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5 March 2005, 09:19 am
Feisty Conditions On Day Three
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Royal Langkawi International Regatta
Langkawi, Malaysia

Race day three got off to a disasterous start when Rigolarita II hit Fistral amidships leaving a gaping hole about two feet above waterline at the start of the Cruising Class races. Rigolarita II herself suffered damage to her bow-sprit and the unfortunate incident took both yachts out of the race.
The Racing classes, however, got off cleanly at 09:35 close hauled against a northeasterly, 18-knot wind at 050 degrees. The upwind leg had the IRC's beating hard and, as Somtam Express led the Sports class across, the yachts were showing plenty of underskirts.

On a 125 degree heading the Multi-hulls were led by Chameleon and F-31 was moving up fast through the pack. But all eyes were on the accident as the Cruising classes including Club boats and live-aboards approached the starting gate. Most came up-wind close-hauled rounding tightly on the start boat and then coming off-the wind to pick up speed across the line. But it was tightly packed and every boat for itself coming down onto the first leg, a beam reach. The jam dispersed with Lady M leading the Classic's through.

Homeward bound before lunch

The first group were following new course #15, an 11.5-mile triangle with an internal up- and down-wind leg. Yo! led around the pin buoy for the second upwind leg followed several minutes later by SonnenKoenig and Ulumulu. At the same time the Multi's began charging their finish gate with Chameleon in the lead followed by Charro. The Multi's headed home after their very fast four-legged boomerang, covering the 11 miles in about 60 minutes.

They and the Cruising boats, beginning course #3 with a heading some 70 degrees off the wind, enjoyed a beam reach for the first leg followed by some fairly loose angled beats and fast reaches. The wind kept steady throughout the races bringing other cruisers down in fairly quick procession; but, leading the Classic boats, Lady M lapped the entire field crossing at 11:00. Nom de Plume led the live-aboards through.

Sports boats came to the downwind mark of course #3 from a broad reach rounding and heading into the uphill hot-dog as the blustery wind produced whitecaps a plenty. Meanwhile the racers were setting their spinnakers for the final homeward run. Down they soared to the finish with Yo! crossing at 11:10, followed by SonnenKoenig at 11:20 and Ulumulu at 11:22. Somtam Express led the Sports Class in and Bolero led the Premier Cruisers. The first ICR1 Class racer, Abraxas, crossed at 11:50.

2nd Round for Racing Classes

During the short break as Cruisers and Multis headed home, both Yo! and Ulumulu returned sick crewmembers to shore, (leaving neither all that shorthanded). The Second race of the day was klaxoned off at 12:50 with Yo! in the lead. The 10.5 mile course was a copy of the morning race but slightly flattened to reduce spinnaker opportunities. Starting up wind at 055 degrees the Sports Class boats beat off the line; but Somtam Express, which crossed too soon, was forced to return and try again.

The wind, still at 13 knots, had the Premier Cruisers around the first mark at 13:15 and the Racers were blowing their spinnakers for the last downwind run at around 14:00. First in, Yo!, did that leg in about 18 minutes in weakening winds followed by the rest of the fleet.

Heroic Leap Saves Series

Regatta Manager Ahmad 'Zack' ZAILANI saved the BMW Royal Langkawi International Regatta series from near disaster today when he plunged into the water to save the results computer from a dunking. The laptop computer almost went over this morning in lively conditions whilst being transported from the start boat back to RLYC after the early race starts. Thoroughly soaked from head to foot, Zack had to return home for dry clothing.

Richard Blair (as amended by ISAF), Image: © Event Media
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