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24 November 2004, 02:45 pm
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Raja Muda International Regatta
Langkawi

Spinnakers up and drawing in 8 to 10 knots of South Westerly breeze with beautiful Pangkor Island in the background made a picturesque sight at the start of Leg 2. After surviving the Leg 1 presentation night and sharing one of Malaysia's badminton greats Tan Yee KHAN'S wonderful hospitality at his Seaview Resort the yachties bid farewell and headed off to the start line.

To everyone's surprise a good following breeze was there to greet them. Some of the cruisers had to brush the cobwebs of the spinnakers whilst the racers made quick work of sailing through the fleet after starting last on the grid. Even Elaine Chua let the handbrake off this time on her Mini Transat Feng flying her largest asymmetric kite for the first time in a race.

About half way along the 65nm course the breeze increased as it swung around to the west forcing a change to jib tops or close reaching sails for the remainder of the leg. Although the breeze died a little after sunset the unusually clear skies persisted and the big boats romped home to the finish line in near record time.

MANDRAKE a Farr/Mills 50 skippered by Warwick DOWNES from Hong Kong took line honours for the second time averaging over 8.5 knots to keep their time over the others and take the daily double. Troy YAW'S ULUMULU climbed up into 2nd spot to beat Neil PRYDE'S HI-FIDELITY by a little over a minute after they got entangled in a fisherman's net in the latter stage of the race. Leg 1 winner Jonathan Mahony's HAPPY ENDINGS ended up 4th but the juggling of the places sees the leading 4 place getters all sharing 10 points after 2 races.

A magnificent sight to behold is watching the 4 big yachts in the Premier Cruising Class jockeying around for position at the starting line. Peter CREMERS' Warwick 55 SHAHTOOSH took the handicap honours for a second time from Hans HVIDE'S Swan 68 Irvmiren and Hijjas KASTURI'S Lyons 66 VALTAIR narrowed the gap after being under canvassed in the first race.

Anyone still out there after 10:00pm had to endure fading conditions until a light land breeze filled in which only increased in strength in the early hours of the morning. Glenn MCFARLANE on SIMBA just made it through to score 2 out of 2 from Alex Nah's EL SEA.

Last years overall Cruising Class winner Andrew FINDLAY on PELANGI managed to turn the tables on Keith BROWN'S MIXXIA in Cruising 3B with Fatimi Afendi's JANJI coming in a distant third. The combined Cruising Class 3A and B score sheet sees Andrew Findlay's PELANGI tied with Keith Brown's MIXXIA on 6 points edging out Glenn McFarlane's SIMBA in third. Unfortunately for Tony Sobey's refitted BLUE ROYALE a deck fitting parted after finishing the race and promptly dropped the mast over the side so they will not be taking any further part in this years regatta.

The battle of the heavyweights in the Classic Classes where rally rules apply and motoring hours are taken into consideration sees Paul Hopkins CHINOOK OF HAMBLE taking the honours in Class 4 from Alan Main's Backchat and Klaus KARTHE'S GREENSLEEVES in third place.

Class 5 sees Lt. Mohd Hamdan and the boys from the Royal Malaysian Navy getting the better of Dato' Richard Curtis's merry crew on the 100 year old EVELINE.

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