Classic conditions return for Pinang to Langkawi Race
The day started with PRO Jerry Rollin, signaling ‘Follow Me’ out of Pinang Harbour, till he found some steady wind speed and direction. By the entrance marker, the sea breeze had arrived and the race team swung into action, 40 minutes after the scheduled start time. As we reach the mid way stage of racing, it is make or break time for all the teams. Many were keen to get going and the first starting recalls of the regatta were recorded. Go to the AY Photo Gallery for some images of the action so far.
For the first four hours of the race, 10 to 12 knots on the nose. One tack and not a single sail change. Then the North Easterly pushed through and suddenly the wind freshened up to 25 knots within minutes. Christian Fischer onboard Antipodes takes up the story ‘We changed from a J1 straight to the J4. When I came back from the bow, the wind display showed well above 30 knots. For the remaining 1.5 hours we crashed through the waves towards the finish line. Who said there is no wind at Asian regattas? Second over the line and first in our class. We started at 1410 and finished at 1930. Just in time for dinner. What an amazing day again!’
Philip Turner’s Alive completed the 53nm course in 4hrs 46mins 23secs for the fastest time in the fleet but when the IRC handicaps were applied, Race 2 winner and despite being recalled at the start, Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth’s Sydney GTS 43 EFG Mandrake came out on top and Alive ends up in sixth place. Second place for Sarab Singh’s Welbourn 52 Windsikher II keeps them on top of the overall IRC 1 leader board by one point from EFG Mandrake. Also recalled at the start, third place for Steve Manning’s Ker 42 Black Baza is a huge improvement and will have to perform exceptionally well, on the coming harbour races, to end up on the podium.
Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Antipodes made it four wins in a row in the Premier Cruising Class, by 24 minutes from Andrew Cocks Simonis Voogd 56 Starlight. They remain on track to defend the title.
Despite a slight dip in form, on the Penang Harbour race, Gordon Ketelbey’s syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin bounced back with a win and very much on track to defend the IRC 3 title. The bigger boats, Craig Douglas Beneteau 47 Popeye and John Kara’s Beneteau First 45 Insanity are starting to exert some pressure as the wind increases. Second and third places respectively, closes the ranks of the trailing boats to one point a piece and puts the podium places up for grabs.
Pete Waa’s chartered Farr 1104 Farrgo Express added another win, to make it four in a row and lay one hand on the IRC 4 Class title. Although Jeremy Camps Hunter Impala Old Pulteney Blue Angel finished 50 minutes behind Jeff Harris’ J 92S Nijinski, they managed to slot into second place, for their best result to date.
By retiring from today’s race, overall Cruising Class leader Philip Auger’s Davidson 35 Sophia left the door open for Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly to claim their first win this regatta. Rama’s Dehler 34 V.G.Offshore moves up a place to second and Leslie Sharpe’s Moody 376 Southern Light into third place. As Auger’s Sophia went to the assistance of the dismasted Marikh, they are seeking time redress from the jury and to be reinstated in the results.
The arrival of the North Easterly has claimed its first victim. The Royal Malaysian Navy Contesa 32 Marikh skippered by Masyuri Rahamat, broke the mast on the final stage of the leg and was towed into Langkawi. No one was injured and the overall Class 6 leader, will take no further part in the regatta. Keith Miller’s Harmony 38 Sade 2 was first to finish and Barry Wickett’s Slipper 42 Kay Sira is expected to take the overall lead.
Although Danny and Nigel’s 3Itch clocked in with a respectable elapsed time of 5hrs 25min, David Liddell’s Stealth 14m WOW went one better, to claim the handicap stakes. Defending champion, Rolf Heemskerk’s chartered Stealth 11.8m Hurricane sandwiched themselves between WOW and 3Itch for second place and by juggling the places, all three boats are now tied on four points, after two races. This one could go down to the wire and is carefully being watched and scrutinised by multihull enthusiasts in Phuket.
There is no rest for the wicked and its back out onto the race track in Bass Harbour, for a round of windward/leeward and passage races today and tomorrow, to complete the regatta.
These RMSIR 2015 Race Reports are kindly bought to you by the following supporters