Sabang Int Regatta.
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.

Inaugural Sabang International Regatta 2011

AY Race Report 1

3, 2, 1 and their away on a race to discovery...
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
September 17th: Finally after months of promotional road shows the race/rally start time has arrived. With CIQ formalities completed the 20 yachts headed out into Bass harbour to test their sail combinations in the freshening breeze. Majestically the overcast stormy conditions over the last few weeks were replaced with brilliant sunshine and fluffy white clouds. The enthusiastic Indonesian organising committee and government officials were brimming with excitement and applauded every time the countdown horn sounded. IRC and Multihull's were first up followed by Cruising and Motor Yachts. Crews saluted the start boat and best wishes exchanged as the yachts milled around testing the line. Then it was game on, despite the cruising nature of the event.

This is more than a yacht race and the Indonesian Director of Domestic Promotion at last nights Grand Opening Party was quick to remind competitors that "Giving back to the International community after all the help that was kindly donated after the 2004 Tsunami is very much on their mind". The natural beauty of Sabang has resulted in Weh Island being chosen as the next big eco-tourism destination to open in Indonesia. Traditional dance troops entertained the crowd and uncharacteristic for this region, the General Secretary of the Indonesian Sailing Federation (PORLASI) and the Mayor of Sabang Province invited officials up to the stage and opened a bottle of champagne to toast the success of the Inaugural Sabang International Regatta 2011.

Most the committee have never seen a yacht race start and watched on in awe as the crews made their final approach to the line. Dato Alex Nah's Hunter 14.9m Virgo looked to have the box seat until the Royal Malaysian Navy Farr 520 Zuhal rolled over the top of them. Being a bit early forced Zuhal to run down the line, which left the door open for Richard Eyre's Corsair 37 Zhuka to hit the line with speed and win the inaugural start by a boat length from Zuhal. With cheers abound Virgo and Robert Azzopardi's 13m Dreamtime followed close behind.

Next up the Cruisers tweaked the sheets on a little more than usual and despite being late and in single file were only to happy to be heading off on a new adventure. Anthony Florence's 13.71m Jellyfish took the honour of being first across the line. Matthiew Paulin's 11.74m Island Time came next with Ivan Ogree's 12.74m Thumbs Up following suite. Then the committee realised that Brent McInnes 13m L'Hexagone had slipped through at the tail end of the IRC Class and were recalled. As there was no response they will incur some sort of penalty yet to be determined by the race committee.

Amiruddin Tyebjee's 12.5m Duck did the honours for the Motor Yachts and whilst Simon Morris' classic 16.4m Sirius 1935 is on race committee duty they came through and address the line before departing. From all reports some of the boats leaving from Phuket have already arrived in Sabang with Martin Eleveld's 15.65m Reely Nauti Too the first to arrive.

By late afternoon the yachts have already disappeared over the horizon and making good time in 10 to 12 knots of wind. This is expected to fade a little during the evening but the forecast looks good with wind from SW/W at 10/15 Knots. Scattered showers/isolated thunderstorms. Sea slight. Swell low. A tricky night lays ahead with strong currents to be negotiated and what side of the mainly windward course to get the best advantage,

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