRC 1 Class, China's Rick Pointon's J/130 Jing Jing was caught over the line early which put an end to their title hopes. Peter Wintle's defending champion Kerr 11.3 Koull Baby won two races today to lift up to second overall. David Ross' Kerr 32 Kukukerchu finally got the breeze they need to win a race and two second places to take over third overall. Ben Copley's Club Swan 42 Katsu has consistently taken line honours and never finished worse than third to win the title that has eluded them over past years and take home the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy.

Niels Degenkolw's Phoenix has won six of the seven races and in doing so defended the IRC 2 title plus kept a clean sheet over two regattas. Three second places today for Jeremy Camps Peterson 10.7 Cabaret 6 elevates them to second overall. John Kara's Dehler 10.6m Skybird was slightly off the pace and dropped down to third overall.

After yesterday’s disappointment, Rolf Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint rebounded like true champions and with a 1, 2, 2 scoreline today, took back the overall lead and win the Langkawi Sports Trophy on their first attempt. Thailand's Jaray Tipsuk on Mitrmitree was the overnight leader but fifth, first and fourth places saw them knocked off the perch and relegated to second overall. Shaun Toh's Singapore Management University have stayed in the running and first place in the last race sees them take over third overall.

In the Under 25 class Shaun Toh's Singapore Management University have risen through the rankings to take the title from Hamish Crossan's BBYC (New Zealand). A bad day for the combined RSYC/MYA Malaysian Yachting Association has them relegated down the order but survive in third overall.

Seven wins in a row sees Grenville Fordham's defending champion Andaman Cabriolet Niña win the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup again. Friob Thomas’s 18m trimaran Spirit of Ireland, continued on their merry way to secure second overall. The ‘royal yacht’ RLYC 17.38m Manta Blu has ended up in third place in the three-boat class, but provided lots of enjoyment to the yacht club office bearers, sponsors and VIP guests in the process.

Three wins in a row for Mohd Shukri MYA 2 lifts them to the top of the pointscore and run away with the inaugural Hobie 16 class award. Mohd Amirul Shahiz KSA 1 drops down to second and Norellasari MYA 3 into third overall.

First and second places today for Charles Hay's 15.85m Smystery saw them lift the RLYC Commodore's Cup for the first time. Kevan Perrins 13.10m Rusalka slipped into second place after Thomas Frith's 12.6m Coruisk rapid drop down the order, but came to rest with the bronze medal.

Despite third and fourth places today, Jelle C Mann's 13.10m Saipin triumphs in the Ocean Rovers after scoring well in the earlier races. Henning Lenz's 10.36m My Toy has consistently scored second places to take out second overall. After being up and down on the score sheets James Morris’s 19m Sirius 1935 slots into third place. Two wins today for Datuk Richard Curtis' 100-year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline comes a bit late in proceedings to be make their mark, but enough to finish in fourth place.

A special Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award in memory of the Founding Chairman and first RLYC Commodore Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah went to DSP Tharamadurai and his team from the Royal Malaysian Marine Police for their excellent sportsmanship qualities and determination shown throughout the races. A job well done!

All the RLIR 2011 info is available at: http://www.langkawiregatta.com