Ray Roberts makes it five wins in a row...
15:01:2010 An exceptionally strong North East tradewind blasted down Bass Harbour to bring this years regatta to a spectacular conclusion. The highlight was in the racing class which came down to a winner take all final race. Several other classes saw a shake up in the overall leaderboard. Triumph or tribulations aside the regatta ended on a high note and everyone that participated will go away feeling very proud of their achievements.
All eyes were on the clash of the titans in the racing class. Ray Roberts put Evolution Racing into the box position at the start and although neck and neck with Neil Pryde's Hi Fi up the first beat, they held a slight advantage at the windward mark. Both boats fully powered up reached speeds in excess of 20 knots on the long downwind leg and as they closed in on the mark Evolution Racing dropped the spinnaker in the water and was forced to steer away, leaving the door open for Hi Fi to take the inside berth around the mark. Tack for tack up the next beat Neil Pryde held the advantage but as they narrowed in on the bottom mark again, it was his turn to slip up and allow Ray Roberts to take the inside running and regain the lead.
Evolution Racing rounded the final windward mark just in front of Hi Fi but as Hi Fi has a lower handicap at that stage they probably held their time on Evolution Racing. They split gybes to either side of the course and as there seemed to be more wind down the middle of the course Ray Roberts surfed away to finish two minutes and fifty seconds in front and clinch the race plus defend the title making it five regattas in a row. Line honours for Frank Pong's 75ft Jelik III while the battle raged close behind him, resulted in third place and third overall.
After a slow start to the regatta Peter Wintle's Kerr 11.3 Koull Baby gained momentum as the series progressed. Three wins in a row put them in with a chance on the final race but would need the leader Ben Copley's Club Swan 42 Katsu to finish in third place. The strong wind suited them as they held a commanding lead around the course. First place was assured but they had to wait for eleven minutes for Vincent Chan's Titan 36 Mata Hari to cross the line for the number crunching to begin. A great sigh of relief as Mata Hari slotted into second place, relegating Katsu down to third. This tied the leaders on 12 points but on countback, as Koull Baby won the final race Peter Wintle goes on to win the Premier Cruising Class title.
Niels Degenkolw's IOR 3/4 Ton Xyacht Phoenix exceptional performance throughout the regatta had them winning the IRC 1 Class yesterday. This did not deter them as they went out and posted another win anyway. With a string of second places Jeremy Camps Cabaret 6 stayed consistent and picked up second overall for their efforts. Mike Van Zyl's defending champion Jandi, not only handed over the trophy but also had the unfortunate experience of dropping the mast on the final race. They still managed to hold onto third place overall from Simon Piff's fast finishing Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dream that is fourth.
First place today for Mohd Razali's Royal Malaysian Navy 1 bought them back into contention in the Sports Boat Class. Second place for Curtis Skinner's Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron keeps them on top of the pointscore and take away the title on their first attempt. In 20 plus knots of wind the Platu 25 can be a hand full even for experienced sailors. Christopher Lim's SMU team felt the brunt of some serious downwind broaches which ended their charge to the top and fifth place today drops them to third overall. This left the door open for Mohd Razali's Royal Malaysian Navy 1 to take over second overall after a mixed bag of results.
Apart from a couple of second places Curtis Skinner's Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron has won every race to romp away with the Under 25 Class trophy. Despite their difficulties Christopher Lim's SMU team holds onto second spot. Shahril Abdul Razak's Malaysian Yachting Association ended up in third place and are very thankful for the opportunity to experience keelboat racing.
Grenville Fordham's Andaman Cabriolet Da Vinci Niña string of five wins in a row came to an abrupt end today. Some breakages allowed Robert Prolux's Vertical Time to triumph today in front of Da Vinci Niña, who miraculously held on to finish in second place. This tied the pointscore on eleven points a piece, which was broken on countback in favour of Grenville Fordham's Da Vinci Niña. Although John Danks Blue Moon is sailed very conservatively compared to the dueling leaders they go home with third place for their efforts.
Yesterday the Royal Malaysian Navy's Marikh skippered by Norhafisam closed in to be one point behind Jeff Harris Elan 40 Rapscapllion. Today they repeated the dose and by winning the final race ended up tied on seven points in the Club Cruising Class. On countback Marikh leap frogs Rapscapllion to take home the title. Morten Ringvold's Haffiman have consistently scored third place and deservedly end in third overall.
Six wins in a row makes Jeremy Paul's Astra the undisputed winner of the Ocean Rover Class. Gavin Welman's Hallberg Rassy 53 Rascal scored all second places to ultimately end up with second overall. Henning Lenz's 33ft My Toy put up a brave performance and actually beat someone to claim third place. Christian Doering's Ilya have a very casual approach to starting which has left them down in fourth place.
The "Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship" award is a tribute to the Founding Chairman and 1st Commodore of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, the late Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah. This prize is voted on by the participants for the best team on and off the water and not necessarily the fastest boat. This year the award was bagged by Nor Hafisam skippering the RMN Marikh in the Club Cruising Class for their excellent sportsmanship qualities and determination shown throughout the races.
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