Malaysia. Raja Muda Selangor: Two yachts struck by lightning as Jelik Bill takes line honours

Sunday, 19 November 2006

From the time Principle Race Officer Jerry Rollin announced "Clear Start" for the six classes till they completed 90nm's of offshore racing and anchored up in the very tranquil Pangkor Island group none other than three tropical storms had built up overland and descended upon the fleet during the race. Depending where your placed along the track and whether staying offshore or playing the coastal route was your option, these variables ended up determining the boats overall placing's. Despite Frank Pong's massive Reichel Pugh 75 Jelik taking line honours at 1:23:05 in the morning it was Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady that claimed first place on handicap by a healthy margin of a little under an hour. Fellow Singaporean expiate Keith Dunn on a Mount Gay 30 Lunch Cutter 11 finished up second to give the smaller racing 1b class boats a one, two score. Fred Kinmonth's Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake claimed third place and just piped Neil Pryde's crew on Hi Fi by a little over two minutes after trailing them in the early stages.

Bill Bremner told AY afterwards that "This race win he considers to be the best of all - They stuck to their game plan - go the inshore route and prepared to play every shift to your advantage. Asian Andy and Bagus Bruce got it right every time to be completely in sync with what's going on around them. It was a miracle sail, we never stopped, even benefited from some short spinnaker bursts on the inshore track where the storms were coming from. We knew we had done well when approaching the finish line we heard on the radio that Hi Fi was only a few miles ahead."

The Premier Cruising Class also had a good go at it and the eight hi-tech yachts ranging from 45 to 80 ft in length, in all their splendor made a lovely sight on the Port Klang start line. Something to reward the committee that have been working hard all year to achieve. As expected Hans Rahmann's very powerful Judel/Vrolijk 70 footer Yasooda took line honours but it was Andrew Findlay's Beneteau 45 Impiana that stole the limelight by filling first place and also the best performing big boat based in Malaysia. Aussie Geoff Hill's Lyons 49 Strewth showed they are still on the pace with a hard earned second place and DR Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid had to do a bit of ducking and weaving from Offshore to Inshore before re-familiarizing themselves with the local waters and weather conditions to claim third spot.

The IRC Cruising Class saw the reemergence of one of Kiwi Bruce Farr's early yacht designs that put him on the road to fame and fortune. Neil Ankorn's Farr 1104 so aptly named Mat Salleh (when referring to a foreign person in Bahasa Malay language) set a blistering pace right from the very start and stayed inshore to claim first place overall. Leaving fellow RSYC member Fatimi Afendi's converted Gibsea 42 renamed Corina 11 on this outing with second place. Graham Lind's Singaporean based Hustler SJ35 Sumatra are determined to do well again and are happy with third spot at this stage in proceedings. Heinz Heyer's X 402 M/H Super Duper set the fastest time but was relegated to fourth after handicaps were applied. The much anticipated appearance of Capt Fin's Miri Magic - Team Ulumulu saw them take the unfavourable offshore path to finish down in sixth place but did surprise the leaders on a couple of occasions with her light weather performance.

Tony Roberts Crowther multihull Tactical Directions got the better on handicap of Liam Nicholls Grainger cat Gone with the Wind although they had beat them over the line. John Mitchell's very cruising houseboat Merpati Putih from Indonesia looked as if it was going backwards for a while, had to use the engine for six and a quarter hours to complete the course before the cutoff time was handed third place.

The Non IRC Class which in past years used to be the Classic Class has twelve yachts of varying size and configuration competing under Measurer Dave Richards special performance based system, where along with Class 4 and 6 they are permitted to motor and make a declaration of the engine hours which will be taken into consideration after the race. The Royal Malaysian Navy's Contessa class Marikh this time skippered by Mohd Hanif Husain took a resounding victory at 9:00 this morning after taking nearly twenty hours to sail all the way. Bob Taylor's, John Lidgard designed Nero is the only other Class 5 yacht, not to have motored, slipped into second place and Garry Bryant's Scipio of Parkstone from the UK claimed third after only 35 minutes of motoring. Both James Godwin's Tompa and Doc Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue.have reported to have experienced lightning strikes during the storm.

All the work under taken by Club Commodore and Regatta Chairman, Dato' Richard Curtis to convert his almost 100 year old Bristol Cutter Eveline back to the original gaff rig has paid dividends, as they took out first place in the Vintage Class for yachts over fifty years old. Simon Morris's Sirius 1935 originally built in Sydney, Australia was the only other finisher as both Mystico and Willow 11 were forced to retire.

Although the conditions were very wet and cold, now that they have all arrived at Pangkor and after a little rest before tonight's presentation bash at the popular Seaview Resort you can bet your last dollar that they will be all up and rearing to go again on tomorrows second overnight passage to Pinang. Someone happened to mention that statistically the yacht that wins the first race has usually gone on to win the regatta. So you will just have to stay tuned to see if it is true as the racing unfolds.

Full results at:  

Capt. Marty (Martins) Rijkuris

Last Updated ( Sunday, 19 November 2006 )