The Next Factor victorious

Varying conditions made for some challenging sailing in the 30th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta and the final day of racing on Saturday, the 23rd of November, was no exception. The fleet began the first race with fair winds that eventually died down as some boats were close to the finish line, leading to differing results. The final race in the afternoon, however, was abandoned due to very shifty winds.

Rolf Heemskerk’s The Next Factor held on to its lead in the racing class to come home with the overall Class 1 title and Raja Muda Cup. Team Hollywood (Ray Roberts) finished 2nd overall while former Class 1 winner, Windsikher (Sarab Singh) had to settle for 3rd.

The Premiere class was a battle between Antipodes (Geoff Hill) and Colie (Doug Sallis) throughout the week and Saturday’s decider saw Antipodes push its way to the top to reclaim the Class 2 title and the Jugra Cup.

In Class 3, consistent performances by Simon Piff’s Rainbow Dream saw them snatch the class title and Dato’ Abdul Aziz Ismail Challenge Trophy early. It was then a close fight for the next two spots in the class, with 2nd place eventually going to Fujin, which was helmed by HH Raja Muda Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah, and Nijinsky (skippered by Ahmad Zohri Abdul Rahim) finishing 3rd.

Chris Mitchell’s Lady Bubbly also held on to its lead in Class 5 to win the title and the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Cup. In 2nd place was Minx (Lucas van Maarschalkerweerd) and 3rd place, VG Offshore (RamasamyMenon).

Marikh (Royal Malaysian Armed Forces, skippered by Hasani Hassan) successfully defended its Class 6 title to retain the Eveline Trophy. Tofa’ (Shah Azlan) came in 2nd while Rona (David McKeown) had to settle for 3rd place.

In the multihull class, Java (Peter Waa) zipped ahead of Out of the Blue II (Norma Noordin) early on to win the Class 7 title and Westports Cup. Class 0 saw Team Hollywood taking the class title from defending champion Windsikher.

HRH the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, presented the prizes to the winners in the awards ceremony held on Saturday night at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Prizes included the coveted Raja Muda Cup, challenge trophies, and a miniature Raja Muda Cup that was specially produced for the regatta’s 30th anniversary.

The 30th RMSIR drew 29 boats from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. The fleet set sail from Port Klang on the 16th of November and, during the week, the competitors sailed in overnight passage races along Malaysia’s west coast to the checkpoints at Pangkor, Penang and Langkawi and in inshore harbour races.

The RMSIR is Asia’s second oldest race and Southeast Asia’s most challenging sailing event. It is organised annually by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Malaysia Sailing Association; assisted by the Royal Malaysia Police and Royal Malaysian Navy. The Marine Police play an instrumental role in escorting the boats out to the starting points and back to the finish line during the event. 

This year’s race officer was Simon James and the International Jury was headed by Malaysian Leonard Chin. The Yellow Brick (YB) Yacht Tracking system was used for live tracking of the overnight passage races and this year marked the first time the race used a virtual finish line.

Selangor Tourism is a main sponsor, along with container port Westports Malaysia. Scottish whisky brand, Old Pulteney, provided bottles of their famous malt for prize winners. Other sponsors included UK Sails, the Port Klang Authority and the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA).

The RMSIR was established in 1990 by the Sultan of Selangor, HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (who was then Raja Muda Selangor) together with Dato’ Johan Ariff and Jonathon Muhiudeen. HH Tengku Amir Shah, the current Raja Muda Selangor, is the club’s Honorary Life Commodore.

Yachts competing in the regatta range from top class IRC 1 racers to beautiful classic cruisers with long overhangs dating back over 100 years. Skippers and crew have to cope with unpredictable weather, changing tactics and heavy shipping traffic in the Straits of Malacca, all of which make the regatta a matchless experience.

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