18th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2007
AsianYachting Race Report 5 & Summary

Check out the AY Photo Library pages or access RMSIR07 images directly at: http://asianyachting.com/photos/photo.htm?RMSIR07

The marathon challenge is over...
Despite the light winds, two windward / leeward races were completed which saw the successful conclusion to the 18th Raja Muda regatta. The week long event (It seems like ages since we left Pt Klang) with three passage races, four inshore races and an extensive party agenda to attend along the way requires quite a lot of stamina by the crews to get through. Not everyone's cup of tea but certainly the crews know what they are in for and have prepared themselves for the challenge.

Ever since Ray Roberts steered his DK46 Quantum Racing across the line to capture the Penang to Langkawi passage race the crew have been on fire and have not put a foot wrong. Today was no exception, full of confidence they went out and scored two wins out of two races and convincingly became the 18th winner of the Raja Muda trophy. Not to be out done, Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mills 51 Fortis Mandrake tried as hard as they could to put Quantum Racing behind them but as Fred Kinmonth stated " We could not shake them off, they just kept on hanging in there". For all the aggravation the defending champion Fortis Mandrake finished with two second places which sees them retain second overall. The out going tide and eagerness to get going saw two boats across the start line early and despite loosing precious minutes returning to restart the new factory owned DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Shahril managed third place and able to hold onto third overall. First and third for DK46's what a wonderful result for the Malaysian boat building company.

Despite Dr Ian Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue winning the final inshore race, second place for Hans Rahmann's 70ft Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda was enough for them to win the overall IRC Class 2 title. Third place for Neil Williamson's Oceanis 523 Resolution of Whitby gives them third overall. Although the results don't show it the fully appointed big heavyweights Yasooda and Intrigue staged a ding dong battle over the last few races which was a delight to watch. Yasooda scored two double scoring passage race wins and the Penang inshore race to build up an insurmountable points lead during the early races to put the class win out of reach of the other competitors. Dr Ian Nicolson's Intrigue finished second overall and Neil Williamson's Resolution of Whitby a valiant third overall.

Two first places today for David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra sealed the fate for the IRC Class 3 racers. Dr Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid has been applying pressure all week but fourth and second place today saw them slip up but still retain second place overall. After a bad start to the regatta the Royal Malaysian Navy's DK Farr 520 Zuhal with Khairuddin Mohamad on the helm has steadily improved their placing's and finished up third overall. With a little more crew training and implementing efficient spinnaker handling drills they could go on to greater heights. A resounding crunch echoed around Bass Harbour when John Blay's Walawala collided with the start boat just as PRO Jerry Rollin announced on the radio "Please don't hit my boat!" to win the "Unluckiest Sailors of the Regatta" award.

Aquavit IV the Elan 340 skippered by Bob Howison has steadily picked up four wins during the regatta to stay on top of the leaderboard. Even seventh place during race five did not deter them very much, as first and third today put them clearly on top of the IRC Class 4 podium. Several boats have been knocking on the door putting in good performances but after handicaps are applied somehow Aquavit IV always came out on top. Vincent Chan's Titan 36 Mata Hari started off poorly but climbed up the order very quickly and pushed aside some title contenders to end up second overall. Gerry Firth's brand new Beneteau First 34.7 Skandia dipped down in the middle races but rebounded with two second places today to leapfrog Keith Dunn's Mountgay 30 Lunchcutter II into third overall.

Discovering a last minute electrical fire onboard Simon Piff's Rainbow Dream in Penang may have forced them to retire from Race 5 but did not deter them from making their way to Langkawi and winning the final inshore race. Gavin Welman's Hallberg Rassy 53 Rascal has proceeded on undeterred by other boats misfortunes to claim second place today which accumulatively gives them the lowest points and the overall Non-IRC Class 5 title. Last minute redress for Peter Jones Bashford Howison 41 Jenny III  secures them second overall but sixth place in the race to Langkawi may have been their downfall. Jon & Sandra Stonham's Robert Perry 47 Tui Tai has consistently been up with the leaders but sixth place in race 2 has kept them down in third overall.

Aussie Don McGrath's Oram 44 Cat Out of the Bag scored their fourth victory at the shortened finish line and gone on to handsomely win the overall Non IRC Class 6 by a country mile. Dato' Richard Curtis's Gaff Rigged Cutter Eveline had a miserable last race but still managed to finish second overall in front of his old foe Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 that has had a up and down regatta. John Mitchell's Crowther Cat 35 Merpati Putih rounds out the four boat class with a second place on the last race and fourth overall.

Summary
Quite a few new things are being tried throughout the regatta in an effort to tweak up the event. One very important test is to do away with the drop race so the boat that consistently does well over the full race program, will win the event. The passage races are scored double points for many years now but working with the low point scoring system has produced some discrepancies in the past when dropping these races. Most skippers seemed to agree and the option to do away with the drop race seems to be accepted by most competitors as a fair and equitable solution. Evaluating the double points scoring system for the passage races while producing these race reports sees a big separation of points in a short period of time that can be difficult to recover from when returning to the single point inshore races. One suggestion by the winning skipper instead of multiplying by two is use a factor of 1.5 which will still carry the importance of the passage races but not dramatically spiral the point score out reach for the remaining races. All comments and grievances are welcome which the organising committee will study over the coming months. Other than that everyone seems to have had a good time and as the late night music can still be heard and the final prize giving party is still raging I'm off to join in the fun.

More RMSIR 07 info and full results at: http://www.rmsir.com

Check out the AY Photo Library pages or access RMSIR07 images directly at: http://asianyachting.com/photos/photo.htm?RMSIR07


18th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2007

AsianYachting Race Report 4

Nature shuffles the pack before the final showdown...
As the sea breeze arrived early, all classes got off to a good start as the skippers knew only to well, that this was their last opportunity at the double scoring passage races to get some points separation from their closest rivals or extend their lead beyond reach. All things were going smoothly until a storm squall descended midway along the fleet. A few good wind gusts arrived with the storm followed by a complete lull in proceedings after the rain saw fortunes won and lost. The switch over to the land breeze allowed the bigger boats to accelerate away and the back markers to catch up or sail around the becalmed boats. This intervention by nature shook up the results some what and had the effect of drawing the points separation closer together. Overall results now hinge on the final windward/leeward and inshore races to be held in Langkawi on Saturday.

After 6 hours and 42 minutes of racing Frank Pong's Reichel-Pugh 75 Jelik crossed the finish line in record time. Caught up in fishing nets during earlier passage races Ray Roberts managed to keep his DK46 Quantum Racing out of trouble this time and scored a handicap win in a nick of time which takes them to the top of the overall standings. Razali Mansor skippering the Royal Malaysian Navy DK Farr 520 Zuhrah stayed on the pace to score second place by less than a minute from the new factory owned DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Shahril in third. Forth place for Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mills 51 Fortis Mandrake sees them tumble down to second overall and needing a big performance on the final harbour races to defend the title.

Hans Rahmann's 70ft Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda may have stumbled during the last two races but returned with avengeance to secure first and fastest plus retain the top spot on the IRC Class 2 pointscore. Dr Ian Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue made it a clean sweep for the big boats in second place. Neil Williamson's Oceanis 523 Resolution of Whitby was held up by the storm and light conditions at the finish line, to end up in third place but still holds onto second overall.

 

The Royal Malaysian Navy's other DK Farr 520 Zuhal with Khairuddin Mohamad on the helm continued to surprise the pundits to record a second class win at the regatta and lift them to third overall in the IRC Class 3 standings. Second place for Dr Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid narrows the gap on the leader down to two points. Third place for David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra keeps them at the top of the leaderboard but pressure is being exerted from all sides.

 

The results in IRC Class 4 show that these yachts were heavily affected by the rain storm and resultant changes in weather conditions. John Kara's Dehler 34 Skybird came from nowhere to score a resounding victory. Dr Basil Diethelm's Swan 44 Sarabande clawed its way into second place by nine seconds from Neil Ankcorn's Farr 1104 and defending champion Mat Salleh not faring so well this year to finally take third place on the podium. Aquavit IV the Elan 340 skippered by Bob Howison finished back down in seventh place, adding 14 points onto their score but three wins and one second place keeps them at the top of the class, five points in front of Vincent Chan's second placed Titan 36 Mata Hari going into the final races.

Provisionally in Non IRC Class 5 Gavin Welman's Hallberg Rassy 53 Rascal has won race 5 but is subject to protest from Panacea skippered by Dave Moxey for a alleged start line infringement. Jon & Sandra Stonham's Robert Perry 47 Tui Tai has consistently been up with the leaders to secure second place. Jay Jarvis's Ben Lexcen Cat Rigged Ketch Blue Jay finally appeared on the podium with third place. Depending how the protest hearing goes provisionally Rascal leads Peter Jones Bashford Howison 41 Jenny III by one point in the overall pointscore for the class title.

Although Aussie Don McGrath's Oram 44 Cat Out of the Bag finished over six hours in front of the next boat the adjustment in handicap by Dave the Brave sees them drop down to second place. Dato' Richard Curtis's Gaff Rigged Cutter Eveline managed to finish the race without recording any motoring hours to score a resounding victory and the celebrations are likely to go on for days. John Mitchell's Crowther Cat 35 Merpati Putih all the way from Indonesia slotted into third place. Out of the Bag leads in the overall class pointscore but the mismatch of boats is like comparing apples with oranges.

Two windward / leeward races for the IRC classes and one inshore race for the cruisers is scheduled on Saturday for the final day of racing. Several classes have close scores that still can change the outcome and others have a big hurdle to climb with the juggling of results to date but past years have shown that anything can happen in the legendary islands of Langkawi.

More RMSIR 07 info and full results at: http://www.rmsir.com


18th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2007

AsianYachting Race Report 3

Inshore program gets underway
Heavy cloud cover during the morning slows the land heating that generates the sea breeze. Consequently the sailors were left to drift around on a glassy sea hoping that something would majestically fill in and get the inshore part of the Raja Muda program underway. Sounds familiar as I recall back to past years. After patiently waiting for 2 1/2 hours a westerly breeze sprung up and quickly built to 12 - 15 knots allowing the race committee to fire away the starts and complete race three in under an hour. Just as race four got underway the breeze dropped and the race shortened for all IRC racing classes to complete the Penang inshore program.

Close starts became the order of the day. Ray Roberts drew on all the teams experience to win both starts on his DK46 Quantum Racing and go onto win race three and third place in race four, missing out by a mere 21 seconds on a race they thought they had in the bag. Consistently scoring second places keeps Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns defending champion Mills 51 Fortis Mandrake at the top of the table. The fresh breeze in race 3 allowed Frank Pong's Reichel-Pugh 75 Jelik to stretch their legs and despite starting nearly a couple of minutes behind the fleet managed to catch up on time to score third place in race three. Jelik at full tilt with the big asymmetric kite powering them along at 20 knots is a sight to behold and good reason to claim first and fastest in race 4 by 14 seconds.

IRC Class 2 had only one harbour race scheduled for the premier cruisers. Dr Ian Nicolson had Rolf Heemskerk come on board and take the helm which fired up his old sailing buddies on the Dubois 80 Intrigue to set a blistering pace around the course. Both Intrigue and Hans Rahmann's 70ft Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda came off the start line together and began match racing, going boat for boat around the entire course. Yasooda has won both races so far but her 33 second advantage at the finish was just not enough to beat the charging Intrigue and had to settle on second place this time. Neil Williamson's Oceanis 523 Resolution of Whitby got caught up when the wind faded away and scored third place as the time limit ran out for the remaining boats.

David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra just keeps bobbing up and taking podium places, has excelled with a race 3 win and third in race 4 to hold a slender lead at the top of the overall IRC Class 3 pointscore. Dr Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid keeps improving with age and two second places today keeps them pecking away at the leaders. Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth lost allot of time when the headsail ripped during race 3 but had done enough in the earlier stages to hang onto third spot. The Royal Malaysian Navy's DK Farr 520 Zuhal with Khairuddin Mohamad on the helm pulled one out of the bag to record their first ever race win at the Raja Muda on race 4.

The close starts saw several boats over the line early and those that did not return were scored OCS. Vincent Chan's crew on the Titan 36 Mata Hari got it right from the start of race 3 to hold a handy lead by the windward mark. Although they looked destined to win the race, surprisingly only three minutes seperated them from the distant pack to finish second on handicap by 37 seconds. Mata Hari's crew did not lay down and die, they stayed on the pace and went onto convincingly win race four. The race winning Elan 340 Aquavit IV skippered by Bob Howison miraculously came back to take race 3 and third place in race 4 may have broken their winning streak but keeps them at the top of the IRC Class 4 leader board. Dr Basil Diethelm asked to drop his Swan 44 Sarabande down a class and start afresh after being clearly outclassed on the two passage races. This move paid dividends straight away with third place in race 3 and keeps Chas from Tas from burning our ears. Keith Dunn's premature start dropped his Mountgay 30 Lunchcutter II down to sixth place on race 3 but rebounded to be back amongst the leaders with second place in race 4.

Non IRC Class 5 saw Simon Piff's Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dream come to the fore by taking maximum advantage of the weather conditions. Although Peter Jones Bashford Howison 41 Jenny III was miles in front they mistakenly tried to finish at the start line. When they realized their mistake they lost precious time retracing their steps to finish properly and had to settle for second place by less than two minutes. Jon & Sandra Stonham's Robert Perry 47 Tui Tai was powered up from the start as they enjoy the brisker conditions which slotted them into third place in the only race scheduled today.

The battle of the two grand old ladies has been disrupted by reclassifying the Non IRC Class 6 and including two catamarans with two classic monohulls. Talk about a real mismatch or throwing a cat amongst the pigeons. Never the less as Aussie Don McGrath's Oram 44 Cat Out of the Bag roared off into the distance Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 with all sails set and Dato' Richard Curtis's Gaff Rigged Cutter Eveline where staging a closely contested private battle of their own. What a magnificent sight and with the fresh breeze these heavyweights can actually get moving along quite quickly. After handicaps are applied the cat Out of the Bag scored another win by thirty minutes from the dedicated classic boat sailors on Sirius 1935. Dato' Richard Curtis had Eveline fully wound up but may not have the horsepower to match Sirius 1935 which can fly up to six working sails at any one time.

The fleet now sets sail on race 5 from Penang to duty-free Langkawi on the island hopping marathon up the west coast of peninsula Malaysia.

More RMSIR 07 info and full results at: http://www.rmsir.com


18th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2007

AsianYachting Race Report 2

Trials and tribulations as race 2 comes to an end...
Despite the early morning downpour and heavy cloud cover, an 8 to 12 knot North Westly breeze greeted the sailors at the Pangkor Island start line and PRO Jerry Rollin promptly sent them on their way to Penang. Close hauled to start with and ever so gently easing around to a fine reach, had crews trimming the sails to squeeze every ounce of speed out of the boat on the 65nm two sail, straight line drag race. Last nights relaxed prize giving party at the Seaview Resort is a perfect example of why the Raja Muda Regatta is so popular amongst a core group of sailors that return each year. We are blessed with some of the highest ranked sailing officials and world renown race boat campaigners under the same roof. Dressed casually and away from their boardrooms and offices they are very approachable while enjoying crew camaraderie, friendly conversations with other competitors and even off the cuff comments to the media. At one table Bryan Willis the chairman of the 32nd America's Cup Jury was entertaining the troops about the last event and espousing on why he has not been invited back next time. At another table Frank Pong and Ray Roberts are discussing the race 1 start and jokingly accusing each other of getting in the way. Scattered around the place are various International legends of sailing including Chas from Tas, Aussie Zappa, Steve McConaghy, Grimesy, Wasa Downes, Geoff Hill and a splattering of respected top surgeons, Hong Kong lawyers and businessman that are always ready to give their opinions on how to solve the worlds problems.

Half way up the track the breeze increased but came around on the nose forcing the boats on a long tack towards the coast then short tacking up the Kra Bank to avoid the incoming tidal current. Ray Roberts DK46 Quantum Racing were determined to make up for the 3rd place in race 1 and hit the start line first, then tacked away early to get a jump on the others within the first few miles of racing. Hot on their weather hip was Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns jointly owned Mills 51 Fortis Mandrake. Although Frank Pong's Reichel-Pugh 75 Jelik was leading the racing class they seemed a little of the pace and did not appear to have their time on the smaller boats hot on his wake. After negotiating a minefield of fishing nets and changing weather conditions including a tropical downpour it was Frank Pong's Jelik that emerged out of the darkness to take line honours after 11 hours and four minutes of racing. Not to be outdone Fred Kinmonth piloted the Mills 51 Fortis Mandrake across the line less than six minutes latter to take handicap honours and go one step further in defending the title they so rightfully earned last year. One hour after Jelik finished the dueling DK 46's crossed the line with Ray Roberts Quantum Racing ten minutes in front of the factory owned DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Shahril and his band of flying dutchmen. They had done enough to claim second and third places respectively and stay at the top of the order after 2 double pointscoring races have been completed.

Hans Rahmann saw a gap open between the start boat and the Columbia 50 Alis, then stuck the bow of his 70ft Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda into it and pulled off one of the best starts of the regatta so far. All the skippers were keen to get going so allot of jockeying around for a good start was possible in the fresh breeze, which resulted in some daring and close starts being the order of the day. Although the 70ft Yasooda went onto claim line honours in Class 2 it was Neil Williamson's much smaller Oceanis 523 Resolution of Whitby with the Montpelier team aboard that piped them for handicap honours. Dr Ian Nicolson and all his old sailing buddies on the Dubois 80 Intrigue are having a great time keeping everyone honest despite the light breeze to slot into third place.

The yachts that manage to get a good start and carry on concentrating on boat speed till the end are generally running off with the podium places. That is if you are lucky not to get tangled in the many fishing nets that are randomly set on the favoured Kra Bank side of the course. The Royal Malaysian Navy's training DK Farr 520 Zuhal with Khairuddin Mohamad on the helm took line honours in Class 3 but ended up in 6th place after handicaps are applied. John Blay's Beneteau First 44.7 Walawala from Hong Kong claimed the handicap honours just in front of Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth with some of last years victorious Sydney - Hobart crew onboard. Race 1 winner David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra seemed slightly of the pace and had to settle on third place. Dr Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid was well up with the leading racing class boats until they found a fishing net and spent over 70 minutes getting untangled which cost them a definite podium place.

In Class 4 the Elan 340 Aquavit IV skippered by Bob Howison continued on their winning ways this time with a first and fastest by the proverbial mile. One and a half hours latter RSYC Vice Commodore Vincent Chan's Titan 36 Mata Hari crossed the finish line for second place and the only boat to come anywhere close to Aquavit IV. A further 10 minutes down the track Keith Dunn's Mountgay 30 Lunchcutter II stayed in touch but having a similar handicap as Mata Hari had to settle on third place.

Gavin Welman's Hallberg Rassy 53 Rascal went from almost motoring the full length of race 1 to only 28 minutes this race which earned him the Handicap honours in Non-IRC Class 5. Peter Jones Bashford Howison 41 Jenny III is streaks faster under sail than the rest of the boats in the class but her much higher handicap rating invariably drops them down the order to second place despite finishing 1 1/2 hours in front of Rascal. Provisionally in third place is the RSYC Sailing Academy's well drilled crew on the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36.2 Panacea skippered by Dave Moxey.

Aussie Don McGrath's Oram 44 Cat Out of the Bag blitzed the Non IRC Class 6 to hold two out of two first and fastest's. I think Aussie handicapper Dave the Brave will have to give his bag of bones a good shake up before applying adjustments for race 3. After disappointingly running aground in race 1 Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 rebounded with second place to put them back in the running for overall honours. After nearly 15 hours of motoring the RSYC Commodore Dato' Richard Curtis's Gaff Rigged Cutter Eveline slipped into third place despite the New Straits Times reporting that they are the envy of all the sailors and usually win the event hands down.

Competitors will have a chance to test their trishaw racing skills after arriving in Penang. The annual event is one of the shore based activities organized by the Penang Tourism Association for the visiting sailors to enjoy.

More RMSIR 07 info and full results at: http://www.rmsir.com
Todays Photo Edition comes courtesy of Guy Nowell the official photographer for the RMSIR.


18th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2007

AsianYachting Race Report 1

A good test of patience...
Race one got off in fine style when PRO Jerry Rollin declared "Clear Start" after five starts were conducted in quick secession on the northern approaches to Pt Klang. Now for the 100 odd miles before they reach the tranquil Pangkor Island group. After a short windward leg the afternoon sea breeze built up to 10 - 12 knots and crews worked feverishly to speed the boat along on a close hauled alternating to fine reaching course to clear the shallows of Selangor. Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 was not so lucky as they promptly ran aground approaching the windward mark and despite efforts to tow them off had to wait for the tide to go out and come in before they could get underway again.

Boat speed is very important in a strait line drag race, so trimming sails and good helming takes over as priority number one. To everyone's surprise Razali Mansor skippering the Royal Malaysian Navy DK Farr 520 Zuhrah nailed the start line and was closely followed by the brand new factory owned DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Shahril. Unusual for Ray Roberts Quantum Racing crew to be at the back of the fleet but they may have been suffering from overindulgence at the previous nights welcoming dinner. After six hours of racing the seabreeze gradually petered out and the boats waited for the evening land breeze to materialize. Unfortunately a long wait was to follow and many boats found there own private parking lots and individual zephyrs of wind to move them along. No rain was recorded and a clear starry night had a cooling effect despite the lack of wind.

Frank Pong's Reichel-Pugh 75 Jelik were not so lucky in the wind lottery and were beaten across the line by the Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns smaller Mills 51 and defending champion Fortis Mandrake. After what could only be described as a frustrating 15 to 16 hours of racing it was the new factory owned DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Shahril with a scratch Dutch, Swedish and Malaysian crew that won the first race out of the box. Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mills 51 Fortis Mandrake claimed second spot and Ray Roberts DK46 Quantum Racing third place to make it a small boat benefit on race one.

Most the boats were delayed and only started to finish at dawn. Those that persisted in sailing began to stream in as the day wore on, so the usually raucous Seaview Resort breakfast consisted of the committee and jury only to be interrupted by the occasional colorful hornbill flying in to observe the yearly ritual. At 70ft Hans Rahmann's Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda managed to finish early with the last of the morning land breeze to claim first and fastest in IRC 2. Although Neil Williamson's Oceanis 523 Resolution of Whitby had to wait for the afternoon sea breeze to fill in, they slotted into second place and relegated Dr Ian Nicolson's magnificent Dubois 80 Intrigue down to third place.

David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra kept their race winning record going by scoring an IRC Class 3 win by a healthy margin over Dr Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid competing here for the fourteenth time. As the race drags on the elapsed time increases and the handicap margins widen to give the smaller handicap boats a chance to improve their standings. After twenty one hours of racing Andrew Findlay's Beneteau First 45f5 Impiana finished a mere forty five seconds in front of La Samudra across the line but got bumped down to third overall.

The closely matched IRC Class 4 saw the winning trio finish within an hour of each other. Bob Howison's crew on the Elan 340 Aquavit IV managed to keep the boat moving throughout the night and morning to finish in a respectable time, thereby eclipsing the leaders and taking the Race 1 handicap honours. Gerry Firth's brand new Beneteau First 34.7 Skandia stayed on the pace to claim second place from Keith Dunn's Mountgay 30 Lunchcutter II that showed them the way and benefited from some new reaching sails especially purchased for this event.

The battle of the Hot Water boats (Non IRC Class 5 & 6) boils down to the number of engine hours each skipper submits as being an honest record of their motoring time. These are then multiplied by a factor then added to the elapsed time. Some boats have added on 10 to 14 hours to their time. Peter Jones on the Bashford Howison 41 Jenny III needed only two hours of motoring and by finishing at a respectable hour in the morning earned them a Class 5 victory. Jon & Sandra Stonham's Robert Perry 47 Tui Tai with all the family onboard weighed in with second place. The RSYC Sailing Academy's Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36.2 Panacea skippered by Dave Moxey got in just before the official cut-off time to record a well deserved third place.

The grounding of Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 left the door wide open for RSYC Commodore Dato' Richard Curtis's Shanghai Gaff Rigged Cutter Eveline to do the honours in Class 6, formerly the Classic Class. After a few no shows and some further deliberations by the committee Class 5 & 6 is being split into a more even contest based on the accumulated Race 1 finish and motoring hours. The two catamarans now join in with the grand old ladies. Aussie Don McGrath's Oram 44 Cat Out of the Bag now becomes the winner in front of Eveline and John Mitchell's Crowther Cat 35 Merpati Putih from Indonesia slots in third place.

18th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2007
AsianYachting Pre-Race Report

Facing up to the challenge...
Over forty yachts from all over the world are once again converging on Port Klang, Malaysia for the 18th running of the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta. Billed as the most challenging regatta in SE Asia, it is not surprising that many sailors return year after year, to thoroughly test their racing skills by conquering the unique Malacca Straits race program, all whilst' enjoying some good ole friendly Malaysian hospitality. As if three overnight passage races stopping at tropical islands along the west coast is not enough of a challenge, organisers have scheduled four harbour races to spice things up which significantly increases the degree of difficulty. By the end of the series the class winners will definitely have earned their victory and usually go on to podium finishes at other regional regattas.

The increase of entries allows the classification of yachts to be tweaked a little. Four IRC classes divides the racing fleet in an effort to have boats of similar size and speed racing against each other. Double point scoring for the passage races and for the first time competitors will not be able to drop a race or their worst score, so a good performance will be required for all the races.

The interesting part of passage racing is how you handle the changing weather conditions. After the starting signal sounds, it really comes down to what mother nature serves up over the next 12 to 18 hours. Strong Malacca Strait tidal currents will require due consideration by the navigator to positioning the boat along the way. Depending on the boats speed at least three or four tidal flow changes can directly effect the outcome. Who dares to hug the shallow coastal waters when struggling into an incoming tide and how far out do you go to benefit from the outgoing current without missing the switch from afternoon sea breeze to the evening land breeze. This time of the year tropical storms can build up very quickly and as they head to sea, where they encounter the fleet (leaders, mid fleet or tail enders) is also a race determining factor. Will this years race be a big boat or small boat affair?

Amongst the Racing Class entrants is Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns defending champion Fortis Mandrake. However they won't have it all their own way as Frank Pong's Reichel-Pugh 75 Jelik has been on fire recently, winning the China Coast Regatta and Ray Roberts DK 46 Quantum Racing claimed the honours at the inaugural China Cup. Adam Ng's Judel/Vrolijk 52 Microlab Moonlight Shadow is the first time an entry has come from mainland China and is expected to be amongst the leaders. Two Malaysian boats form a strong local contingent led by the Royal Malaysian Navy DK Farr 520 Zuhrah and Khairul Shahril skippering the brand new factory owned DK 46 Janda Baik.

IRC Class 2 formerly the Premier Cruising class has five yachts ranging from Dato' Alex Nah's new Hunter 49 Virgo to Dr Ian Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue. In between is long time RSYC stalwarts Martin Axe skippering the Columbia 50 Alis and Neil Williamson's Oceanis 523 Resolution of Whitby. Measuring in at 70ft Hans Rahmann's very sleek Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda will be one to watch after gaining valuable experience over the last year.

IRC Class 3 is mainly for the over 40ft cruiser / racers that don't quite fit into the premier cruising class. Over the years David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra, Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth, Andrew Findlay's Beneteau First 45f5 Impiana and Dr Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid have all had class wins and will be an interesting match up this time around. Welcome newcomers Dr Basil Diethelm's Swan 44 Sarabande, John Blay's Beneteau First 44.7 Walawala and the Royal Malaysian Navy's DK - Farr 520 Zuhal into the fold and you stir up a potpourri of possible race winners.

The nature of the regatta often favours the bigger boats, so the introduction of IRC Class 4 gives the smaller yachts an opportunity to race in a class of their own. Neil Ankcorn's Farr 1104 Mat Salleh and Bob Howison's Elan 340 Aquavit IV have scored podium places before both here and at other regional regattas. Up from Singapore is Keith Dunn's Mountgay 30 Lunchcutter II ready to have another go at the elusive RM trophy. Others to watch out for are Jeremy Camps Eygthene 24 Jandi, John Kara's Dehler 34 Skybird, Jega Muniandy X342 Leopad Dream and Tony Sobey's Tasker 32 Blue Royale. Late adjustments sees RSYC Vice Commodore Vincent Chan's Titan 36 Mata Hari and Gerry Firth's brand new Beneteau First 34.7 Endeavour of Whitby come down from the racing class and ready to pounce.

With twelve entrants the Non-IRC Class 5 is the biggest and contains an impressive line-up of odds and sods that will race under chief measurer Dave Richards arbitrary handicap system. Gavin Welman's Hallberg Rassy 53 Rascal from New Zealand is the biggest, Jay Jarvis's Ben Lexcen Cat Rigged Ketch Blue Jay has won in Langkawi before, Peter Jones bringing the Bashford Howison 41 Jenny III out of retirement, Jon & Sandra Stonham's Robert Perry 47 Tui Tai and cruising home since leaving Hong Kong two years ago, the RSYC Sailing Academy's Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36.2 Panacea skippered by Dave Moxey and Simon Piff's Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dream are examples of the diversity in this class. Throw in two multihull's - John Mitchell's Crowther Cat 35 Merpati Putih from Indonesia and Aussie Don McGrath's Oram 44 Cat Out of the Bag will keep handy Dave on his toes throughout the event.

Non-IRC Class 6 is formerly the Classic Class. Three grand old ladies are coming together. Julian Hill's Tayana 37 Sanook has taken the honours at Phuket King's Cup before, RSYC Commodore Dato' Richard Curtis's evergreen Shanghai Gaff Rigged Cutter Eveline will enjoy battling it out with old foe Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 that has a long history of sailing the Asian Pacific waterways.

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