The Borneo Cup Yachting Challenge got into full swing on Monday with the Labuan Harbour Regatta held in variable and moderate conditions in front of the Waterfront Hotel.
After a short delay International race officer Mark Pryke got on with proceedings for back-to-back windward/leeward races. The bulk of the 9 yacht fleet being IRC cruiser/racers most of whom are fronting up for their first ever racing series got off to a clear start but as the breeze faded away the committee had no alternative other than to shorten the course after the first lap.
John MALTHOUSE'S S&S 36 Ambil Angin from Brunei that won the inaugural Labuan Cup back in 1995 continued on his winning ways despite 8 years elapsing since his last win. The Sarawak Tourism Boards newly purchased entry Sarawak Seahorse took second place and Allan RICHES Outward Bound from Brunei followed closely in third place.
Troy YAW'S custom Sydney 46 Ulumulu (formerly Luna Nuova) being the only IRC racing class yacht competing here easily outclassed the opposition to take line honours in both races held today. A full costumed Sarawak tribal warrior dance onboard Ulumulu entertained the assembled press corps and race committee before proceedings got underway.
Race 2 got underway in a building breeze just as a massive windshift turned the windward beat and downwind leg into a broad reach. As a lengthy wait had taken place beforehand the race committee decided to allow the yachts to continue around despite the fluctuating conditions persisting. The podium positions remained the same as race 1 with S. CUTHELL'S Banjo from the UK piping Wally SMITH'S single handed effort on Patience from the USA by a couple of minutes in the Classic Class.
Philip BARBETTI'S family sailed cruising catamaran Selkie from Australia is the only multihull competing here and put in a decent performance to finish mid fleet despite the changing conditions.
Part 2, the overnight 115nm Labuan to Miri International Yacht Challenge startedyesterday and the committee are keeping a weather eye on Tropical Storm Ketsana hovering above the Philippines to the north of here as some severe local afternoon thunder storms have been experienced and blustery conditions are expected to sweep across the region.
Further details are available on the event website at the address below.