4th Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2007
AY Race Report 4 & Summary

Sun sets on another Borneo Challenge...
The morning dawned with some threatening dark clouds on the horizon. Just as the speeches were completed the clouds opened up and everyone ran for cover. A brief spell followed before the boats preformed the final sail past and proceeded to the start line. Five to eight knots of sea breeze saw the fleet cleanly away on the last day of racing.

Jun Avecilla has developed a reputation for throwing away regattas by making little mistakes on the last day. This time he was determined to correct that fault and Jun's all Philippino crew put in a polished performance on Selma Star/Purpose Driven to win the final race by more than five minutes and also take home the overall Racing Class trophy on their first attempt. Sarawak Seahorse crewed by the Sarawak Sailing Association have been nipping on Jun's heels all week posting two wins and coming into the final race only one point behind. However it was just not meant to be and they finished second on the day and second overall. Kay Wilson's reigning champion Ambil Angin had a better day but have to relinquish the title after ending up in third overall.

John and Joy Marwood's Adams 52 Touche were well out in front of the entire fleet to take a run away win on the final race. As there is no drop race and being forced to retire with steering problems on the passage race Touche managed to climb up into third place overall. Despite its size Tim Wilson's 72ft Cordelia mixed it up with the smaller boats in all wind conditions to finish second today and second overall. Jacques Rossel's 50ft aluminum cutter Api Sel may have fell back to third place on the final race but did enough in the earlier races with a 1, 2, 1, scoreline to stand proud on the top of the podium. Credit must be given to his small Philippine wife Rose who was seen on many occasions struggling to grind the winches while the skipper helmed the boat.

Michael Tan's Hood 38 Star of Siam jumped back into contention with two firsts in a row on the final races but fifth place on the passage race places them in second place overall. With a 1, 3, 2, 2 scoreline French solo sailor Labbadi Gilles on his Beneteau First 38 Eloise second place on the final race is just enough to keep him at the top of the podium. By finishing fourth today Kiwi David Foulkes on his Hunter 430 Pemburu Laut ended up in third overall despite Aussie Jon Choate's Hans Christian 43 Tweed finishing in front of them in third place today.

Altough Joe Kayorie and Janet Pinder's Warwick CT 38 Tegan I added another win today onto their passage race victory, two third places leaves them in second overall. Second place today for Kiwi Bryson Richards 55ft Motor Sailor Lady Emma puts them one point in front of Tegan I and gives them the overall title by the slimmest of margins. Third place for Ian Glover & Robyn Boyle's Moonwind 32 Reeflections II slips them to third overall and considered a gallant effort as they are the smallest boat and being made of steel possibly the slowest boat competing here. After comparing all the cruising class boats individual race times Bryson Richards Lady Emma also picks the Overall Cruising prize for the best performing cruising boat during the regatta.

Rolf Fischer's catamaran Yelo got the better of Aussie Peter Salkowski's Zosha for the second day in succession. Having just joined in Miri Yelo is mathematically out of the running for the overall title despite their good showing which leaves Peter Salkowski's Zosha taking the top of the podium in the multihull class.

Summary - It's all happening in Borneo
In his welcoming speech the Chief Minister of Sarawak Pehin Sri Dr. Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud stressed that visitors should come and see the region's splendid natural wonders and cultural attractions while they still exist. Very few places in the world are blessed with so much of natures beauty and the Sarawak Tourism Board especially the City of Miri are very proud to host a number of International events to promote the regions unique attributes. The co-operation between various sectors of the community and the Labuan and Sarawak Authorities contributes significantly to Malaysia's national integration process.

With marina's being built in Bintalu and the state capital Kuching over the next few years they are expecting to garner further marine tourism pursuits and have the region included onto the worlds cruising routes. Plans are well underway to include a Brunei stop over into the Borneo Challenge next year and try a feeder race the week before from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to Labuan in time to join the event. They are certainly very enthusiastic in opening up the region and if my humble opinion holds any weight, the last cruising area to open in the world could in fact become the best...

For more information and full results goto: http://www.borneorace.com


4th Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2007
AY Race Report 3

Fun and games on Miri Bay...
How many times have we seen it before? Strong wind and waves rolling onto the beach on the layday. You should of been here yesterday! Fortunately Deputy Chief Minister YB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam flagging off and welcoming ceremony was delayed which pushed back the starting time and gave the afternoon sea breeze time to develop. The yachts milled around for a further hour before racing got underway. The en mass cruising class start became a bit of a dodgem car event with a few early starters and Hans Berekoven's huge steel ketch attempting a slow port tack start in the middle of the line causing a traffic jam at both ends.

Sarawak Seahorse skippered by Grant Bartlett has been quick out of the box and stayed on the pace to win race four by a mere 22 seconds. A sixty degree wind shift late in the race may also be the reason why Jun Avecilla's Selma Star/Purpose Driven which was streaks ahead had to settle on second place. Kay Wilson's reigning champion Ambil Angin was clearly off the pace and having difficulties with hoisting the genoa and dousing the spinnaker to end up with two third places. After the course was relayed the roles were reversed in race 5 with Jun Avecilla's Selma Star convincingly beating Sarawak Seahorse to hold a one point lead over them with one race to go.

Despite getting caught in the start line traffic jam Jacques Rossel's 50ft aluminum cutter Api Sel managed to excel on the four reaching legs and get back through the pack to score a second win and go to the top of the overall leaderboard in Cruising Class A. After conducting repairs overnight on the steering system John and Joy Marwood were back out again on the Adams 52 Touche and to their relief scored second place. Peter Colquhoun's Bondi Tram has steadily improved throughout the event and a third place today puts them in third overall. Tim Wilson stated earlier that his M&W 72 Cordelia would not move in light winds but has proved to the contrary and is holding second place overall despite fourth place today.

A battle royal has been looming in the Cruising Class B. Michael Tan's Hood 38 Star of Siam was back on the pace to record a win by 23 seconds and claw back to second overall. French solo sailor Labbadi Gilles on his Beneteau First 38 Eloise finished up second but by consistently finishing in the podium places sees him becoming the overall leader. Aussie Jon Choate's Hans Christian 43 Tweed claimed third spot and despite Kiwi David Foulkes Hunter 430 Pemburu Laut finishing fourth they hold onto third overall by the slimmest of margins. With seven boats in the class anything can happen on the final race to turn the tables up side down.

Surprisingly Kiwi Bryson Richards 55ft Motor Sailor Lady Emma continues to dominate Cruising Class C on the short courses recording their second win of the regatta. Ian Glover & Robyn Boyle's Moonwind 32 Reeflections II is the smallest boat here and being made of steel possibly the slowest but sheer persistence has paid off with a second place to put them third overall of the seven boats in the class. Joe Kayorie and Janet Pinder's Canadian registered Warwick CT 38 Tegan I has continued to score podium places and a third place has elevated them to second overall with one more race to go.

Being the only multihull entered Aussie Peter Salkowski's catamaran Zosha has had it all his own way so far. That is, until Rolf Fischer entered Yelo for the remaining races in Miri and although similar in size managed to get the better of Zosha on their first meeting.

One more race day with one remaining race to complete this years regatta. Some classes are very close and others are already decided but rest assured the fun and games plus the camaraderie shown amongst these cruising folk will be remembered and talked about for years to come.

For more information and full results goto: http://www.borneorace.com


4th Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2007
AY Race Report 2

110nm Labuan to Miri Race is the challenge...
Racing got underway on time in Labuan Harbour with a light South Westerly forcing the boats to sail upwind for the first few miles to clear the harbour entrance. Expected to pick up in the afternoon and swing more to the west to provide close reaching conditions as they traverse along the coast of Brunei. Navigating through the minefield of offshore oil platforms and changing winds during the night and early morning will test the skippers and crews stamina. Each year the big question is should they take the inshore or offshore route? Last year the boats inshore were rewarded by receiving the morning land breeze up to two hours before the boats offshore. Around midnight a raging storm was experienced in Labuan that certainly would off affected the racers down the coast. So how did they fare?

The three racing class boats jockeyed around the start line and obviously were keen to put on a good showing. Sarawak Seahorse skippered by Grant Bartlett hit the line first, closely followed by Jun Avecilla's Selma Star/Purpose Driven that quickly took over the lead as they exited the harbour. The sea breeze continued to strengthen as the storm clouds were brewing over the Brunei coast. Just before midnight the leading boats in the fleet received gusts up to 20-25 knots as the clouds opened up and gave everyone a good dousing. Although the storm came from the land the wind continued to blow from the sea. A very wet night was then experienced for the rest of the race. Jun Avecilla's Beneteau 36.7 Selma Star was first to finish at 6:42 in the morning and in doing so took out the daily double of line and handicap honours. This is a far cry from Troy Yaw's record breaking run in 2005 on Ulumulu that completed the entire course in under 13 hours with an average speed slightly over 8 1/2 knots that would appear to be safe for many years to come. The boats that sailed the inshore route suffered from a lack of wind while they could only watch on as the lightning and rain obviously propelled the boats offshore. Kay Wilson's reigning champion Ambil Angin finished over eight hours latter to take second place and the weary crew on Sarawak Seahorse in third after over 30 hours on the water.

In an effort to have all boats finished in time the Cruising Classes are allowed to motor and declare their times which are then factored into there elapsed time. Also in the interests of fairness a boat that motors less than 20% of their elapsed time will be awarded places in front of yachts that motor more than 20% of there elapsed time. If you think that sounds complicated? Well, what do you do when a boat breaks down and two boats in different classes go to there aid and take the distressed boat in tow on separate occasions and are seeking redress? That's why we have an International jury headed by former America's Cup Chairman Graham Owens to sort it all out.

The big boats in Cruising Class A reveled in the strong winds with Tim Wilson's M&W 72 Cordelia from Australia being the second boat to finish about an hour after Purpose Driven. Although John and Joy Marwood's Adams 52 Touche is provisionally placed second they are the boat with broken steering gear and were taken under tow that the jury will be deciding on. Race one winner Jacques Rossel's 50ft aluminium cutter Api Sel is provisionally third and sailing well despite being two handed.

Neil & Ley Langford's Ganley Stratos 50 Crystal Blues are back for another year and the experience gained last time may of helped them to score first place in Cruising Class B. Sailing solo and scoring second place Frenchman Labbadi Gilles on his Beneteau First 38 Eloise added onto their first place in race one sees them take the overall lead in the class. Kiwi David Foulkes Hunter 430 Pemburu Laut managed to stay in the wind to claim a respectable third place.

Joe Kayorie and Janet Pinder are over the moon after their Canadian registered Warwick CT 38 Tegan I scored a clear win to take the overall lead in Cruising Class C. All the way from France Sebastian Frantz's Nivelt QM11.20 Mandragore found it difficult at times but still managed second place. Kiwi Bryson Richards 55ft Motor Sailor Lady Emma struggled through the light patches but assisted with over seven hours of motoring corrected out in third place.

Aussie Peter Salkowski's catamaran Zosha may have been lonely as the only multihull here but another similar cat will be joining for the remaining two days of racing in Miri. Two more monohull's have also signed up bringing the total to 23.

The big boats will be joined by a swag of dinghy sailors on Optimists, Lasers, 420 and 470 dinghy's from the Piasau Boat Club competing on a separate four day event held in front of the Miri Marina.

For more information and full results goto: http://www.borneorace.com


4th Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2007
AY Race Report 1

Flagged - Off, in the regal sense...
As the Chairman of the Labuan Corporation YB Dato' Hj. Suhaili Abdul Rahman officially flagged off the fleet, the wind picked up and the stage was set for the opening race of this years Borneo Int. Yachting Challenge. The three IRC racing yachts were first to start and as they progressed up the windward beat the breeze swung thirty degrees from under a dark cloud that was hovering around all morning. This certainly gave the three cruising classes that were starting together something to think about. As most these boats have never raced before or for many years, it became a matter of being in the right place at the right time during the short windward beat. It took a while for the breeze to cover the course but this may of been a blessing as the cobwebs had to be removed before the spinnaker socks were hoisted and kites filled with wind. The incoming current assisted the yachts as they headed off on a long downwind leg.

Meanwhile the racers enjoyed the fresh breeze in their racing area which remained in for the rest of the day. Jun Avecilla's Beneteau 36.7 Selma Star/Purpose Driven found the sweet spot and scored first and fastest in race one. The Sarawak Sailing Association put in a big effort on their Beneteau 32s5 Sarawak Seahorse to finish in front of Kay Wilson's higher rated S&S 36 Ambil Angin.

The course was quickly relaid and PRO Gerry Rollins sent them on another race. Sarawak Seahorse hit the line with speed then instigated some covering tactics to keep their nose ahead. Although Jun Avecilla's bigger Beneteau 36.7 Selma Star/Purpose Driven soon took over the lead a judgment error on which course to sail found them heading upwind when it was time to finish. Realising their mistake they recovered to take line honours but to late for any hope on handicap and fell back to third place. Sarawak Seahorse skippered by Kiwi Grant Bartlett did enough in the early stages to score a race two victory over Kay Wilson's reigning champion Ambil Angin.

The cruisers spread out downwind but as they converged on the mark, crowded rounding's became the order of the day and carrying the spinnaker a little to long caused a bit of havoc for some. The boats that stayed clear and sailed well on the upwind leg got ready for a inline drag race reaching to the finish. Jacques Rossel's 50ft Cutter Api Sel from the UK managed to get the better of Tim Wilson's much bigger M&W 72 Cordelia from Australia. Peter Colquhoun's Bondi Tram slotted into third and all three boats finished within four minutes of each other.

The smaller Cruising Class B boats faired much better than the bigger Class A compatriots. Michael Tan's Hood 38 Star of Siam from Brunei was the quickest of all the cruising classes around the course but after handicaps were applied had to settle on second place. In the end it was Labbadi Gilles Beneteau 38 Eloise from France that took the honours in the opening race. Aussie Jon Choate's Hans Christian 43 Tweed stayed in touch to finish up in third place.

Kiwi Bryson Richards 55ft Motor Sailor Lady Emma corrected out the best of the heavyweights in Cruising Class C. Ian Glover & Robyn Boyle's Moonwind 32 Reeflections II are back for another go at the trophy and second place puts them in a good position to achieve their aim. All the way from Canada Joe Kayorie's Warwick CT 38 Tegan I stayed up with the leaders to claim class line honours but fell back to third place on handicap.

Aussie Peter Salkowski's catamaran Zosha is the only multihull to turn up here. Sailing the same course as the cruisers with an occasional burst of speed they were seen weaving there way amongst the fleet to cap off a great first day of racing.

After the cultural show and prize presentation the Labuan sector has been completed. All that remains to do here is to start the 110 nm passage race to Miri Marina. Every thing going well the longer waterline boats could finish in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The possibility of light patches with the occasional storm brings with it the temptation of turning the key and firing up the engine to get to Miri in time for the next party. Lets see who are the true believers and posses a crew with an iron resolution of sailing all the way amongst this lot of blue water sailors.

For more information and full results goto: http://www.borneorace.com


4th Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2007
AY Pre-Regatta Report

Deepest darkest Borneo welcomes all sailors...
Borneo International Yachting Challenge may sound like a big racing class event but in reality being off the major cruising routes and remote from any established racing fleets they have done well by initially attracting 28 competitors from 10 different countries. The concept is to welcome cruisers to visit the region, join in some fun and share in a unique cultural experience all the way from duty-free Labuan to the Miri Marina in Sarawak. Jointly organized by the State of Sarawak in deepest darkest Borneo and the Federal Territory of Labuan and relevant tourism boards this annual event has gained International status and over the four years since its inception has quickly become well known in yachting circles. Developing marine infrastructure and promoting them through sporting tourism pursuits have been widely considered the successful formula in opening up new cruising destinations to the world.

A little over two hours by AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur one embarks at a tropical Island paradise in the South China Sea. At the end of registration time twenty yachts have managed to make their way to Labuan for this years event. The assembled race committee have given the Aussie measurer Dave Richards the task of classifying the yachts into different classes and calculating performance handicaps for the majority of boats. Only three boats have IRC ratings so the Racing Class is self explanatory. The rest of the boats are divided into three Cruising Classes based on their size and expected performance. One multihull rounds up the numbers.

Last year, Kay Wilson's S&S 36 Ambil Angin and Troy Yaw's Beneteau First 32s5 Sarawak Seahorse had a ding dong battle with Ambil Angin picking up the title after coming from behind and winning the last two races in Miri. This year they are joined by Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star from Subic Bay in the Philippines. Selma Star is a regular winner usually in the IRC cruising class on the Asian racing scene so last years racing class contestants are expecting to have their hands full.

T Wilson's Miller and Whitworth 72 Cordelia is the longest boat here but will need allot of wind to get moving on the inshore races. All things going well they could be in with a chance on the 100nm passage race from Labuan to Miri. John and Joy Marwood's smaller Adams 52 Touche may have better prospects in light wind but has a higher handicap to perform up to.

The seven Cruising Class B yachts look pretty evenly matched as they all fall within the 38 to 44ft range. Labbadi Gilles Beneteau 1st 38 Elouise, Bob Green's Hood 38 Star of Siam, Jon Choate's Hans Christian 43 Tweed and David Foulkes Hunter 430 Pemburu Laut would seem to have a bit of pedigree in their favour.

Cruising Class C has five very diverse boats competing. More akin to the classic class with Joe Kayorie's 38ft steel ketch Tegan I and Bryson Richards 55ft motor sailor Lady Emma in the grouping. It's anybodies guess who will get the better of each other.

Racing gets away with two windward / leeward races laid just offshore from the approaches to Labuan harbour.

For more information and full results goto: http://www.borneorace.com

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