Raja Muda Int. Regatta 2001
Race Report 4 & Summary

by CaptMarty@AsianYachting.com

Picturesque Bass Harbour found amongst the legendary islands of Langkawi provided near perfect match racing conditions on the final day of racing at this years RMIR 2001. The last 2 windward / leeward races scheduled where sailed in freshening 13 to 18 knots of NE tradewind with relatively flat seas saw many of the yachts quickly reach target speeds and set record times as they tacked and gybed around the 2.8 nautical mile course.
 
Neil Pryde's well prepared Sydney 46 racing team from Hong Kong on Hi Fidelity blitzed the racing class with another first making it 6 bullets in a row setting a new record that may take years to see repeated. After rig tuning and sail adjustments Malaysia's extended Rahim Family on Gotcha Lagi! a Farr 36 cruiser/racer held onto second spot overall from racing class B and sneak in 2 closely contested 2nd places from a fast finishing pack of hungry racing thoroughbreds. Including Ray Roberts Aussie racing team on Luna Nuova third and Keith Moore's new Malaysian built Farr 40 Wavemaster Pla Loma forth. In fact so intense was the battle that only 1 minute of corrected time separated the top seven racing class yachts in race 6.
 
The Cruising Class saw Andres Soriano's magnificent Swan 80 Maligaya show its pedigree and with a crew of 24 representing the Philippines cut a fine path around the course and add two more first and fastests to yesterday's tally and snatch overall victory in splendid style. John Lightfoot's Piccolo a Farr 1104 from Australia sailed into a well deserved second place overall with 2 seconds and win Cruising Class B from David Bell's persistent Whiting 36 Graffiti. Dato Hamdan's Beneteau 52 Yendys and Laurie Findlay's smaller 45.5 Impiana representing Malaysia shared the earlier placings finished forth and fifth respectively to put them in good shape for the second official regatta on the Asian Yachting Circuit 2001/02 the Phuket Kings Cup starting in a weeks time.
 
Richard Curtis's 100 year old Bristol Cutter Eveline sailed to her second win in Classic Class from overall class winner Owen Webb's Savage 46 Bounty Bligh.
 
Allot of water has flowed under the keel since embarking on this years progressive sailing and social event held annually along Malaysia's west coast by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club. His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor and beloved patron of the RSYC has sadly passed away and the current Raja Muda Tengku Idris Shah has taken on the responsibility of Sultan from his farther while the yachts have been competing on the high seas. We all mourn the families loss and a great national leader.
 

Competitors have encountered numerous surprises and upsets along the way starting with the overnight Island hopping passage races that finished with 4 hectic windward / leeward races after 2 days of intense competition at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. After the Royal Awards ceremony John Lightfoot who was celebrating his victory on Piccolo collapsed and failed to respond after serious attempts where made to revive him. The International sailing community has lost another great ambassador and he will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Although the night ended on a sombre note I am sure John would like the RMIR 2001 to be remembered for the great sailing and enjoyable hospitality provided through out the event.

His Royal Highness Tengku Idris Shah now the Sultan of Selangor has vowed that the RMIR will retain the Raja Muda title despite becoming Sultan and the RMIR organising committee have selected the 15th to 23rd of November for next years event. Full race results are available from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club website by clicking on www.rsyc.com.my
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Raja Muda Int. Regatta 2001
Race Report 4

by CaptMarty@AsianYachting.com
 
The unique format of the RMIR provides for overnight passage races to test the sailors seamanship and navigation skills followed by 4 windward / leeward races on beautiful Kua harbour in Langkawi. Once again the NE trade winds did not disappoint with a 13 / 18 knot wind fanning the fleet allowing race officer Jimmy Farquhar to complete the 2 scheduled back to back races.
 
In the racing class once again Neil Pryde's Hi Fidelity took the honours with 2 wins to score a run away win and firmly secure his grasp of this years RMIR trophy for the first time. Ray Roberts on another heavily modified Sydney 46 Luna Nuova has been closing the gap but has yet to put a successful package together and win the cup that has eluded his challenges over the past few years. Amir Zohri's Gotcha Lagi! was relegated to 7th in the first race but bounced back with a 2nd in the second race to maintain a slender grasp on 2nd overall and 1st in Racing Class B.
 

Andres Soriano's sleek Swan 80 Maligaya gracefully glided around the course to achieve 2 glorious wins on line and handicap honours in both races to put him back in the running for a overall win in the cruising class. Impiana skippered by Laurie Findlay climbed to the top of the leader board with a impressive 2nd in race 2 with Dato Hamdan Mohammad's Beneteau 52 Yendys 3rd. David Bell's crew on Graffiti bounced back in the second race to stay in the running with John Lightfoot's Piccolo maintaining position to make a close points finish with the winner to come from this tightly fought group of yachts. The 2 final windward/leewards will decide the overall winner in this class.

The Classic yachts have a separate passage course around the islands and with the prevailing winds helping they all completed the race under sail. Richard Curtis's 100 year old Bristol Cutter Eveline handsomely completed the course to record his first class win at this regatta. Hennings and Co on My Toy took 2nd and Owen Webb's Bounty Bligh winner of all the earlier races took third after the handicaps have been adjusted.

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Full race results are available from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club website by clicking on www.rsyc.com.my
 
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Raja Muda Int. Regatta 2001
Race Report 3

by CaptMarty@AsianYachting.com

As the fleet sails north and further away from the equatorial belt the established trade winds become prevalent again. A slow start was encountered for the first 4 or 5 hours then the expected strong NEasterly characteristic for Leg 3 from Pinang to Langkawi kicked in and did not disappoint the competitors. In fact, peaking at over 30 knots it was a little to much for some yachts and turned the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club into a sailmakers delight as many bruised and tired sailors wheel their shredded and torn sails off the marina for repairs.

The unstoppable Neil Pryde on Hi Fidelity did it again, to score three bullets in a row over a rapid advancing Ray Roberts and his Aussie crew on Luna Nuova this time. As Neil stayed consistently at the top with a run away lead Amir Zohri's smaller Gotcha Lagi! has three 3rd's and is running second overall for the RMIR 2001 Trophy and leads Racing Class B comfortably.

Andres Soriano's big Swan 80 Maligaya achieved the daily double to take line and handicap honours in the Cruising Class. John Lightfoot's Piccolo a Farr 1104 which won the Sydney Hobart Classic back in 1976 showed her pedigree in the strong conditions to take second from a fast finishing Impiana skippered by Laurie Findlay and a scratch crew of visiting sailors. Overall leader David Bell's Grafetti suffered from a disintegrated mainsail and was forced to retire.

Much the same as the previous 2 races in the Classic Class with Owen Webb's Bounty Bligh taking a commanding lead from Richard Curtis's 100 year old Bristol Cutter Eveline.

The RMIR 2001 now takes on a new flavour with 4 scheduled windward/leeward races held over the next 2 days amongst the picturesque 99 Islands that form Langkawi. This could change the overall standings of some competitors that are more suited to day racing competitions.
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Raja Muda Int. Regatta 2001
Race Report 2

by CaptMarty@AsianYachting.com

The race officer for the RMIR2001, Jimmy Farquhar's decision to allow the fleet to motor towards Pinang after the postponed 1300 hrs start to race 2, due the glassy calm conditions being experienced was the wisest dicision seen for a while. The yachts went about 10 miles before a light 5 knot Northly sea breeze finally filled in allowing the start of racing to the now shortened 50 mile sprint up the coast to get underway. The often fickle conditions of the Malacca Straights gives way to some violent thunderstorms which can quickly build up and roam around causing havoc at sea and coastal regions.
 
Two hours after starting one of these ominus black thunder clouds swept across the fleet swinging the breeze into a 18 - 24 knot NEasterly which produced a fine reach at first then backed to make it a close hauled one tack dash to the finish. Bill Rawson's 20 metre Sorbent Halsal II stretched their legs to record a valuable line honours victory. Neil Pryde's Hi Fidelity took a narrow handicap win to make it 2 wins in a row and a comanding lead in the overall tally. Keith Moore's Wavemaster Pla Loma jumped into contention with a well earned second and Amir Zohri's Gotcha Lagi! and John Wardill's Australian Maid remained consistent finishing with a 3rd and 4th respectively similar to race 1.
 
David Bell's crew on Graffiti put in a solid performance to take 1st place in cruising class from Richard Steinke's Harlander 45 Isobar who revelled in the freshning conditions. Laurie Findlay's Impiana snatched 3rd from a group of 4 yachts where only a few minutes seperated their placings including Andres Soriano's Maligaya which recorded the quickest elapsed time of the fleet for a second time.
 
In the classic class Owen Webb on Bounty Bligh once again sailed away to a convincing victory over Richard Curtis's Eveline and Hennings and Co on My Toy who summed up his recent performance and the cruising spirit of the RMIR2001 regatta as " A boat designed in the 70's, built in the 80's and goes like the sixties!"
 
Well it is onto Langkawi the 4th and final stopover on this enjoyable island hopping event. Known as the Legenda Islands where according to Malaysian folklore many past legends have been born here.  Stay tuned to see which new sailing legends may appear this year.
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Raja Muda Int. Regatta 2001
Race Report 1

by CaptMarty@AsianYachting.com
 
The ever consistent Neil Pryde and his crew on Hi Fidelity representing Hong Kong continued their winning ways on the Asian Yachting Circuit with a resounding Race 1 victory on the overnight passage from Port Klang to Lumut the first leg of the 2001 Raja Muda Int. Regatta. Andreas Soriano III 's beautiful new Swan 80 Maligaya from the Philippines gracefully streaked away from the rest of the fleet to take line honours with an elapsed time of 12:25 by a proverbial mile and more.
 
Cloudy, overcast conditions with a 8 knot NNEasterly breeze and a strong 2 knot outgoing tidal current greeted the sailors on the opening round to official racing for the SEA Perpetual Cup Series with the RMIR 2001 leading the way for racing class yachts in the region. The 90 odd mile overnight sprint to Lumut along Malaysia's west coast is often considered one of the toughest races to win on the 3 regatta circuit and has severely tested the patience and skills of many experienced racing teams in the past. This year was no different I never saw more than 12 knots of apparent wind and most yachts have registered up to 1.8 - 2.0 knots of current rotating through two cycles for and against them as they tried to sail north east up the often treacherous Malacca Straits.
 
The smaller yachts benefited most from the light conditions with Steve Walker's Next Page taking 2nd spot on handicap after a slow start and Malaysia's sailing Rahim family managed third on Gotcha Lagi! after recovering from running up onto a island of assorted floating debris which stopped them dead in their tracks during the night. John Wardills ageing Cassidy 55 Australian Maid placed 4th and showed the experience gained by competing over the years can be used to out fox the newer faster competitors like Keith Moores Farr 40  Pla Loma and Ray Roberts racing Sydney 46 Luna Nuova by over an hour on elapsed time.
 
In the Cruising Class the bigger boats took out the honours with Dato Hamdan Mohammad's Beneteau 52 Yendys taking the handicap honours from Dr Ian Nicolson's well travelled Warwick 60 Intrigue of Stornaway from Hong Kong. David Bell's Graffiti a Whiting 36 and John Lightfoot's Piccolo a Farr 1104 which won the Sydney Hobart Classic back in 1976 had a close battle all night and ended filling 3rd and 4th respectively before line honours winner Maligaya displaced to 5th.
 
The nature of the Classic Class yachts allows competitors to use the motor which have to be honestly logged hourly and multiplied by a factor of 2.5 then added onto the elapsed time before the yachts handicap is applied to produce a overall result. Owen Webb broke the run of lasts recently on Bounty Bligh (I wonder if the name has something to do with it) and sail the entire course to beat Hennings and Co on My Toy and Richard Curtis's 100 year old Bristol Cutter Eveline.
 
Well it is of to Pearl of the Orient or Penang on the 2nd overnight 70nm passage race or sprint up the coast. Storms have been forecasted for peninsula Malaysia's east coast with the NE Monsoon arriving early so hopefully some wind will spill over to the west coast and add some further excitement to this years RMIR 2000.

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Full race results are available from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club website by clicking on www.rsyc.com.my
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Raja Muda Int. Regatta 2001
Pre-race Report

by CaptMarty@AsianYachting.com

Although only 27 yachts are lining up for this years Raja Muda International Regatta which is perhaps a sign of the times there are some quality yachts assembling down at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang. In the racing class two Sydney 46's Hi Fidelity and Luna Nuova have been joined by a new Farr 40 Pla Loma. Regular competitor Aussie Maid is expected to continue the exciting battle with newcomer to the Asian Circuit and holder of many Aussie line honours titles Sorbent Helsal II. Keeping the big yachts honest are three very competitive 36 ft yachts Next Page a X372, Hi Min a Sydney 36 from Singapore and Malaysia's own Gotcha Lagi that has won this event 4 times previously.

In the Cruising Class the impressive Swann 80 Maligaya from the Philippines, Dr Ian Nicolson's Intrigue of Stornoway a Warwick 60 and Dato Hamden's Yendys a  Beneteau 52 will be taking on a variety of racer cruisers including the Whiting 36 Graffitti , Laurie Findlay's Impiana and Chris Gee's Titan 36 Matahari.

As is always the case the weather conditions will ultimately determine the winner of the passage races in this island hopping event along Malaysia's west coast. Strong headwinds will favour the bigger yachts where as light changing conditions will favour the smaller yachts with low handicaps. So keep in tune as the story unfolds.

The Classic Class has 4 interesting entries including Richard Curtis's 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline and Owen Webb's Savage 46 Bounty Bligh that holds the record of being dead last in her previous 8 outings. Adrena-Line a visiting 65 ft steel world cruiser and Wulf Hennings 34ft Roberts My Toy make up the rest of the classics.

The social aspects are well catered at each port stopover during the regatta with heavy doses of friendly Malaysian hospitality thrown in to make it .
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Full race results are available from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club website by clicking on www.rsyc.com.my
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