1 - Playing the patience game...
With only small zephyrs of breeze to play with, this is when full concentration on boat speed is needed and hugging the coast to get out of the strong incoming tidal current is of paramount importance. The full moon helped stay in the breeze lanes and those lucky enough to receive the wind first when a storm front passed overhead in the wee hours of the morning is what eventually determined the podium places on passage Race 1. It took Sam Chan's TP52 Ffreefire a little over 15 hours to cover the 90 mile course at an average speed of 6 knots and the whole crew agreed "That it was the hardest 90 miles of racing they have ever done in their lives and glad that its over". Most the fleet finished well after sunrise and those that have not retired where still arriving late into the afternoon.
Despite being the slowest race on record for many years, the sheer cunningness of Ray Roberts crew to place his TP52 Evolution Racing in the right place at the right time, allowed them to claim the handicap honours. On their first Raja Muda outing Frank Pong's TP52 Jelik V with China’s highly successful Olympic dinghy sailor, Xiaqun Song, on the helm and all-Chinese crew did well to stay up with the leaders in the trying conditions and with a slightly lower handicap than the other TP 52's managed to score second place outright. In front of line honours winner Sam Chan's TP52 Ffreefire on this occasion skippered by Russ Parker reduced to third place as the back markers came in with the building breeze behind them after they finished.
Finishing at 0822 this morning Antony Hastings' Beneteau F53 Baby Tonga jointly skippered by Aussie sailing legend Fraser M. Johnston saw them triumphant in Race 1 and show that they are serious about making it a hat-trick of Premier Cruising class victories in a row this year. Although the Russian Jeanneau 50DS LeRo skippered by Alex Takhovski finished a little under two hours behind Baby Tonga they still managed to secure second place. Past Jugra Cup winner Peter Cremers Warwick 53 Shahtoosh stayed in touch of the leaders but fell back a little towards the end to slot into third place. Line honours went to Hans Rahmann's Judel Vrolijk 21.3m Yasooda crewed by the Phuket mob but on this occasion did not have the legs on their rivals and ended up in fourth place.
The IRC 3 start looked more like bumper cars in side show alley. Steve Manning's Beneteau First 44.7 Walawala was pushed up into the pin boat and had to restart as they were over the line before the starting signal blew. Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid got sandwiched between Rob Bottomley's First 47.7 SailPlane to windward that called up Walawala and Mark Mizner's Sydney 40 Babe that did not give an inch to leeward of them. The lifelines and guard rails became entangled, snapping off a couple feet from the Aussie Maid carbon fibre spinnaker pole in the process. (See Photo) At the end of the race Mark Mizner's Babe provisionally scored first place from Malaysian Armed Forces Farr 52 Zural skippered by Ishak Jab that earlier claimed line honours despite also having been recalled at the start. Peter Wintle's Ker 37 Koull Baby kept their nose clean throughout the starting debacle and went on to claim third place. Missing out by only 14 seconds Steve Manning's Walawala had to settle on fourth and Rob Bottomley's SailPlane ended up in fifth place. Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid fell completely of the pace to finish last but judging by the protest calls and severity of the damage there is likely to be an International jury hearing before the results are finalized.
The hotly contested IRC 4 class saw defending champion David Ross' star studded crew onboard his Kerr 32 Kukukerchu, snatch victory from Bryan Gauson's 1976 Sydney Hobart Race winning Farr 1104 Piccolo. Hot on their heels, Jeff Harris Elan 340 Rapscallion managed to pick their way through the minefield of wind holes to secure third spot in front of some of his highly fancied club rivals.
Having previously won the IRC Cruising Class 5 title, Gavin Welman's Hallberg-Rassy 53 Rascal is well versed in the intricacies of racing in the Malacca Straits to take out the daily double of line and handicap honours. Japan's Yasuto Fuda carefully guided his Van De Stadt 11.4 Fortissimo 8 into second place. After having the disappointment of breaking the mast last year, Ken Barber's Hunter 410 Unity made up for it with a well deserved third place.
At press time only two boats have recorded finish times in Non IRC Classic Class 6. The Malaysian Armed Forces Contessa 34 and defending champion Musytari skippered by Norhafizam finished at 09:35 and Tim Wilson's 20m Cutter-Ketch El Oro built for Baron Bich in 1972 as a cruising version of the famous French Whitbread RTW winner - Kriter finished at 14:45 this afternoon. Simon Morris Sirius 1935 retired with a medical emergency and the where about's of Malcolm Elliott's Peterson 46 Coup de Soleil and Dato Richard Curtis 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline is still unknown.
Racing continues tomorrow onto Penang Island, after tonight's Race 1 prize giving ceremony and gala dinner hosted by the Perak Tourism Action Council, held in the brand new Pangkor Marina Island function centre.
This RMSIR 2010 is kindly bought to you by the following supporters