Yo!

Peter Ahern's yacht of this name takes racing division on final day of Royal Langkawi International Regatta

Saturday March 15th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
As the fresh morning breeze has a habit of dying during the afternoon the Race Officer Mark Pryke took a gamble on whether to use the offshore or inshore courses for today's final round of racing. The racing class where quick to complete their course but soon after finishing the breeze died and left the remaining competitors to battle it out with the depleted elements.

Peter Ahern's Yo! continued on their winning ways to finish this inaugural regatta with six straight wins in the Racing Class. Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity improved from the early races to take 2nd place from Ray Roberts who produced some excellent bursts of speed on Luna Nuova to hold onto 3rd place overall. Although finishing 4th Hannes Waimers Farr 40 Jativa was close to the leaders and in most cases only seconds separated the podium places.

Although Amir Zohri's Gotcha Lagi! crew finished with a second place today they have done enough in the earlier races to add the prestigious Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy for Cruising Class A to their already crowded trophy cabinet. Jeremy Camps Cabaret 5 took the honours today to confirm second place overall and after being reinstated for the earlier races after a handicap dispute David Lindahl's La Samudra climbed onto the podium to clinch third place overall.

The best of the all ladies teams on Dewi Bayu skippered by Tiffany Koo pulled off a remarkable victory today in front of the faster male opponents in the Sports Class. Despite this Mark Jewell on The Dogs 11 retained first place overall and the Royal Malaysian Navy's KDP1 skippered by M Zaidi and KDP2 (Mohamed Hamdan) finished up 2nd and 3rd respectively. Once again the new Phuket 8 Somtam Express skippered by Scott Duncanson and his father John from Australia in the crew showed the fleet a clean pair of heels and record Line Honours for all the races they have competed in so far.

The overnight tie for 1st place in the Multihull Class was broken when Claes Nilsson took Papillon 11 onto the favourable side for the long downwind leg to leave Tim Milner's Charro in 2nd overall who could only manage a 4th in today's the race. Mark Horwood's Ceberus placed second today to finish third overall after placing consistently 3rd through out the event.

Although Stewart Crowe's Cinders placed 1st in consecutive races it was a little to late to knock Donald Radcliffe's Klondike from the top of the podium in the Cruising Class B. Mike Downard's Pt Dickson youth team on Tag finished up tied on points with Cinders for 2nd place after discarding their withdrawn race only to be relegated to 3rd after a countback as Cinders 2 firsts lifted them in 2nd place overall.

R Jarvis's Blue Jay came to the fore today and snatch victory from Kevan Perrin's Rusalka who were tied on the overnight leaderboard in the Live Aboard Class. Grant Richardson's Eliott snuck in a 2nd place today to end up in 3rd overall and jump over Bruce Carmichael's Rock & Blues who ended up 4th overall.

In the Cruising Long Keel Classics Frank Jensens Jubilation tops the leaderboard with Joao Albuquerque's Guardian being the only other yacht to finish all the races taking second place. David Kopec's Meander was the best of the rest and Dato Richard Curtis's Evelene managed to finish his 2nd race of the series when the afternoon seabreeze filled in enough to carry them across the finish line.

Summary

Not only is this regatta the inaugural event but many other firsts have been achieved here. With over sixty competitors the organisers can feel very proud for putting together one of the biggest yachting events in Asia in their first year. Judging by the response so far, next years event will be even bigger and better. Having good reliable wind and displaying sound race management skills plus a full on social program seems to be the right formula to bring success to any event. The racing classes will all receive replicas of the Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy and the cruising classes the RLYC Commodore's Cup.

Encouraging the formation of youth teams from the dinghy classes and getting the ladies teams to compete is a great opportunity for more local sailors to go onto bigger and better yachts plus compete at higher levels. Gaining confidence and obtaining International experience at home can be considered a luxury. The popularity that this event has proven to be shows signs that perhaps Asian Yachting Regatta's are reaching a mature stage in time.

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