RECOGNITlON... Azhar (left) receiving his Offshore Yachtmaster Certificate from Asian Yachtmaster Scheme examiner Captain Marty Rijkuris.
Busy days ahead for solo yachtsman Azhar
Langkawi Friday 13/08/99
Solo yachtsman Datuk Azhar Mansor
is expected to be busy in the days ahead.
Two days later, the sailor will race his Proton car at the new Sepang circuit in preparation for the Proton - Merdeka 300km Endurance race. Azhar, who is also a licensed race car driver, will participate in time trials and the race on Aug 29 as a driver with team USPD.
"Life must go on and I must keep going. I'm not going to sit down and rot - with the impression that I've done it!". "After all, there are more exciting things to come especially in the car race because I love speed" Azhar said.
Today the sailor was presented with a Certificate of Competency by the Asian Yachtmaster Scheme (AYS).
Azhar received recognition as an offshore yachtmaster which enables him to captain pleasure yachts overseas. The certificate was presented to him by AYS Yachtmaster examiner Captain Marty Rijkuris. Azhar said anyone in Malaysia could take his own boat to sea without any certificate of competency from a governing body. However, the maritime authorities abroad, he said, were very strict in ensuring that boat owners were trained and certified to handle their own vessels.
"Yachting is a language on its own. It is a different world completely. So, training and certification by a governing body should be in order here. The certification scheme is a good move but it will take some time for Malaysian authorities to review and make it a law for yachtsman"
Azhar's 'attempt to sail round the world covering over 21,600 nautical miles automatically qualifies him to receive the AYS Offshore Yachtmaster Certificate which is also the highest order in the scheme.
Apart from the certification, Azhar will negotiate with the Awana Porto Malai Resort management to maintain the Jalur Gemilang shorebase. "What we have at shore-base would explain part of the Jalur Gemilang challenge to the public. People can visit the shorebase to obtain more information about my voyage."
Azhar said the shorebase would complement the up-and-coming Lima '99 aerospace and maritime defense show. Jalur Gemilang, the RM2 million ocean racer is moored, alongside the Awana Porto Malai Resort's marina.
The sailor said he would discuss with the Government and sponsors of the yacht to determine its future. "Since I don't own the ocean racer, there will be discussions to make a collective decision on what we'll do with Jalur Gemilang."