3rd Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2006
AY Race Report 3 & Summary

All over bar the bragging...
For the past two events Kay Wilson's Ambil Angin has played brides maid to Troy Yaw's Ulumulu, so this year the Brunei expat crew were more than ever determined to be crowned champions. However coming into the final day of racing they trailed Sarawak Sea Horse the local heroes skippered by Johanis Dahaklay (Ambon Johnny) by two points. Taking a commanding lead in race four they went on to take the gun and get back one point. A close start followed in the deciding race with Sarawak Sea Horse leading Ambil Angin across the line much to the applause of the local media. As the wind backed by 40 degrees the race officer Jerry Rollin had the windward mark relayed and despite all the correct procedures to notify the skippers, the Sarawak Sea Horse crew failed to notice and headed out along the old path and granted Ambil Angin another win on the day. This tied the pointscore and as Ambil Angin won the last race she goes on to win the title and be crowned overall champions for 2006.

After a group repair to the big headsail on the pontoons during the layday Colin Craig's Simonis 50 Deja Vu from South Africa was back up to speed to win race three and secure overall victory in Cruising B. Although a dismal eighth place in the Labuan to Miri passage race John Stonham's Tayana 47 Tui Tai from Hong Kong rebounded with second in race three to end up second overall. Paul Caine's Adams 42 Bogart scored a well deserved third place in today's race but had to settle on fourth overall. Aussie Neil Langford's Ganley 50 Crystal Blues cold only manage a ninth in race three but her first place in the passage race secured them third place overall.

It was a different story for Christoper Antolak's Brewer 34 Moca who won all three Cruising C races and bag the overall class title with a clean sweep. David and Cathy Scott's Adams 40 Strong Legs was back up to speed after a fifth on the passage race with a second place today that gave them second overall. Ron Fitzpatrick's Adams 12 Colombus added another third place to their tally to finish up third overall.

The places were shared reasonably equally over three races amongst the three Classic Class yachts. Christopher Chin's Cape Cutter 19 Bandoola came to the fore today but double points for a third place in the passage race leaves them in third place overall. American Wally Smith second place on the Hunter H37C Patience gives them a slight points advantage to become the overall champion. Aussie Ian Glover's extended Moonwind 32 Reeflections 2 finished with a third place but their win on the passage race gives them second place overall.

Summary
Cruising through Borneo is truly a unique experience. If your visit coincides with the Borneo Int Yachting Regatta even better as the organisers guarantee yachties a good time in Labuan and Miri. Next year they are looking at expanding to Sabah and Brunei. The dates are set for September midway through the favourable cruising season and Chairman Troy Yaw announced at the prize giving that the US$500 incentive package and no entry fee will remain in a all out effort to get thirty entrants next year.

YB Lee Kim Shin unofficially appointed the sailors and media as ambassadors for the regatta and hoped the word by mouth approach would get the news out and attract more boats to the region throughout the year. The Miri Marina has never looked so good with twenty extra boats (See aerial photo) creating a hum of activity that they would like to see continue on into the future.

Sail Indonesia have contacted the organisors and would like to incorporate Borneo into their rally which may be a bit of a rush for yachts traveling through Indonesia but I'm sure they will go the extra miles to take part with the all inclusive incentive package on offer. This is a win win situation for everyone concerned. The organisers get more entries and the normally cruising sailor that may have never competed in a race before get to learn more about their boat and develop some racing skills while being introduced to a exotic and peaceful part of the world.

More info and results at: http://www.borneorace.com


3rd Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2006
AY Race Report 2

Fickle winds so race record safe...
The rain storms early Tuesday morning and heavy cloud cover at the start of the 110nm Labuan to Miri Passage Race may have got the eighteen yachts off to a feisty start but soon after clearing the shores of Lubaun the breeze died out and a vacuum seemed to envelop the entire course. The Cruising and Classic Classes have adopted a rally like approach to the race and are allowed to use the engine providing they log the time and inform the committee who will adjust their overall time by applying a factor of 1.5 before handicap calculations are completed. Several boats managed to finish by early Wednesday morning with the remaining straggling in throughout the day. The committee had to wait till nine o'clock last night for the two IRC racers and one die hard purist in the cruising class that managed to complete the entire 110nm course under sail in a little under 34 hours.

The Racing Class yachts and Deja Vu were the only crews hell bent on sailing the entire course and spent the whole day urging the boat along to get to Miri Marina by late evening. This is a far cry from Troy Yaw's record breaking run last year 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.

Much to the delight of the Miri supporters the hometown boat Sarawak Sea Horse skippered by Johanis Dahaklay (Johny Ambon) came in only 28 minutes behind Kay Wilson's bigger Ambil Angin from Brunei after 33 hours of racing to claim first place in the IRC Class.

In Cruising B Aussie Neil Langford's Ganley 50 Crystal Blues with a combined time of 1 day 7hrs 36 mins managed to correct out in first place. Despite Colin Craig's Simonis 50 Deja Vu sailing all the way with a small headsail after damaging the number one they were provisionally placed second and have asked the International jury for a redress on the results. Kiwi Alistair Boyle on his Island Packet 38 Largo Star slipped into third place.

Christoper Antolak's Brewer 34 Moca added another victory onto the score sheet and together with their Labuan harbour race win take the overall lead in Cruising C. After competing last year Ron Fitzpatrick's Adams 12 Colombus knows the way from Labuan and after spending a year cruising through the Philippines have returned to take second place. David and Cathy Scott's Adams 40 Strong Legs stayed in the overall running by claiming third place.

The Classic Class saw a change in placing's with Aussie Ian Glover coming to the fore on the extended Moonwind 32 Reeflections 2. American Wally Smith picked up the first race in Labuan on the Hunter H37C Patience but settled on second place this time around. Christopher Chin's Cape Cutter 19 Bandoola preformed very well on the day race in Labuan but slipped to third on the passage race and hopes to regain the form in Miri.

Racing continues after a well earned layday with the Miri day races on Friday to complete the regatta.

More info and results at: http://www.borneorace.com


3rd Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2006
AY Race Report 1

Up, up and away...
After a lengthy consideration by the measurer Dave Richards, the eighteen boats have been divided into four classes based on their expected performance. Racing got away in five knots of breeze and all competitors were keen to get going despite the slow pace.

IRC Racing with only two starters managed to complete two races with Kay Wilson's S&S 36 Ambil Angin taking first race by a little over a minute and surprisingly Johanis Dahaklay's smaller Beneteau 32 Sarawak Seahorse pulled of the biggest surprise of the day when they finished in front to claim line and handicap honours for race two.

In Cruising B Colin Craig's very racing looking Simonis 50 Deja Vu from South Africa led the cruising fleet around the course but had to settle on second place on handicap as they could not shake John Stonham's Hong Kong registered Tayana 47 Tui Tai off there tail. Neil Langford's Ganley 50 Crystal Blues leads the charge of the Aussie boats and ended up third in the light conditions.

Cruising C saw a close battle staged around the course with Christoper Antolak's well sailed Brewer 34 Moca, all the way from Canada making the most of the breeze when it died out and changed direction. David and Cathy Scott's Adams 40 Strong Legs fell of the pace toward the end and are content with second place in the trying conditions. Karl Amundsen's Augusta showed why the Saxe 40 is considered one of the best cruising boats in Norway as they claimed third spot in front of a closely knit bunch of three boats that had a good tussle all race.

American Wally Smith's Hunter H37C Patience got an early break in the Classic Class to go on and take the daily double of Line and Handicap honours. Christopher Chin's newly acquired Cape Cutter 19 Bandoola from Sabah is the only other Malaysian yacht competing and with tan sails has the look of a real classic yacht to score a well deserved second place. Aussie Ian Glover on the extended Moonwind 32 Reeflections 2 needs a bit more wind to get up to speed and quite happily settled on third place.

Race 3 for the Racing Class and Race 2 for everyone else is the signature 110 nautical mile event from Labuan to Miri Marina in Sarawak.

The course takes the yachts to sea, south along the Brunei coast, through the bombing range and in between the many offshore platforms that fuel the oil rich country. Racing on a obstacle course, through the night in tricky conditions will keep crews on their toes. Most yachts come fully equipped with refrigeration and cooking facilities, so if the wind is in they could well have a very pleasant trip but light winds or calm spots may see some yachts struggle to sail to the finish and may have to rely on the trusty diesel engine to get to Miri in time for the next party.

Troy Yaw's custom Sydney 46 Ulumulu has won the signature event on two previous occasions and holds the present race record after crossing the Miri finish line just after midnight last year. With an average speed slightly over 8 1/2 knots, peaking at 12 knots they smashed the inaugural race time by 5 hrs 16 mins he set back in 2003. Ulumulu is not here this year as she is undergoing major surgery in Sydney and being converted over for Capt Ariffin's single handed, non stop attempt around the world from Miri to Miri early next year - but more on that latter...

More info and results at: http://www.borneorace.com


3rd Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2006
AY Pre-Regatta Report

A 2 1/2 hour AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Labuan in East Malaysia is all you need to get to the startline for the 3rd Borneo Int Yachting Challenge. The massive and diverse island of Borneo is probably better known for the deepest, darkest and dankest rain forests with sandy tropical Islands fringing the coastline, than a venue for yacht racing. That all changed a few years ago when the State of Sarawak and the Federal Territory Island of Labuan decided to jointly hold a International sailing event to promote marine and sporting tourism pursuits in the region. Marina's have been built in Miri and Kota Kinabalu, haulout facilities in Kudat and suggested sailing routes to attract cruising yachts and sailors seeking adventure along the shores. With the gradual opening up of countries bordering the South China Sea and the abundance of nature and cultures on offer here, they aim to make the last cruising destination to open up in the world, possibly into one of the best.

Eighteen yachts have arrived in front of the Waterfront Hotel in Labuan from the twenty one entries received to date. Five Aussie yachts form the largest contingent, with two each from Malaysia, Brunei and Hong Kong, plus one from the UK, USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway and Canada, truly reflects the International flavour of the event. The added attraction of waving entry fees and providing a US$ 500 incentive to help cover costs has doubled the number of entries over past years and seen a marked increase in long term cruisers visiting the region.

Only two boats have IRC certificates to be eligible for the racing class and most others have either never raced before or are out and out, husband and wife cruisers with jerry cans, gas bottles, outboard motors and dinghy's strapped on deck. Not what you would normally see at a regatta but with the lack of racing class boats over here, anything seems to go in this part of the world. Two five-star parties with traditional dancers are planned for Labuan, with three more in Miri, are bound to go down well with the thirsty sailors in between the racing. Despite the cruising nature of the regatta the overall intention is to do well and extra attention paid to trimming the sails, a little tweak here and there to be marginally faster around a designated course. After all winning is not everything to these sailors but developing some camaraderie amongst the troops and fostering new found friendships could just make this event very unique indeed.

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