Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2012 – Pre-Regatta Report

9 January, 2012

By AsianYachting MultiMedia; Photo by

Wow! It seems like only yesterday that we were having dinner with Wicky and Zak to discuss what it takes to organise a regatta. Now ten years latter this regatta is firmly established on the Asian calendar and has the pleasure of kicking off the new year in style. Despite sponsor pressure to attract top racing yachts, the underlying aim has always been to provide competitive and enjoyable racing for all crews, irrespective of the design or vintage of their yacht. Thirty six boats divided into five classes have signed on, for the 10th running and continue the tradition of attracting highly competitive racing yachts and sailors from all over the world, starting here tomorrow.

Joining for the first time, Marcus Blackmore’s team on Hooligan have cleaned up everything before them in Australian waters and have chartered the TP52 Team Premier (King’s Cup IRC Zero winner) and expect to carry on their winning ways and add the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy to their list of victories. However standing in their way is Neil Pryde’s Welbourn 52 Hi Fi that have an outstanding record in Asian waters and presently leading the AYGP standings. Overcoming the perennial line honours favourite Frank Pong’s 75ft Reichel Pugh Jelik II and the two new all carbon DK 47’s Uranus and Utarid entered by the Malaysian Armed Forces that have shown a remarkable turn of speed at the Raja Muda will be a formidable challenge.

The Rear Commodore of RLYC and Chairperson of Regatta Advisory Committee Y.M. Tunku Soraya Dakhlah binti Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah said “The regatta also complements the Government’s effort in positioning Langkawi as one of the world’s most widely recognised islands and tourist destination under the Langkawi Five Year Tourism Development Master Plan”. The islands Duty-Free status will also go a long way in achieving their target.

Many crews have arrived early and are out training and conducting new sail measurements as part of there ongoing optimisation program and shaking off the excesses from the festive season in preparation for racing. Smaller IRC yachts will be divided into two classes based on size and rating bands and competing for the LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy. Down from Phuket, Ben Copley’s Club Swan 42 Katsu, Rick Pointon’s J130 Jing Jing from China and Robert van Paridon’s Beneteau First 44.7 Tantrum representing Singapore will be reopening old rivalries and expected to go down to the wire. The Royal Selangor Yacht Club have arrived in force with Vincent Chan’s Titan 36 Mata Hari, Jeremy Camps Pele Peterson 10.7 Cabaret 6, Jeff Harris J 92 S Nijinsky and John Kara’s Dehler 10.6m Skybird are all aiming to get the better of Niels Degenkolw’s evergreen IOR 3/4 Ton Xyacht Phoenix that is the defending champion.

The Regatta Technical Chairman, Ahmad Zailani Bashah said “Langkawi is known as a world-class sailing venue with excellent warm weather, best wind conditions and good tropical waters. The wind speed in January always fluctuates between 8 – 20 knots and we are sure these wind conditions will continue. The Kuah Harbour race and Coastal race always provides two different scenarios for sailors. We have strong wind conditions with flat waters in Kuah Harbour, as well as strong wind conditions with choppy waters in Coastal areas. All participants can look forward to a challenging and fascinating sailing experience,” Zailani added.

The Sports Boat Class racing on one design Platu 25’s are competing for the Langkawi Sports Trophy and shaping up to be a battle of the United Nations. From Australia, Team KSA and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron will be taking on Christopher Lim’s Singapore Management University (SMU) and Team Thailand. They are coming up against the formidable Royal Malaysian Navy that have won here before and the Malaysian Yachting Association that are honing their skills for the up and coming KFC match racing circuit. There will also be trophy’s for the under 25 age group.

Four Multihull’s will be competing for the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup. Although Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet Niña has won here two years in a row they will be facing some stiff competition in the form of Andrew Stransky’s self designed Fantasia that preformed above expectations on the Raja Muda and King’s Cup. Newcomers to the Asian scene James Milski’s Schionning 14.60m Sea Level from the USA could also give them a run for their money. James Wilding Dufour – Nautitech 475 Mind The Gap is a heavy displacement production boat and if the wind is in could also spring a few surprises.

A mixture of past winners and old favourites are fronting up in the Club Cruiser and Ocean Rover classes, that are vying for the RLYC Commodore’s Cup. Charles Hay’s defending champion Jeanneau 45 Smystery tops the 10 boat list. Gavin Welman’s Hallberg-Rassy 53 Rascal and returning after a few years absence Philip Giles 16m Nom De Plume have won here before. Morten Ringvold’s crew on his Sun Odyssey 37 Haffiman are mainly youngsters from the Kedah Sailing Association that made a good account of themselves at the Raja Muda last year. Japan’s Yasuto Fuda Dehler 38 Fortissimo 8 are in with a chance if they can produce some consistency. Old favourites include Henning Lenz 10.36m My Toy and Datuk Richard Curtis’ 100 year old Bristol Pilot Cutter Eveline round out the fleet.

A special “Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship” award in memory of the Founding Chairman and first RLYC Commodore Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah will be presented to the best team, both on the water and land during the regatta will be voted on by the participants.

A combination of harbour and outside courses will be used including the round the island race (If conditions suit) over the four days of racing. The warm weather and clear waters surrounding the legendary and duty-free islands are a feast to enjoy and to top it off the organising team have gone to great lengths to plan daily, fun-filled prize giving parties to dance the night away.

  • Recently Loaded
  • Go Yacthing
  • Asian Regattas