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25 November 2004, 02:57 pm
The Pace is Hotting Up
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Raja Muda International Regatta

With the four leading yachts in the racing class being tied on ten points they all headed out early in search of the elusive extra knot of boatspeed crucial for victory in this leg three decider. The passage races carry double points so a podium position is essential to stay in the running.

As typhoon 'Muifa' approaches Southern Vietnam and expected to sweep a path to the north of Langkawi across the Gulf of Thailand organisors are hoping the winds will increase in time for the inshore races over the next few days.

Even the Cruising and Classic Classes have upped their pace and hit the starting line with avengeance. A 5 to 6 knot Southerly breeze initially saw the yachts slowly running downwind of the start which soon turned to the west for a reach and around to the North West forcing the yachts to sail close hauled till sunset. The familiar North Easterly materialized shortly after 7:00pm which quickly built to 18-20 knots and saw the yachts accelerate off for the remaining half of the 60 nm leg.

Neil PRYDE's Hi-Fidelity overcame its earlier problems to clinch handicap honours for the first time from Warwick DOWNES Mandrake who has taken line honours in all three passage races. Troy YAW's Ulumulu ended up third and the pointscore remains very close between these three which will ultimately be decided on the remaining four inshore races.

Although Peter CREMERS smaller handicapped SHAHTOOSH has won all races to date the racing in the Premier Cruising Class has been very close with all three yachts finishing within minutes and traveling in sight of each other. Hans HVIDE's Swan 68 Irvmiren has taken line honours and Hijjas KASTURI's Lyons 66 VALTAIR scored consistently 3rd.

In Cruising Class 3a Glenn McFARLANE's Simba added a third win to his tally and Gunnar Berg LEKNES Chant de Lune reversed the places with Alex NAH's El Sea this time to share 2nd spot overall. Andrew FINDLAY's Pelangi added another win to his score and take a handsome lead in Cruising Class 3b plus the combined overall Cruising Class stakes. Fatimi AFENDI's Janji surprised Keith BROWN's Mixxia this time round to begin closing the gap on the leaders.

Classic Class 4 sees Paul HOPKINS Chinook of Hamble taking the honours yet again from Klaus KARTHE's Greensleeves and Christian RANNOU Memestra back in third place this time. Class 5 sees Lt. Mohd HAMDAN's Musytari getting the better of Zainal Misran and his fellow sailors from the Royal Malaysian Navy on Marikh with Dato' Richard CURTIS's 100 year old Eveline trailing in 3rd spot.

With it's easy lifestyle the legendary 99 islands of Langkawi have long been a favourite holiday destination for local and International travelers as it enjoys beautiful weather year-round. Being close to the heart of Malaysia's former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir the islands now have a International airport with direct flights from London which plays host to many sporting events and some of the best resorts in Asia. It's duty-free status makes it a popular stop over for cruising yachties and has a choice of 4 modern marinas including the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club which hosts its own regatta in march each year.

Event Media (As Amended by ISAF)
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