Ray Roberts wins Prime Ministers Challenge Trophy for 7th time…
With a master stroke performance, Ray Roberts and his talented crew on the TP52 Team Hollywood, have clean sweeped the IRC Racing class, with nine wins out of ten races, to clinch the Prime Ministers Challenge Trophy for the 7th time. Although the two time defending champion, Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52 THA 72 never gave up and was out pointed on the windward beats, they kept the pressure on and stringed together a matching row of 2nd places, but have to hand the trophy over to Ray Roberts. Dato Khalilur Rahman’s DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Zakaria hung on to 3rd overall and claim the Malaysian ‘bragging rights’ over the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces DK47 Uranus skippered by Mohd Masyuri and the Farr 520 Zuhal, skippered by Norhafisam, ending in 4th and 5th respectively.
Roberts and Team Hollywood also score a whopping 19 points on the annual AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) and become the “Highest AYGP Scorer” at the RLIR and extend their lead in the AYGP Rankings over Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 Mandrake III by 20.5 points, with 5 regattas to go before, the prestigious 2018-19 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year are awarded.
On the first race today, Scott Bradley’s Sydney 40 East Marine Emagine, finally came through for victory on the short courses by 19 seconds but with Vincent Chan’s all Malaysian team on his Titan 36 Mata Hari correcting out in 2nd place and winning the last race, they slammed the door shut on the other competitors, to win the hotly contested LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy by 6 points. This is also the sixth time Mata Hari has won an IRC title. The Russians on Alexey Mashkin’s Cookson 12m MegaZip, ended their race winning streak, to settle on 2nd overall, with Bradley’s East Marine Emagine finishing on the podium in 3rd overall.
By hammering home two more race wins, Stuart Williamson’s First 34.7 APW Endeavour of Whitby, take home the RLIR-IRC2 Challenge Trophy and deprive 2nd placed Niels Degenkolw’s X 3/4 ton Mk2 Phoenix, from winning an eighth title. With a series of breakages, including a man overboard, Jeremy Camps Impala 28 OOD The Blue Angel and Richard Morris Schock 35 Salina end up in 3rd and 4th places respectively.
Only one race today for the Sportsboat class, to conclude the series. Although Harisfabillah’s Navy 1 ended Muhd Uzzair Amin’s MSA Team winning streak, it comes a little to late in proceedings, as the MSA Team have already won the Langkawi Sports Trophy, with a day to spare. As a consolation prize Harisfabillah’s Navy 1 finish in 2nd overall, with Rizal Mahadi Sazli (Tom) Royal Selangor Yacht Club Team, taking the 3rd step on the podium.
All three Multihull’s were rearing to go, on the final showdown. As they are far apart on the race course, it’s hard to tell who is the race winner. When PRO Simon James announced that Dan Fidock’s Moore 36 Fugazi had beaten John Newnham’s Firefly 850 Sports Twin Sharks by 5 seconds, the overall placing’s were decided, with Fidock’s Fugazi winning the Malaysia Multihull Challenge Cup, on their first attempt. This ia real testament for the Multihull handicap system, pitting a 36ft one-off custom trimaran, against the smaller Firefly 850 Sports catamaran and ending up only seconds apart on corrected time. As they both have suffered sail damage, it was time to call it a day and go back to lick their wounds. This left Bob McIntyre’s Stealth 13 Allegro to circulate alone and win the last race but have been outclassed by the dueling leaders for 3rd overall.
There is no stopping the Malaysian Armed Forces Contessa 32 Marikh, skippered by Hasani Hassan, when they have the bit between the teeth. Second and first places, sealed the deal in the Club Cruising class and for the first time, go home with the Commodore’s Challenge Cup. By winning the first race and 3rd place in the second race, elevates Rama Menon’s Dehler 38 VG Offshore into 2nd overall and relegates Tristram Denyer’s Baveria 37 Iseulta down to 3rd overall. Keith Miller’s Harmony 38 Sade 2 provided the points separation, to juggle the placing’s but doesn’t improve themselves beyond 4th overall.
By excelling in the windy conditions and never finishing below 2nd place, A’dale Adham Ayahudin’s Oyster 55 Chantique goes on to defend the Ocean Rover title, for the fourth time. Although Jack Christensen’s Bavaria 49 Linda, traded first and second places today with Chantique, it comes a little to late in proceedings, to make a difference and 3rd overall is the best they could hope for. Two 3rd places for Datuk Richard Curtis’ 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline, didn’t deter them from taking 2nd overall.
A new bravery award to honour the passing of the legendary Chantique and Eveline crew member KP Waran, was gratefully accepted by Curtis Richard for being the jack of all trades and faithfull crew member on Eveline, plus an almost adopted son of the Waran family.
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. This year the award goes to the Russians on Alexey Mashkin’s Cookson 12m MegaZip.
Wow! What a difference a windy regatta makes on camaraderie between the teams, helping each other out with spare parts and sails, so they can continue racing. Crews have to buckle down and perform the sail handling drills, to be successful or incur big losses. There is a lot of wet and tired crews but they are always ready to party and celebrate the sailors New Year. This regatta is only possible through the support of local businesses, who sponsor and financially support the event. Also the tireless event organisers, volunteers, race committee for running the races and jury for keeping everyone in line. A special mention goes out to ASP Sarebjit Singh and the Royal Malaysian Police, Marine Division for providing security, safety, start boat PA 18, speedboats and the Maritim Malaysia Coastguard for running the media around.
This is the 17th challenging year, and long may it continue. Congratulations goes to the winners, boat owners and crew that have come from near and far, to pit their skills in the legendary isles of Langkawi. Tell your friends and see you next year, early January to ring in the sailors New Year celebrations.
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