Raja Muda

The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta lived up to its reputation of having unpredictable weather this year, with competing yachts experiencing storms and rough seas several times during the week-long races.

The initial passage race from Port Klang to Pangkor on the 19th of November saw the fleet sailing off in a medium breeze blowing straight down the course, resulting in boats having to tack backwards and forwards to make progress in a northwesterly direction. Later that afternoon and night, sailors experienced on-and-off rain for five hours, heavy showers for two hours and strong shifty winds. Most yachts completed the first leg.

The second passage race on the 21st of November saw the fleet depart from Pangkor under clear skies and with some early good wind which, unfortunately, did not hold. Later, it became lighter and variable, and the fleet struggled as it made its way to Penang. Fishing nets on the Kra Bank trapped at least one yacht and delayed them for some time.

In the third and final passage race from Penang to Langkawi on the 24th of November, the wind died within the final starting sequence, leaving the boats to linger for a while. The race officer then moved the start zone to the northern end of Penang where more favourable winds eventually gave the fleet the push it needed to get the competition underway towards Langkawi. Most boats finished the course in good time.

Passage racing in Langkawi went ahead on the 25th of November but, on the 26th of November, the breeze failed to arrive. Race officer, Simon James, put up the AP flag to indicate the postponement of the windward-leewards which had yet to start. The AP flag and Flag A were then raised around 1400 which meant that Races 7 & 8b in Bass Harbour had to be abandoned. Since this was the last scheduled day of racing, it meant that the 32nd RMSIR had come to an early finish.

Three-time champion Windsikher (Sarab Jeet Singh / Nick Burns) won five consecutive line honours to reclaim the Raja Muda Cup and the Class 1 title after losing it in 2019 to The Next Factor (Rolf Heemskerk). The Next Factor was forced to retire from the regatta in Penang after damaging both its original and back-up main sails, leaving the way clear for Ramrod (Gordon Ketelby) and Uranus (Malaysian Armed Forces, skippered by Mohd Zaideybin Bahadun) to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Class 2, the Premier Cruising division, was a tight race right up to the end with Yasooda (Hans Rahmann) and Firstlight (Simon Piff) ending the 25th of November tied at 7 points each, leaving Singapore’s Eagle (YP Loke) in 3rd place. Yasooda was declared the eventual winner, bagging the class title and the Jugra Cup.

In Class 3, Dominic Liddell’s Venture – with HH Raja Muda Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah onboard – put up a strong show throughout the regatta to snag the Sports IRC class title and the Dato’ Abdul Aziz Ismail Challenge Trophy. Coming in 2nd was Insanity (John Kara) with Red Rum One (Steve Manning) taking 3rd place. Max Palleschi’s Prime Factor finished 4th while Silhouette (Lee Yi Min) finished 5th.

The three-way race in Cruising IRC (Class 4) saw Born in Fire (Thomas Reckefuss) securing the title and JCC RE Challenge Trophy, leaving Rainbow Dream (Laurence Rusiecki) in 2nd place and Mystic River (Pang Kim Ann Daniel) in 3rd.

VG Offshore (Ramasamy Menon) edged out Recaa (Mj Logaa S) in the Cruising Non-IRC class to go home with the Class 5 title and the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Trophy and leave the latter in 2nd place. Virgo (Dato Alex Nah) and Hannakin (Zulkifli Radzi) finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

In Class 6, Marikh (Malaysian Armed Forces, skippered by Jamil bin Ahmad Urayah) sailed ahead of the pack to win the Classic Non-IRC class title and the Eveline Trophy. Finishing 2nd and 3rd in Class 6 were Tofan (Shah Azlan) and Millennium 2 (Ken Yap). Dato Richard Curtis’ gaff-rigged cutter, Eveline (skippered by Goran Leif), finished 4th.

The final awards ceremony for the 2022 Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta were held on Saturday evening (26th) at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Race chairman, Jeff Harris, presented the prizes to the winners.

Background

This year’s regatta, the 32nd, kicked off on the 18th of November with the opening dinner at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang, followed by the start of racing the next day. A total of 24 boats had pushed off from the starting point in Port Klang, with the sailing in overnight passage races along Malaysia’s west coast and inshore harbour races throughout the week.

Having returned to its former format with events for Classes 1 to 7, the sailors came from 30 countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Turkey. The organizers had to skip the event in 2020 and then offered a simplified format in 2021 due to the global pandemic.

Known as “the regatta with everything”, the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta is claimed to be Asia’s second oldest race and Southeast Asia’s most challenging sailing event. Traditionally, the RMSIR took a regular course along Malaysia’s west coast where participating boats pushed onwards from the starting point at Port Klang and made their way – via the Straits of Malacca – to various anchorages and moorings at the islands of Pangkor, Penang and Langkawi.

The State of Selangor and its tourism promotion agency, Tourism Selangor, were the main sponsors of this year’s event. Other sponsors for 2022 were the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Tourism Perak, Penang State Tourism and Hypergear Malaysia, who provided the skipper’s bags.

The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta was established in 1990 by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club’s royal patron, the Sultan of Selangor, HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (who was then Raja Muda Selangor) together with Dato’ Johan Ariff and Jonathon Muhiudeen.

Yachts competing in the regatta range from top class IRC racers to beautiful classic cruisers with long overhangs dating back over 100 years. Skippers and crew have to cope with unpredictable weather, overnight sailing, changing tactics and shipping traffic in the Straits of Malacca, all of which make the regatta a matchless experience.

The months of November/December typically mark the height of the northeast monsoon on Peninsular Malaysia where sailors can expect anything from glassy waters and light breeze to a sea heaving with two-metre swells or higher and 30 knot squalls blowing off the coast. In other words, these northeast monsoon months bring conditions that are challenging enough even for seasoned sailors.

For full results, visit www.rmsir.com or www.facebook.com/rmsir

                                                     - photos Scott Murray / RMSIR / Royal Selangor Yacht Club

 
   
 
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