sail-world.com -- Raja Muda 2012 – Penang Inshore Races
Raja Muda 2012 – Penang Inshore Races
Fri, 23 Nov 2012
The Penang Inshores in the Raja Muda series are notorious for starting late. Three years ago they were canned altogether due to lack of wind, and I can’t remember a year since 2003 when they have started on time! 2012 was no exception – the RO was out on the water bright and early, along with assorted members of the media, all raring to go, but it was very much a case of ‘hurry up, and wait’, or in technical terms, ‘stand by to stand by’. A flat and at times entirely glassy sea looks good in picture postcards, but it plays havoc with the racing schedule.
1200h came and went, and so did 1300h. Lunch was ordered from ashore. The horizon was scanned, hopefully, over and over again. Bets were placed as to where the wind might come from – if at all. Grumblings were heard about the contents of the sandwiches (a very bad sign) and then just as all hope was about to cast to the waters – a zephyr. And another. And then a whole family of them, joined together in the Aeolian version of a barn dance and called a Breeze Line.
And then it was all hands to the pump and no mistake. Down came the AP, flags were routed out and made ready, timekeepers’ sheets were clipped to boards, stopwatches readied and at 1410h the first race (Class 1) went away with Foxy Lady too eager by half and a whole boat length OCS in a massive 7-knot gust. Class 4 followed on (clean start) and then the first race of the series for the multihulls. In a steady sea breeze all classes completed their two-sausage courses, rounded up and sat waiting for more while Ichiban contemplated their third bullet from the three races thus far.
This time a last moment – and it really was last moment - swing in the breeze fouled up Foxy Lady’s crack at a port tack start at the pin end, and left them wallowing in the sights of the oncoming starboard tackers, clearing the pin by inches and struggling to regain boat speed as they were quickly buried by the rest of the division. Recovery is everything, and the Foxys went on to record their best result of the series so far, a second place, while Ichiban once again chalked up a first. Someone ‘ran the stats’ a couple of years back and discovered that the boat that wins the first race (Port Klang to Pangkor) wins the regatta about 75% of the time. Looks like Ichiban are going to stick to the numbers. With only six crew on board, Jamie Wilmot cheerfully admits to ‘having a bit on’ at times, but only six bods are not going to be a brake in the light stuff, and this has been a very light and fluky regatta so far.
The newly launched Hurricane, a 1-ton-lighter version of the Andaman Cabriolet Sidewinder, and under the firm hand of Rolf Heemskerk, handed out a severe warning to all the other multihulls on the course by storming home to two line honours in a row. Country miles or nautical miles never mind – they were big margins. Results are currently in abeyance as only two of the five competing boats have registered handicaps.
Over on Course B, the Premier Cruising class took off on a long-legs trip across the bay and out to sea, with Antipodes making the most of her 72’ waterline and cruising home in 1h 05m for Line Honours and a handicap win as well. Aussie Maid and Baby Tonga completed the podium.
With everyone back at the dock before 1830, there was just time for a wash and brush-up before a tot of Mount Gay – or, some time later, a cold beer – at the prizegiving party held at Straits Quay.
Admiring the view north from the Naza Talayyan Hotel at breakfast time this morning, there are wrinkles on the water, boding well for a fast start in the direction of Langkawi.
Three races to go. See you at Charlie’s Place later today…