First regatta for 2019 & sailors New Year celebrations…
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), Langkawi Sports Trophy (Sportsboat class), the Commodore’s Challenge Cup (Club Cruising Class) as well as the Malaysia Multihull Challenge Cup (Multihull class).
After Tropical Storm Pabuk bought unsettled weather last week, the first couple of days of the regatta, the East North Easterly returns in the morning and increases in strength during the week. By Thursday there is a possibility the ‘Round the Islands’ race could be run, with a chance 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.
The rivalry between Kevin Whitcraft’s defending champion TP52 THA 72 and Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood will begin again in earnest, but they will have to overcome two Royal Malaysian Armed Forces Sail Association yachts, DK47 Uranus skippered by Salleh Ahmad and Hairolnizam on Farr 520 Zuhal, plus Dato Khalilur Rahman’s DK 46 Janda Baik skippered by Khairul Zakaria, vying for the handicap stakes. We can expect some tactical racing of the highest order, from this classy fleet and the winner worthy of being presented the trophy by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, at the closing ceremony
Ten different design yachts in the IRC 1 class, will blast into the sailing new year in grand style.and intend on making it difficult for Vincent Chan’s Malaysian Team on his Titan 36 Mata Hari from defending the title. Kazuki Kihara’s First 40.7 Char Chan (Ex Karasu and multiple King’s Cup winner) settled on 2nd place last year, after count back and expect them to be on the pace again. Scott Bradley’s Sydney 40 East Marine Emagine, preformed with distinction in 2017 and returns with a new mast this time. Geoff Masters Mills 41 Meraki is aiming to improve on 3rd place last year and John Kara’s Beneteau First 45 Insanity is always in the mix. Newcomers Alexey Mashkin’s Cookson 12m MegaZip, Andrew McDermott’s Corby 36 Jessandra II and Jega Muniandy’s MC31 Kannu, hope to leave their mark on the title. Max Palleschi’s IOR Farr 40 Prime Factor plus the Russian Stanislav Pechenkin’s IOR Farr 43 Uminoko can never be discounted in mixed company.
After running successful racing campaigns in the Philippines during the 90’s and at the ripe ole age of 80 plus, Richard (Dick) Morris Schock 35 Salina makes a return in the IRC 2 class, but is coming up against Niels Degenkolw’s, multiple RLIR winning X 3/4 ton Mk2 Phoenix could be a far fetch. If Jeremy Camps Impala 28 OOD The Blue Angel and Stuart Williamson’s First 34.7 APW Endeavour of Whitby are up for the challenge, they could add their name to the RLIR IRC 2 Challenge Trophy.
The Sportsboat class are returning after a year away and four Malaysian teams representing UMT, Navy 1, MSA Team and the Royal Selangor Yacht Club are racing the nippy Platu 25’s and looking forward to earning the bragging rights and being presented with the Langkawi Sports Trophy for the New Year.
Three high powered multihull’s are going head to head. For the first time, the clash between John Newnham’s Twin Sharks, that has won most races and Phuket regattas in the Firefly 850 Sports Class over the last few years, with Dan Fidock’s giant slaying Moore 36 Fugazi, that overcome the ORMA 60 SHK Scallywag FUKU at the King’s Cup in December, is an interesting lineup to follow. Bob McIntyre’s Stealth 13 Allegro will be keeping them honest and capable of out doing them both, if the conditions are suitable.
Eight yachts will be divided into the Club Cruising and Ocean Rover Classes, based on handicaps and vintage. Rama Menon’s Dehler 38 VG Offshore, Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly and Tristram Denyer’s Baveria 37 Iseulta have performed with distinction before, while newcomers Effindi Ismail’s SunOdyssey 37 Luna/Nafi, Tong Jian Quan’s Slipper 42 YBC Atom, Keith Miller’s Harmony 38 Sade 2 plus the Malaysian Armed Forces Contessa 32 Marikh could upset their plans and all are capable of securing the title on their day.
A’dale Adham Ayahudin’s Oyster 55 Chantique and Datuk Richard Curtis’ 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline, would like to honour the passing of legendary crew member KP Waran with a win. Jack Christensen’s Bavaria 49 Linda has regularly competed in the Ocean Rover class and could throw a spanner into their plans.
This event is now the seventh point scoring regatta on the annual AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) and gives Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood a chance to extend their lead in the AYGP Rankings John Newnham’s Firefly 850 Sports Twin Sharks, Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly, Dan Fidock’s Moore 36 Fugazi, Niels Degenkolw’s X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix and Max Palleschi’s IOR Farr 40 Prime Factor are all aiming to improve their standings. Ultimately the skipper and yacht with the highest pointscore at the end of the season, will be crowned the 2018-19 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year. Check out the 2018-19 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.
Tayfun Koksal, General Manager of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club said “January is once again an exciting time of the year for the sailing community and the RILR 2019 has exponentially grown to become an important fixture on the international sailing calendar.”
“We aim to bring this prestigious event to greater heights and continue to position Malaysia and Langkawi in particular, as a prominent sailing location whilst promoting sailing and boosting sports tourism for the country,” he said.
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, Tourism Malaysia and the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA).
The RLIR AY Race Reports are kindly bought to you by the following supporters