Celebrating the 30th Raja Muda Regatta…
Twenty nine yachts, divided into six classes, will be under the starters orders, for an 8 day challenge, consisting of three overnight passage races, totaling 260nm and 3 days of harbour racing in Penang and Langkawi. Crews require an iron constitution to get through the racing program, let alone five boisterous prize giving parties, along the way.
Presently the NE trade wind is trying to push through and unless there is a strong flow, the conditions in the Malacca Strait are unsettled and rely on coastal weather formations. Teams must be prepared to change gears and tactics, to suite the conditions. Entries vary from outright serious racers, to local crews having a good time together and has popularly become known as ‘Very character building and challenging event’, that lures some teams back, year after year.
There have been some major changes to the finishing procedures and crews will have to take a good look at the NOR and SI’s, before they can claim and take home, the specially produced, 30th edition miniature silver Raja Muda Cup this year.
While multiple IRC Racing 1 class winners, Sarab Singh’s Welbourn 52 Windsikher II and Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood, will be going head to head for line honours, the Malaysian Armed Forces DK47 Uranus skippered by Norhafisam Ahmad, is joined by two Farr 40’s, Gordon Ketelbey’s Ramrod and Rolf Heemskerk’s newly imported The Next Factor, will be fighting over the handicap honours for the silver trophy.
For many years Geoff Hill has successfully campaigned his Smith 72 Antipodes extensively from Darwin, Australia to Phuket, Thailand and all Asian countries in between. Having won the Premier Cruising Class on several occasions, they will be taking on Doug Sallis’ Hanse 575 Colie, who will have to be on the pace from the beginning, to stand a chance of capturing the Jugra Cup, on their first appearance.
This event is now the fourth point scoring regatta on the 2019-20 Asian Yachting Grand Prix (AYGP) where top ranked skippers expect to improve their overall rankings and welcome Malaysian Skippers and Yachts to make an impression on the scoreboard. Check out the current 2019-20 AYGP Rankings, that culminate in the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards by clicking on Skipper – Yacht – Regatta and Scoring System.
A strong contingent of Malaysian yachts have entered IRC 4, Cruising and Classic Cruising classes, that enjoy nothing better than fighting over bragging rights, for the rest of the season.
Class IRC 4 is blessed by having HH The Raja Muda Of Selangor, skippering Beneteau 44.7 Fujin and as the boat has won here before, he could be the first royalty to win the JCC RE Challenge Trophy. However there is some stiff opposition as John Kara’s Beneteau First 45 Insanity tops the size scale, 1999 RM winning skipper Amir Zohri is helming J 92S Nijinsky, popular expat Dominic Liddell is putting the band back together on the chartered Farr 1104 Farrgo Express, Rob Hielkema’s Beneteau 34.7 APW Endeavour of Whitby is returning after a few years absence and jovial Simon Piff’s Lauranus L34 Rainbow Dream is always on the hunt and could spring a few surprises.
Ten different production yacht designs are going head to head, in the Cruising Class. Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly and Rama’s Dehler 34 V.G.Offshore have had a long standing rivalry and shared the honours in the past. Last year Aussie Tristram Denyer’s Dufour 350 Iseulta came through to snatch the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Trophy, from the favourites. Dato Alex Nah Hunter 49 Virgo is the biggest yacht in the class, while Ken Yap’s Hunter 326 Millennium 2 is the smallest. Jega Muniandy Ramamirthan is bringing his X 342 Leopad Dream back into service and coming up against newbie’s Fabian Fernandez Hunter Legend 37.5 Destiny, Lucas van Maarschalkerweerd’s X-342 Minx, Pang Kim Ann Daniel’s Hanse 400e Mystic River and Lily Sophiah’s Yamaha 36 Dash from Port Dickson, all having a crack at the RLYC trophy. As they vary dramatically in size and performance, they will no doubt keep the arbitrary PY handicapper busy.
Four yachts are reviving the Classic Cruising class. Amongst the grand ole dames are two graceful classics, Dato Richard Curtis 100 year old Bristol cutter Eveline skippered by Goran Leif and David McKeown’s classic Stow 78 Rona are not known for their speed in light weather but if brisk conditions prevail, they will be able to take on the defending champion, Royal Malaysian Armed Forces Contessa 32OD Marikh skippered by Lt Khairul Azmi and Shah Azlan’s Westerly Storm 33 Tofan can expect a right royal battle, to emerge victorious in this class.
Rounding out the classes are two Multihull’s. Norma Noordin skippering the Lightwave 38 Out Of The Blue II, taking on Pete Waa’s Stealth 11.8m Java, are evenly matched and could result in a ding dong blue, all the way to Langkawi.
Festivities begin with the welcome reception at the RSYC. The Regatta Patron, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor has continued to support the event both on and off the water. He enjoys meeting and greeting the competing sailors each year, as well as presenting the magnificent Raja Muda Cup in Langkawi, which he commissioned from Garrards of London in 1994.
What ever happens, the winner will require good performances on the passage races and round the cans racing disciplines, as there is no drop race and history has shown that a crew with lots of stamina, able to keep up the pace, both on and off the water are likely to succeed.
Each yacht is fitted with Yellow Brick Tracking units and for those that cant make it for the regatta, can follow the yachts progress on the 3 passage races or can play the Virtual Race game at SailOnline
The regatta is organised annually by the RSYC in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Malaysia Sailing Association, assisted by the Royal Malaysia Police and Royal Malaysian Navy.
More info and results on the Raja Muda Selangor Int. Regatta
These RMSIR 2019 Race Reports are kindly bought to you by the following supporters.