BMW - Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2004
This years Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2004 with BMW (Malaysia) onboard for the first time already has the largest number of multihulls entered in any one regatta around Asia. Sports boats also look very promising and many cruising enthusiasts and charter yachts visiting the region have decided to compete. This regatta caters for everyone is hoping to attract more big names in the racing field as it is fast becoming a major event in the S.E. Asian sailing calendar. To return to the RLIR site click on www.langkawiregatta.com for more information. Full results for 2004 can be found at: http://www.langkawiregatta.com/result/Series%20Results.htm
Malaysian yachts to the fore!
On the last day of racing Malaysian based yachts have excelled themselves yet again, with Peter Ahern's Yo! winning the Prime Ministers Challenge Series Trophy from the Premier Racing Class 1A and Amir Zohri's Gotcha Lagi taking out the Premier Cruising Class 1B for the second year in succession. Stuart Harrison's Mum 30 Panic put in a sterling effort that kept everyone honest and sailing on the pace to eventually fill second place overall.
The Malaysian Navy teams also responded after yesterdays win with KDP 1 helmed by Malik Sulaiman and Fauzi Mustafa's KDP 2 finishing up 1st and 3rd overall in the up and coming Sportsboat Racing Class. This late turnaround of places with the favored Phuket 8's that dominated the class in the early races was a result of a determined effort by the crew and a bit of good luck finally going their way. Scott Duncanson's Somtam Express ended up taking 2nd place overall and is still the best sailed of all 3 Phuket 8's competing here.
The overall division winners are calculated from a combined aggregate of places in each race for matching classes and prizes awarded to the yacht that corrects out with the best times. In the combined Multihull Classes Brent McInnes's No Fixed Address won every race in the Cruising Multihull class to earn him the Langkawi Multihull Cup displacing Mark Pescott's Phuket based Summersalt who scored 3 handicap wins in the racing multi's but blotted his score sheet with a 4th place in the last race. Their Phuket rivals on Chris Sieber's Kilo finished up 3rd overall and Brian Ritchie's Fine Pitch had to settle for the glory of taking line honours in every race. Today's final race saw the fleet tightly bunched around the course and the all girls Dewi Bayu team on Chimera from Malaysia winning the day. Good on ya girls!
The RLIR Commodores Cup is awarded to the yacht that corrects out with the best placing's of the 3 Cruising Classes. This produced an extraordinary set of events with Joao Sombra's Guardian from Brazil winning this division from the Classic Class with 2 firsts, one second and one forth. Harold Stummeier's Regolarita II from Germany scored 2 firsts, one forth, and one twelfth in the Cruising Live Aboard Class 5B for second overall and Mark Hardess's Dai Mouse IV from Australia finished in 3rd place coming from the Club Cruising Class 5A.
Calculating the results by this method produced a little discontent amongst the individual class winners who thought they had done enough by beating all their competitors on the water but were not awarded individual class trophies. Although the four days of racing was hampered by a distinct lack of wind at times, the racing was very close and proved to be a severe test of the sailors light weather sailing skills.
BMW in conjunction with Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah and the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club are keen to organize a yachting symposium to address how the growing number of regatta's in the region can be linked and a logical calendar of events created for the racers to attend. "We will invite governments, yacht clubs, marinas, boat manufacturers and other interested parties to attend and try to address various issues connected with cruising in the region including the important one of security". He also envisaged forming an Asian regatta management group which would ensure a high standard of race and regatta management with a common goal of running top class events for all to enjoy. More on this in the coming months and all participants where invited back for next years event which promises to be bigger and better as planning is already underway.
Full results can be found at: http://www.langkawiregatta.com/result/Series%20Results.htm
Photos by Dee-Shoppe at the Langkawi Jetty
Where is the Wind?
Despite the lack of wind and its forever changing circumstances the racing has been close and challenging for all the crews. The race committee have been quick to shorten courses and respond to these variable and light conditions. The most exciting classes seem to be the Sportsboats and multihulls who have the most entries and grouped together in similar boatspeed bands.
The Malaysian Navy teams responded to the slightly increased breezes and out gunned the favoured Phuket 8's that have dominated the Sportsboat Class so far to bring them into contention with one days racing to go. An elated Fauzi Mustafa told us at the press briefing that his crew put their win down to good sailing rather than good luck as the earlier races where a bit of a lottery in the changing winds and if the wind holds tommorrow they hope to repeat this performance.
Four classes have been dominated by the top boats respectively taking 3 successive victories. Peter Ahern's Yo! in the Premier Racing Class 1A has done enough to keep Stuart Harrison's Mum 30 Panic in second place and Amir Zohri's Gotcha Lagi's 3 wins puts them in a unbeatable position in the Premier Cruising Class 1B in front of David Lindahl's La Samudra. Similarly in the Multihull Classes Mark Pescott's Summersalt has scored 3 handicap wins over their Phuket rival Brian Ritchie on Fine Pitch who has taken 3 line honours but not managed to convert them into handicap wins. Brent McInnes's No Fixed Address despite racing with a damaged starboard hull from a accident during the Phang Nga regatta over the Chiese New Year has also managed 3 wins in the Cruising Multihull class.
In the Club Cruising Class 5A Mark Hardess's Dai Mouse IV has scored 2 wins and a second to have a comfortable 5 point advantage over Michele Pippen's Simpatico with one race to go. In the Cruising Live Aboard Class 5B a close battle between Harald Stummeier's Regolarita II and William Crump's Fistral will be determined after the final race. Similarly in th Classic Class the battle of the heavy weights between Joao Sombra's Guardian and Blanc Andre's Al Na'ir also comes down to the last day.
BMW RLIR 2004 - Race Report Day 1 - 3rd March 04
This year 55 yachts have fronted up for the BMW - RLIR which attempts to cater for all sailing yachts in the region whose owners wish to race against challenging competition in Langkawi. Anything from 7m light racing sports yachts to the heavier 20m classics. They have been grouped into 8 racing classes and as each race is individually sponsored there are daily awards going towards 4 Classes vying for the prestigious Prime Ministers Challenge Series Trophy and the other 4 the RLIR Commodores Cup. Making up for missing out on last years inaugural prize giving ceremony Malaysia's former Prime Minister and No 1 supporter of sailing Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad will be awarding prizes this year to each class on the final night. More on the RLIR 2004 programming can be found at: http://www.langkawiregatta.com
Mr Wolfgang Schlimme the MD of BMW (Malaysia) announced with great pleasure that sailing has globally become the third pillar of BMW's involvement in sports marketing after Formula 1 and golf. Although this is BMW's first foray into the arena of sports sponsorship in Malaysia, they made a memorable debut in the sport when they partnered Oracle to to form the Oracle BMW Racing team in an impressive 2003 America's Cup campaign.
After several discussions with competitors this years courses where designed to be a little different, a little challenging, a bit more fun and in particular more suitable to the different types of yachts competing. Although the best laid plans can go astray when mother nature decides not to co-operate in the wind department and the race committee has to do the best they can with what is being provided.
On day 1 the Racing, Premier Cruising and Sports Boats (Class 1 and 3) two Sheraton Perdana windward/leeward courses where planned but after struggling through the first lap, the 5 to 6 knot breeze faded and the course shortened plus the second race had to be postponed till another day. Last years racing class winners Peter Ahern's Yo! and Premier Cruising's Gotcha Lagi! skippered by Malaysia's Amir Zohri continued on their winning ways. Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 Somtam Express managed a first and fastest by a mere 35 seconds from the Royal Malaysian Navy's Malik Sulaiman on KDP 1.
As the Multihulls (Class 4), Cruising Class (Class 5 Division B and C) and Cruising Liveaboards, prefer "off the wind" courses a lengthy passage race around the cans was planned. The leading yachts completed the course within the time limit and a number of others decided to call it a day as the breeze faded to almost nothing. Mark Prescott's Summersalt led the way to claim another victory in the racing multi's and Brent McInnes No Fixed Address did similarly in the Cruising Multi's.
Perhaps day 2 will produce better conditions and some exciting racing. Full results throughout the series can be found at: http://www.langkawiregatta.com/result/Series%20Results.htm