Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2012 – Race Report 5

14 January, 2012

Blackmore’s Hooligan Team becomes the third winner in 10 years
By AsianYachting MultiMedia

Marcus Blackmore and his Hooligan team join the elite inner circle of Peter Ahern (3) and Ray Roberts (6) that have won the Racing Class title and lifted the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy in triumph. Winning seven out of ten races on their first attempt convincingly sealed the deal in style. Gracious in defeat Neil Pryde’s Welbourn 52 Hi Fi put up a good fight for second place, which means they will have to come back next year as this is the only trophy that they have not won on the Asian circuit. Two third places today for the Malaysian Armed Forces DK47 Uranus skippered by Mohamad Razali elevated them to third overall and displaced Frank Pong’s 75ft Reichel Pugh Jelik II down to fourth. The two new Navy DK47’s may have been outclassed in this company but the match practice will come in handy when they compete at other regattas against similar sized yachts.

Racing started in eight knots from the North East and gradually climbed to fourteen knots which enabled PRO Simon James to complete the schedule of races for all classes. The return of bright sunshine and blue sky bought colour back into the scenery and turned the racing into a photographers delight. Daily Go Yachting video highlights have now been posted on the RLIR website and the daily AY Race Reports.

Three races for the IRC 1 class bought the tumultuous battle to a natural conclusion. Rick Pointon’s J130 Jing Jing won the first race and despite closing with third and fourth they held on for victory and take home the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy. A gallant effort by Vincent Chan’s Titan 36 Mata Hari to race the smaller boat with the bigger 40 footers nearly paid off but had to settle on second overall just one point shy of the leader. On the last race Ben Copley’s Club Swan 42 Katsu was finally able to convert line honours into a handicap win but comes to late in proceedings and left them trailing in third overall.

All week Stuart Williamson’s Beneteau 34.7 Skandia Endeavour Of Whitby and Niels Degenkolw’s IOR 3/4 Ton Xyacht Phoenix have chased each other around the course and ultimately came down to the wire. In the first race today, John Kara’s Dehler 10.6m Skybird came to the fore, leaving Degenkolw’s Phoenix in second and Williamson’s Skandia Endeavour Of Whitby in third. A loud cry of victory came from Phoenix as they crossed the finish line until PRO Simon James informed them there was another race. This time Williamson’s Skandia Endeavour Of Whitby made no mistake and struck back with first place. As a nervous Degenkolw’s crew on Phoenix slotted in behind them for second place they managed to keep hold of the overall lead and go on to defend the IRC 2 title. First and third places for John Kara’s Skybird is enough to regain third overall after loosing it the day before.

The overall result for the hotly contested Sportsboat Class came down to the last 100 meters. Coming into today’s race Christopher Lim’s Singapore Management University (SMU) held a slender one point lead over Mohd. Masyuri B Rahmat’s Malaysian Armed Forces. On the long downwind Lim’s SMU was in close company with Khairul Nizam Mohd Afendy Malaysian Yachting Association / KFC and Rahmat’s MAF trailed well behind. After rounding the mark a tight match racing tacking duel between the leaders allowed Masyuri’s MAF to close in. All three rounded the top mark together and went gybe for gybe to the finish. After the last gybe, Lims SMU held half a boat length lead and the windward berth. A little extra coaxing and picking up a little wave saw Masyuri’s MAF surge ahead as they crossed the line with the bow just ahead. The win tied the two teams on 10 points and on count back Masyuri’s MAF takes victory by having the same number of wins and more second places than Lim’s SMU. Khairul Nizam Mohd Afendy MYA / KFC ended up taking third overall. Masyuri’s MAF takes home the Langkawi Sports Trophy and deserves a well earned rest. Christopher Lim’s SMU team picked up the consolation prize for winning the Under 25 trophy.

Not content with already winning the Multihull Class, Andrew Stransky’s Fantasia went out and added two more wins to make it seven wins in a row and run away with the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup on their first attempt. Two second places for Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet Niña keeps them in second overall but have to surrender the title they have won two years in a row. Although James Wilding Dufour – Nautitech 475 Mind The Gap finished up with two fourth places today, they have done enough in the earlier races to maintain third overall.

In the Club Cruiser Class Nicholas Smith’s Ericson 38 Free Wind came back into contention yesterday to be one point behind Charles Hay’s Jeanneau 45 Smystery. As the 10 knot wind strength suited both boats this put pressure on both skippers to produce. Getting a good start put Charles Hay’s Smystery slightly ahead which they maintained till the finish and by correcting out less than a minute in front of Smith’s Free Wind, they go onto defend the title and take home the RLYC Commodore’s Cup again. With the tussle going on in front Gavin Welman’s Hallberg-Rassy 53 Rascal ducked and weaved their way into third overall.

Henning Lenz 10.36m My Toy returned to form and triumphed over his adversaries in the final race to win the Ocean Rover Class. Second place for Datuk Richard Curtis’ 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline will bring some merriment to the crew but only contesting two races leaves them in third overall. Third place for Thomas C Gerard’s Terengganu built Warisan Duyong and competing all regatta has them finishing in second overall.

This year the Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award was won by Jelik II skippered by Frank Pong from the IRC Racing Class for their sportsmanship qualities and determination shown throughout the regatta. The winner was picked by nominations submitted by the participating skippers and crew each day throughout the regatta. While there were a standard criteria and list of qualities to be looked out for by all participants the winning team was picked on pure sportsmanship qualities and not race results or management.

All the skippers at this afternoons press conference are full of praise for the organisers, the race management team and the way the regatta has been run. Being a first timer Marcus Blackmore went as far to say “That regatta organisers in Australia could take a page or two out of the organisers manual here and bring back the camaraderie that comes with social functions after the racing”.

An Estonian basketball player visiting his sister in Langkawi heard about the regatta and came down to the club to see if he could join in somehow. Short on crew Grenville Fordham invited him on Andaman Cabriolet Niña and when we ran into him at the second night’s party he was elated to be here, has met many new people and glad he got involved with the sailing activity. Best holiday he has ever had. We have always maintained that if you pick any event on the Asian Calendar you will be thoroughly entertained on and off the water.

The RLIR 2012 results, news and photos are available at:

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