The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR) is one of Malaysia’s premier yacht racing events and closes out the country’s annual regatta calendar each year. This year’s edition, the 28th, was held from November 18 to 25, with the boats sailing up the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, beginning in Port Klang, then proceeding on to Pangkor, Penang, and finally Langkawi. The fleet of yachts – with this year’s regatta counting 31 boats from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, and other countries – must sail in overnight passages between the various ports and also compete in a number of inshore harbour races at the checkpoints.
The final day of the 2017 RMSIR, held November 25 in Langkawi, got off to a wet start when morning rain led to the AP flag being flown and the last two Langkawi inshore races being pushed back for a bit. Once the all clear was given and the race back underway, the boats raced in relatively favourable conditions with winds at an average of 10 knots and the seas fairly calm, a change from the previous day which saw variable brisk winds and light chop on the waters around Langkawi.
Class 1 defending champion Windsikher (skippered by Sarab Jeet Singh) managed to stave off stiff competition to retain the division title and win the prestigious Raja Muda Cup for the third time. Coming in second was Otonomos Mandrake III (Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns) with Ramrod (Gordon Ketelbey) taking third place. Philip Turner’s Alive (Duncan Hine) may have won the regatta’s line honours but had to be content with fourth placing overall after the handicap. Meraki (Geoff Masters) finished fifth.
The Class 2 race remained close right up to the end but Antipodes (Geoff Hill) eventually pipped strong contender FastTrack (Richard Barnhurst) by a single point to reclaim the division title and the Jugra Cup. Starlight (Andrew Cocks) finished third, leaving Class 2 defending champion Zuhal (the Malaysian Armed Forces, skippered by Mohd Masyuri bin Rahmat) in fourth place.
With no yachts racing in Class 3 this year, in Class 4, Fujin (David Fuller) built a strong lead early on in the overall race to put enough distance between any possible contenders to secure the Class 4 title and JCC RE Challenge Trophy. Prime Factor (Max Palleschi) narrowly edged past Jing Jing (Jeff Harris) to claim second place in the overall division standings, leaving the latter in third.
Class 5 defending champion Lady Bubbly (Chris Mitchell) had to settle for second place after Kinabalu (Bob Howison) extended its narrow lead to win the Class 5 title and Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Trophy. Japan’s Fortissimo X (Yasuto Fuda) came in third.
La Samudra 2 (Dato’ Johan Ariff, skippered by Dominic Liddell) competed to honour the late Fay Khoo, and honour their former sailing mate they did, sailing to the top of Class 6 to win the overall division title and the Eveline trophy. Finishing second and third in Class 6 were Old Pulteney Cabaret 6 and Marikh (the Malaysian Armed Forces, skippered by Jamil bin Ahmad Urayah).
The final awards ceremony for the 2017 RMSIR were held this evening at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, presented the Jugra Cup to the Antipodes team while Royal Selangor Yacht Club Commodore and RMSIR Chairman Jeff Harris presented the Raja Muda Cup to Windsikher.
About the Regatta
The RMSIR is organised annually by the RSYC in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Malaysia Sailing Association; assisted by the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) and Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN). The RMP’s Marine Police play an instrumental role in escorting the boats out to the starting points and back to the finish line in the whole regatta.
The RMSIR was established in 1990 by the RSYC’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 IRC1 racers to beautiful classic cruisers with long overhangs dating back over 100 years. Skippers and crews have to cope with the unpredictable weather, changing tactics, and heavy shipping traffic in the Straits of Malacca, all of which make the regatta a matchless experience.
Known for its changeable winds, weather, and tides, the RMSIR provides excitement for even the most experienced of sailors, along with an interesting challenge. Add to that a little bit of sightseeing and fun social events at every stop and you have a regatta with everything.
The month of November typically marks 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 metres of swell 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.