The big racing yachts, completed the 90 nm overnight leg from Port Klang to Pangkor Islands in record time, that may well see this years event turning into a big boat benefit.
A consistent 10 to 15 knot North Westerly breeze materialized at the start that lasted through the night and well into the early hours of the morning, which made it a tight port hand reach for some and a windward beat for others. The only casualties where Stardust in the classic class with a broken top mast and Bintang in the cruising class with a troublesome genoa roller furler.
Ray ROBERTS highly tuned Farr 52 Hollywood Boulevard averaged a little under 9 knots over the 90 mile course to take line honours in 10hrs 37mins 29secs. They also collected overall handicap honours by finishing almost an hour in front of fellow Aussie, Peter AHERN'S YO! who where at it neck and neck with New Zealand's Neil PRYDE on Hi-Fidelity throughout the race and similar to the days rugby semi final score finished up in that order. Being on the same tack most of the time and not requiring any sail changes was heard amongst the grumbling crew after the race.
In the lower handicapped Racing Class B, Singapore's Bill BREMNER on Foxy Lady snuck in a close victory by just under a minute over Malaysia's all girls Dewi Bayu Team racing on Gotcha Lagi! this year, to be the best of the small boats. John BUSCH'S Beneteau 40.7 Joan Marie took third spot from a disappointed Malaysian youth crew on the Mumm 30 Panic to be handsomely beaten by the girls.
As some of the Premier Cruising class yachts have the luxury of satellite television onboard, the boredom of sitting on the rail can be replaced with the pleasure of watching the Aussie/NZ semifinal clash down in the plush interior of the owners stateroom. To every bodies surprise the Aussie's did it again with Jon WARDILL'S Australian Maid snatching a big win over Peter CREMERS Shahtoosh and demoralized the ex Kiwi rugby contingent on Ian NICOLSON'S well traveled Warwick 60 Intrigue of Stornoway who slowed down dramatically during the match.
In the Cruising Class Andrew FINDLAY'S Gibb Sea 37 Pelangi came out on top by over a minute from Keith Browns faster Young 8.8 Muzbnuts and Warren Ritchie's Vela filled in third spot.
At the time of preparing this report the Classic Class results had yet to be determined and the outcome is likely to rest with the International jury after they arrive on Pangkor Island. Stardust retired with a broken topmast and Eveline is deemed to be over the line at the start of the race.
If current conditions prevail on the 65nm Leg 2 from Pangkor Is to Penang Is (The pearl of the Orient) the racers are likely to experience more of the same but as the wind angle is expected to open up a bit this will allow crews to fly asymmetric spinnakers and jib tops most of the way which should climax into an exciting sprint to the finish.
Full positions and results are available on the event website at the address below.