Race Report 4 &
is a winner in Borneo...
Troy Yaw's mainly home grown team on Ulumulu are emerging heroes in Miri and are forging ahead as Malaysia's only full blown racing class competitor. Carrying the distinctive colors of Sarawak and named after the Mulu National Heritage Caves they have competed at 6 major regattas since purchasing the yacht and taken every opportunity to promote their state and Miri Marina during these events.
Losing only one race by 36 seconds to Chris Goodwin's Ambil Angin leaving the only blot on the score sheet they have shown tremendous improvement under Aussie skipper Ray Roberts to record a run away win in the IRC Racing class and lift the impressive Borneo Perpetual trophy for the second time.
In Club Racing Paul Scholten sailing 2 handed with Steve Corrigan on Burragah clinched the overall title with a 1, 2 in the final 2 races and had done enough in the earlier races to leave Bob Green's Star of Siam from Brunei in second spot. A scratch crew led by Richard Kho from Kutching sailed the Tourist Commissions Sarawak Seahorse into third place.
In the Cruising class Michael Batham's Sea Quest broke the tie coming into the final day with 2 convincing wins over Dennis Shepherd's Southerly Change. This left Ron Fitzpatrick's Columbus the early leader in third after suffering some damage and forced to retire from 2 races.
Recently at Boat-Asia in Singapore and now here in Borneo representatives from local yacht clubs, sailing associations and boat owners have thrown around a few ideas. The overall consensus is to develop sailing on the local scene by introducing keelboat racing and have some yachts available for charter so competitors can fly in, do the regatta then return home, thereby avoiding lengthy and expensive yacht deliveries.
Chairman of the Borneo Cup YB Lee Kim Shin, likes to take a hands on approach, suggested forming an Asian Yachting Federation to bring race committees together and work out a suitable calendar of events was replaced with a Borneo Yacht Clubs Federation to look after regional developments. As most the representatives were present they have vowed for greater cooperation when selecting dates and promoting all classes of sailing be it dinghy, keelboat or catamarans.
Troy Yaw announced that he has purchased Alan Bond's former America's Cup 12 metres - Australia 111 and 1V with the intension of introducing some match racing and corporate team building from his Miri Marina latter in the year. This move is definitely a first for SE Asia and shows the progressive thinking and daring nature of the people involved. It could also firmly plant Miri on the world stage and put future yacht races in Borneo in good hands.
More info, full results and tourism links are posted at www.borneorace.com
a Miri experience...
After a couple days of great sightseeing, racing resumed directly out of the Miri Marina and the keelboats were joined by 63 dinghy's from the local Piasau Boat Club, West Malaysia and neighboring Brunei, Sabah and Labuan for 2 days of racing to make it one of the biggest dinghy gatherings held in the region. Sarawak Seahorse skippered by Richard Koh has joined the Club Racing class and bolsters the numbers after West Wind withdrew back in Labuan.
Troy Yaw's Ulumulu kept a clear sheet after 5 races to take an unbeatable lead over Chris Goodwin's Ambil Angin in the IRC Racing class. In Club Racing Paul Scholten's Burragah regained the overall lead with 2 wins in race 4 and 5 to break the tie with Bob Green's Star of Siam and the relatively inexperienced crew on Sarawak Seahorse ended up with 2 thirds.
In the Cruising class Dennis Shepherd's Southerly Change bounced back after a bad passage race from Labuan to share the overall lead with Michael Batham's Sea Quest after Ron Fitzpatrick's Columbus suffered some damage and forced to retire from the 2 races today.
A further 2 windward/ leeward races are scheduled for the last day of racing to complete the regatta. One thing for sure is that cruising sailors intending to visit the region are in for an unforgettable cultural experience with warm hospitality and some exciting nightlife thrown in, were one can dine out in modern restaurants, relax in warm cafés or simply 'chill out' in the many night clubs spread around the city.
More info, results and tourism links are posted at www.borneorace.com
Brunei's oil rigs, bombing zones and survey vessels...
The fantastic close reaching conditions lasted well into the night allowing the yachts to make quick work of the first 80 to 90 miles. Ulumulu crossed the finish line in Miri just after midnight averaging over 8 1/2 knots boat speed which peaked at 12 knots to smash the inaugural race time by 5 hrs 16 mins they set back in 2003. The last 5 miles being painfully slow as the breeze faded and the night mist clouded in, leaving the rest of the yachts becalmed for up to 3 hours awaiting the arrival of the morning land breeze. Chris Goodwin's Brunei based Ambil Angin was the nearest rival to Ulumulu which finished 10 hours latter to claim 2nd spot in the IRC class.
In the Club Racing Class Paul Walshe's Star of Siam from the Kuala Belait Boat Club in Brunei turned the tables on the Paul Scholten skippered Burragah who won the first race and Neil Antrum's West Wind was forced to stay back in Labuan due to the lack of crew.
The Cruising Class saw Ron Fitzpatrick's Aussie registered Columbus make the most out of the fresh conditions to out sail Michael Batham's Kiwi entrant Sea Quest with Dennis Shepherd's Southerly Change finishing up in third place this time.
The newly completed Miri Marina has free berthing for the duration of the event. This huge project includes the reclamation of 550 acres of land with canals and waterfront housing blocks for sale which doubles the size of Miri town have advised cruising yachts heading their way that the new website is at http://www.mirimarina.com The wonderful hospitality extended by the Sarawak Tourism Board to regatta participants includes a extra lay day for a visit to the Niah Caves and Tangap Longhouse tour before 2 days of racing gets underway again on Miri Bay.
More info, results and tourism links are posted at www.borneorace.com
AY Race Report 1
Borneo Cup Yachting Challenge 2005
The racing started with 2 inshore windward/leeward courses and Race 1 saw Troy Yaw's Ulumulu cross the shortened finish line with the last puff of the morning breeze that left the remaining yachts struggling against the tide and eventually run out of time. A 3 hour delay followed before the afternoon sea breeze materialised and race officer Jerry Rollin could get the fleet away for Race 2. Once again Ulumulu was quick to hit the pace this time skippered by Aussie racing legend Ray Roberts who is well known for lending a hand to developing racing teams in the region.
The measurer Dave Richards has devised a handicap system to suit the club racers and out and out cruising yachts that is proving very successful. Only 2 minutes on corrected time separated Sir Steve Corrigan's Burragah and Neil Antrum's West Wind 3rd in the Club Racing class. Even better in the Cruising Class only 21 seconds separated Dennis Shepherd's Southerly Change and Ron Fitzpatrick's Columbus in third place. As expected Ulumulu streaked away in the IRC class to score 2 wins on the day over Chris Goodwin's Brunei based Ambil Angin who takes 2nd place overall in the Borneo Cup stakes.
The 100 nm Labuan to Miri Race is scheduled for day 2 and 3 on the race program which takes the fleet through the many oil platforms off Brunei which are sandwiched between Labuan and Sarawak.
Last but not least, the crews are fitting in some duty-free shopping before we leave, along with checking out the vibrant nightlife that make Labuan the ideal choice as a business-holiday and getaway destination.
a hiatus of a year, the Borneo
Found on the north west coast of Borneo (See Map) with the oil-rich Brunei Sultanate sandwiched in between and the South China Sea (The worlds largest sea) lapping its shores, has often been considered to be the last and dare I say it the greatest cruising grounds to open in the world.
As AsianYachting has always been at the forefront of regatta advisors and promotion in SE Asia who prefer to have first hand on-the-water experience the 2005 Borneo Race Reports will take readers on a journey through these areas, highlighting new marine tourism facilities along with other regional attractions and of course the race results.
The mystery, romance and adventure of Borneo has for hundreds of years cast its spell on the imagination. It remains - one of the most stunning and spectacular destinations on the planet. Its very remoteness has spared it much of modern mans encroachments and is still, a largely wild, untamed land of majestic rivers, surging rapids, dense rainforest, lashing rains, mountain mists, fiery sun, exotic plants and animals, and no less supports an exotic mix of human inhabitants.
The race program starts off in Labuan with 9 yachts completing a day race, then a 100nm offshore race from Labuan to Miri where the emphasis is on crew camaraderie, seamanship and most of all having fun. They will then be joined by 55 sailors from the Piasau Boat Club dinghy fleet for a couple days of racing on Miri Bay.
The 3 Malaysian, 2 Brunei, 2 Australian, 1 token Kiwi, plus one entrant from as far afield a St Vincents brings a true International flavour to the event. The developers of the Miri Marina have advised that their new website http://www.mirimarina.com is up and running and they are offering free berthing for the duration of the event. Over time they hope to attract more visiting yachts that are not in a hurry to get to Europe, to stay over a season and venture out into the South China Sea to explore these new and diverse cruising grounds. You never know but these experiences could well become a highlight of their round the world cruise.
Troy Yaw's Ulumulu is the only racing class yacht in the fleet, which since winning the inaugural Borneo Cup back in 2003 (See Race Reports) has gone on to compete at most regional regattas. Troy admits racing at this level is a steep learning curve and aims to produce an all Malaysian racing team by bringing in top notch sailors to teach the local crews and show them how to keep the boat moving efficiently at all times.
Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (Co.