The 32nd Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR) kicked off on 19 November as scheduled despite the event coinciding with the 15th Malaysian general election. The Royal Selangor Yacht Club announced that the start of the race would be at 4.00pm instead of the usual after noon hour to enable Malaysian participants and staff to fulfil their civic duties to vote before sailing began. This year’s event ran from 18 to 26 November, offering a full format with events for Classes 1 to 7. This year was the first time since 2019 that RMSIR was able to invite entries from sailors and international yachts from a variety of countries. HH The Raja Muda of Selangor participated as a crew member on the yacht Venture and attended the opening ceremony and regatta dinners.

Participation

This year, 24 boats registered, divided into seven classes. There were a few boats that had to withdraw along the way due to technical issues, mostly caused by the heavy weather conditions. Yachts participated included Windshikher, The Next Factor, Ramrod, Uranus (RMN), Insanity, VG Offshore, Dash, Marikh and Eveline. Six yachts from Singapore participated and several from other counties. There was a discussion in the past on how to increase entries.

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Courses

Yellow Brick Trackers were used again this year, and proved to every helpful for safety reason and to ease the burden of race officers. All participating yachts were issued a tracker which sent signals every 20 minutes via satellite, so that yachts could be tracked easily on a mobile application and website with an internet connection. Trackers sent out accurate signals as yachts crossed agreed finish lines on the charts and these finish times were used as the official results, backed up by photographic evidence of finish times recorded on each boat. The offshore race courses all had finish positions to accommodate Virtual Lines. The three finish lines were all longer and used fixed marks at each end wherever possible.

Racing Recap

Port Klang to Pangkor

PRO Simon James set off the first warning signal at 3:55pm, and then did two rolling starts in five-minute sequence. All yachts were given a cut-off time of 6pm the following day. Summing up the race, Richard Latham, the main trimmer on Ramrod, said, “There was rain and off for about five hours with heavy showers for two. The breeze was oscillating between 20-30 degrees with the pressure constantly going up and down. If you stuck close to the shore at the beginning of the race you did much better.”

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The Racing IRC class saw three-time winner Sarab Jeet Singh and his co-owner Nick Burns’ sail Windsikher, their Welbourn 52, to line honours with an elapsed time of 11:37:24, but when their handicap was factored in, they ceded first place to Rolf Hermskerk’s The Next Factor, The Sports IRC class saw Dominic Liddell’s Venture, a Beneteau First, with the HH The Raja Muda on board take the top spot. Steve Manning’s Red Rum One, an Archambault A40, was first across the line, but the bullet went to Venture on handicap. RMSIR veteran John Kara and his yacht Insanity placed third.

Pangkor to Penang

It had been drizzling in Pangkor all morning, but the rain abated just before noon, allowing the sailors to get away under clear skies. Early good wind gave the impression that competitors might be able to make it to Penang early but the wind didn’t hold. The three-yacht Premier Cruising saw a repeat finish of passage race one with Hans Rahmann’s Judel Vrolik Yasooda taking top spot with an elapsed time of 13:10:54. Simon Piff’s Firstlight, a Beneteau First 50, was second, and YP Loke’s Eagle, a Hanse 588, placed third. Cruising IRC had three yachts competing and Thomas Reckenfuss’ X-99 Born in Fire once again won the class with Pang Kim Ann Daniel’s Mystic River, a Hanse 400e, coming second. They were followed by Laurence Ruslecki’s Rainbow Dream, a Lavranos, which did not finish the race.

Penang Inshore

When the sailing did start, it was typical Raja Muda regatta weather. A little bit of rain, followed by no rain and then a whole lot of rain. A little bit of wind, followed by no wind and then a whole lot of wind. The essence that makes this regatta so challenging. Two races were originally scheduled for the day, starting at noon. But rain delayed the start until 1:15pm, when the PRO decided to send the all the competitors on one 14km triangle course.

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Sarab Jeet Singh guided Windsikher to line honours for the third straight race with an elapsed time of 1:46:21, but ceded first place overall in the Racing IRC class to Gordon Ketelby’s Ramrod when handicap was applied. Mohd Zaidey’s Malaysian Navy’s Uranus placed third. Cruising IRC had three yachts competing and Thomas Reckenfuss’ Born in Fire won again with Pang Kim Ann Daniel’s Mystic River placing second. Cruising Non-IRC had two boats competing today. Rama Menon’s VG Offshore won for the third straight time with M J Logaa S’s Recca, placing second.

Penang to Langkawi

Unfortunately, the wind died within the final starting sequence in Penang harbour and for the next two hours the boats drifted and motor-sailed to the northern end of Penang. Finally, just before 2pm, some good breeze arrived and the competitors were underway. Hans Rahmann’s Yasooda took home the honours in the three-yacht Premier Cruising, as neither Simon Piff’s Firstlight (assisted by Simon) or YP Loke’s Eagle were able to finish the race. Dominic Liddell’s Venture with HH the Raja Muda of Selangor on board took top spot in the five-boat Sports IRC class, followed by Steve Manning’s Red Rum One and John Kara’s Insanity. Max Palleschi’s Prime Factor and Yi Lee Min’s Silhouette were unable to finish the passage race due to a shortened finish time limit.

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Langkawi Harbour

After days of fickle and unpredictable weather, the sun and wind came out in full force to greet sailors on Friday 25th November, the second last day of the 32nd Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta.It was five straight line honours in a row for Sarab Jeet Singh/Nick Burns’ Windsikher as it crossed the finish with an elapsed time of 2:08:14, beating Gordon Ketelby’s Ramrod and Mohd Zaidey’s Malaysian Navy’s Uranus. Hans Rahmann’s Yasooda took first place in the three-yacht Premier Cruising followed by Simon Piff’s Firstlight and YP Loke’s Eagle. Yasooda and Firstlight were tied in points going into the final day, so this class went down to the wire for the honour of hoisting the Jugra Cup.

The Classic non-IRC division saw Jamil’s Royal Malaysian Navy yacht Marikh in first place with Dato’ Richard Curtis’ gaff-rigged cutter Eveline joining the regatta for the first time finishing second. Shah Azlan’s Tofan placed third and Ken Yap’s Millennium 2 was fourth. The final day of racing was scheduled for Saturday 26th November, but there was almost no wind when yachts were due to leave RLYC and Simon James announced a postponement onshore. Sadly, the breeze did not arrive by midafternoon and “AP over A” was signalled, meaning that all races not started were abandoned. Racing for 32nd RMSIR had come to an end.

Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony was held at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club terrace. The canopy and table layout were slightly redesigned this year to accommodate more dinners under cover. There was a strong attendance by VIP guests. The stage, sound system and lights worked well and the DJ created a great party atmosphere. Fortunately, both the quality and service of the buffet food was good this year and compliments were received from various guests.

The ceremony was opened by a speech from by the Regatta Chairman, Mr Jeff Harris, followed by a speech from Datuk Azlan Abdullah, Executive Chairman of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Tributes were made to RSYC members who are sadly no longer with us by Dato’ Richard Curtiss and Mr Martin Axe. Winners of all classes were excited when they collected their awards, usually brining the full crew on stage for celebration photographs.

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Sponsors


Tourism Selangor was once again the RMSIR Main Sponsor, providing both generous financial assistance and comprehensive support, including arranging the cultural dancers in Port Klang. Tourism Perak and PETACE provided funding and the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) contributed to the cost of the final dinner at RLYC. Hyper Gear generously provided excellent waterproof bags for sailors. Old Pulteney provided bottles of their excellent product to the overall winners of each class and to the senior members of the Race Team and Carlsberg sponsored drinks for all sailors.

Overall Winners 2022

Class 1                  Class 2                         Class 3
1. Windsikher        1. Yasooda                    1. Venture
2. Ramrod             2. Firstlight                    2. Insanity
3. Uranus              3. Eagle                        3. Red Rum One

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