Penang to Langkawi
An attempt to run a harbour race before going to Langkawi was once again thwarted by the rain. This left Race Officer Jerry ROLLIN with no option but to motor the fleet towards Langkawi in the hope of finding a clear spot and wind to get the passage race started. The fleet did not have to go far, and a break in the weather saw all the classes away in a light 5-6 knots of breeze. The expected increase in coastal wind over the 50nm passage did not materialize, and as conditions stayed very light and patchy with intermittent rain, had the effect of turning the overall result into a little bit of a lottery.
Although Neil PRYDE's Hi-Fi Team Pryde (Farrr 52) beat Frank PONG's much bigger Boracay (71ft) by 30 minutes across the finish into Langkawi, the conditions favoured Jeremy MULLER's smaller Sydney 32 Scallywag. Not since the early days of the Raja Muda when Gotcha won the cup has this occurred - this time a small 30-footer in the racing class pulled off a magnificent win over Hi Fi by four minutes. To back them up Jonathan MAHONY's Mumm 30 Happy Endings took third place, and as we are fast running out of races, perhaps can wedge a spike between the ever-consistent Neil PRYDE and the Burns/Kinmonth aspirations of winning the cup on Mandrake this year.
IRC Premier Cruising
Andrew FINDLAY's Impiana climbed to equal top of the leader board by scoring a win over Neil WILLIAMSON's Resolution of Whitby and Geoffrey HILL's consistent Aussie team on the Lyons 49 Strewth. After scoring consecutive race 1 and 2 wins, Peter CREMERS' Warwick 55 Shahtoosh finished fourth and will have to find some of the earlier magic to defend the title.
IRC Cruising 3
Fatimi AFENDI, the ahim brothers and Pt Klang sailing friends on Janji showed everyone that their race 1 victory was no fluke by taking the daily line honours and handicap double to list them top of the cruising class. Graham LIND's Sumatra scored another 2nd place and Neil ANKCORN's Mat Salleh has steadily improved after the first race disqualification to take 3rd place. David LINDAHL's La Samudra was sitting on top of the leader board but could only manage a seventh place to drop them to third overall and the deciding harbour races may well see them back on form.
Cruising 3a and b
The final placings further confirm that the race turned into a small boat or handicap benefit. The two Selangor youth teams on Gapurna Mas Ayu led by Capt ARIFFIN and Gapurna Vela by George MCCREADY put in a remarkable performance to finish 3rd and 5th respectively and well in front of the bigger 3a guys. The overall battle in 3b is full on between Malaysia's Janji and Graham LIND's Singaporean Sumatra with Fatimi's two race wins giving them a slender lead going into the final low scoring races.
It was the RMN contessa Musytari skippered by Isnornazim BIN ISHAK turn to reverse the score with this counterpart Mohd HANIF skippering Marikh who won the first two races. Morten RINGVOLD on Haffiman finished up 3rd, but maintains 2nd place overall.
Weather permitting the scheduled two harbour races will be the deciding factor for the IRC Racing and Cruising classes, with the Premier Cruisers and Classics heading out for a final passage race tomorrow.