Coming hot on the heels from magnificent victories at the Rolex Challenge and Scotchmans Hill Series at Skandia Geelong Week, ROBERTS' Aussie based Quantum Racing Team are hot property at the moment and its no wonder the DK 46 was voted the most outstanding boat of the series. It comes down to crew efficiency and teamwork to win at any regatta not just the size and speed of the boat. YAW's team will fit in well as they raced together on Ulumulu to secure victory at the Koh Samui Regatta back in May last year. It is anyone's guess what they will name the boat, most likely - Ulumulu - Quantum Racing.
Other contenders for the Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy and the trip to Valencia, Spain for all the team are the Royal Malaysian Navy on their new Farr 5200 Zuhrah built by DK Yachts in Malacca. John and Francoise THORNTON's (GBR) Royal Corinthian Yacht Club registered Sydney 47 Mahligai with a pile of rock stars from Quantum Sails in Malacca and bunch of sailing pals from Britain onboard. Although there is only four boats contesting the top racing class the quality is there and the diverse nature and size of the boats and crews is sure to provide plenty of interesting racing action for all to see.
Seven boats are lining up in the IRC Class which is mainly for the cruiser/racers like Beneteau, X-Yachts and older Swan's. Keith GARRY's (MAS) Beaux Esprits will need to put in a good performance if they expect to beat their own RSYC Commodore Aziz KADIR (MAS) on Juita and fellow sailors from the Selangor Youth Racing Team on Gapurna Mas Ayu II. David LINDAHL's (GBR) Swan 40 La Samudra won the cruising class at the Raja Muda and scored second in IRC 2 at the King's Cup and is always a threat where ever they are. Kevin GILLOW's (THA) Minx, usually driven by his daughter Mia, has won a few top events in Phuket.
The Sportsboats warrant a separate class with six entries contesting the Langkawi Sports Trophy. Five Platu 25's coming from the Royal Malaysian Navy (two), Kedah Sailing Assoc Youth Team, Japan's Kenichi TAKAHASHI on Motomet and a team from Britain will be taking on Darren GAMBLE's (MAS) Colgate 26 Halim Mazmin that should produce a interesting potpourri of results by the end of the week.
Nine multihulls are battling it out for the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup, which if performance based will probably be divided into two classes. Roger KINGDON's (THA) Motor Inzi won the King's Cup a week after it was launched last December and feels his biggest challenge will come from Henry KAYE's (THA) trimaran The Sting and Bob MOTT's defending champion Chameleon on charter this time to Kazuo KOBAYASHI's Japanese team from the Moroiso Yacht Club. Last year it was a matter of who got to the start line in time for the more cruising style of multihull sailors. Brent MCINNES won here two years ago on No Fixed Address and Joan Foo MAHONY's Sedna made a late charge last year to end up a close second could well find themselves amongst the front runners by weeks end.
The biggest class with eleven entrants is the Club Class that will be contesting for the prestigious Commodore's Challenge Cup for the yacht with the lowest score at the end of the series. A grand mixture of classics like Des KEARN's (MAS) Harlander 45 Isobar and Morten RINGVOLD's Norwegian registered Haffiman are taking on the newer generation cruisers of Ayahuddin RaHMAN's (MAS) Oyster 55 Chantique and Kevin PERRINS (GBR) X430 Rusalka who scored a second place here at the inaugural regatta. Grenville FORDHAM's (THA) Image Asia that run the Phuket boatshow are fronting up on the J/44 Jemini Jo that won the Ocean Rover class at the King's Cup.
Principal Race Officer Mark PRYKE has 17 courses to choose from that have been devised by the Race Committee.