Sailors celebrate New Year at RLIR…
Twenty seven racing teams will be fighting it out, on picturesque Bass Harbour and Coastal courses, to the East of Langkawi. The fleet is split into six classes, ranging from some newbies to regular competitors, all excited about fighting over the class titles again.
Teams will be competing for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy (Racing Class), the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy (IRC 1 class), RLIR-IRC2 Challenge Trophy (IRC 2 class), the Commodore’s Challenge Cup (Club Cruising Class) as well as the Malaysia Multihull Challenge Cup (Multihull class).
The first couple of days look a bit light and if predictions turn favourable latter in the week, the ‘Round the Islands’ race could be run, with the possibility of breaking Frank Pong’s RP75 Jelik race record set in 2014, taking 02:14:53 to complete the 28nm course, could be on the cards.
Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive is back and aims to reclaim the title they won in 2016, but face some stiff competition from the Whitcraft family, all conquering TP52 THA 72 that aim to defend the title and continue on with their regatta winning streak, since arriving in South East Asian waters.
Always big supporters of the regatta, the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces Sail Association are fielding their DK47 Uranus skippered by Salleh Ahmad and Hairolnizam on Farr 520 Zuhal, to cover all aspects of the predicted wind range. We can expect some tactical racing of the highest order, from this classy fleet, as they blast into the sailing new year in grand style.
Vincent Chan’s all Malaysian Team on his Titan 36 Mata Hari are the defending IRC 1 champions but will have to be on the pace again, as they are taking on five bigger yachts, Geoff Masters Mills 41 Meraki, John Kara’s Beneteau First 45 Insanity, Max Palleschi’s IOR Farr 40 Prime Factor and Kazuki Kihara’s First 40.7 Char Chan (Ex Karasu and multiple King’s Cup winner), before they can add another LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy to their mantelpiece.
Reduced IRC 2 entries this year, finds Jeremy Camps Impala 28 OOD Old Pulteney Blue Angel, and the famous Rahim brothers on J92 S Nijinsky, taking on Niels Degenkolw’s, multiple RLIR winning X 3/4 ton Mk2 Phoenix and expecting to add their name to the RLIR IRC 2 Challenge Trophy again.
Four very different Multihull craft, ranging from Robert van Paridon’s huge 12.81m trimaran and defending champion Tantrum Too, down to Gerhard Pils nippy Pulse 600 Fetz Ma. With Bob McIntyre’s Stealth 13 Allegro and the Russians on Andrey Arbuzov’s Lippari 41 Lady Anna in between. This is a lively combination of craft to follow, as best performances are reliant on weather conditions.
With 10 yachts entered in the Cruising Classes, the Ocean Rover class is shaping up for a ding dong battle of the United Nations. Ramasamy Menon’s Dehler 38 VG Offshore is back to defend the title and renew the battle with Aussie rival Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly. While this is going on, keep a watchful eye on past winner Kiwi Philip Auger’s Davidson 35 Sophia, Japan’s Yasuto Fuda’s Yamaha 31 Fortissimo X, the Russians on Sergey Dikanov’s Jeanneau One Design Southern Breeze 3 and more Aussie’s on Tristram Denyer’s Baveria 37 Iseulta, will not be giving an inch away and are all capable of securing the title on their day.
Further subdivisions may take place, with some yachts joining A’dale Adham Ayahudin’s Oyster 55 Chantique and USA’s Jack Christensen’s Bavaria 49 Linda in the Ocean Raver class.
This event is now the seventh point scoring regatta on the annual AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) and gives Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52 THA 72, Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive skippered by Duncan Hine, Niels Degenkolw’s X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix and Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly big chances to improve their standings and the possibility of taking over the leader board. Ultimately the skipper and yacht with the highest pointscore at the end of the season, will be crowned the 2017-18 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year. Check out the 2017-18 AYGP Rankings, by clicking on Skipper – Yacht – Regatta and Scoring System.
The special “Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship” award in memory of the late Regatta Founding Chairman and RLYC Commodore Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah, is voted for by the participants and awarded for competitiveness, fair racing and comradeship, both on and off the water, during the regatta.
The Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) is organised by the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC), sanctioned by World Sailing and the Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA), and supported by the Ministry of Youth & Sports, Malaysia and the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA).
The marina has played host to many world wide travelers and lured sailors from around the globe to explore the 100 island group with inland lakes, sandy beaches, limestone karsts and mesmerising folklore, all within easy reach of the yacht club.
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