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Team MataHari KLRegistry Wins RLIR19

The 17th Royal Langkawi International Regatta has come to a close and boy what an exciting week that was. For the first time in a few years, we saw fantastic sailing weather the whole week through. The skies were clear and blue with winds consistently blowing up to 25 knots every single day! Grin. The participation also grew this year with the IRC1 class fielding 10 boats making the starting grid truly action packed.

If you read 2018’s regatta report, Team Mata Hari KL Registry escaped by the skin of our teeth, winning IRC1 by only 1 second in the last tie breaker. Since then, every boat has been getting ready to make amends. Japan’s Char Chan returns as the race favorites while Russia’s Megazip was incredibly fast, right out from the box. Coupled with the strong winds and our untested crew in these conditions, it was the making of an incredibly exciting race week.

The first day of racing, the boat sailed well and we took an early lead with two bullets in Race 1 and Race 2. As predicted Char Chan and Megazip were close on us, ready to pounce at any mistake we made.

On the second day, we went offshore with 3 rounds scheduled in the choppy seas. Against the rest of the 40+ foot fleet, we needed to work harder in our 36-footer. We managed to claim the first win of the day in Race 3, again with Char Chan close in second. But shortly after, we lost our electronics. The constant pounding of the seas finally worked the boat loose. From then on, we were on preservation mode to bring the boat back in one piece. We fell back to 2nd and 3rd in the next two races while Megazip swiftly took the win for Race 4 and 5. It is a close 3-way fight for the tittle with only 4 point separating the top 3 boats.

On day 3, it was the round island race. This would be the toughest leg of the week as the big seas, strong winds and longer route favored the bigger boats. Right from the start Emagine and Megazip stretched their legs and disappeared into the horizon eventually taking 1st & 2nd respectively. It was neck and neck between us and Char Chan as we exchanged 3rd positions for more than two hours. At the half way mark the unfortunate happened to Char Chan and they had to retire due to technical difficulties. This left 3rd place undefended and we took it in Race 6. With Char Chan out of contention, the fight for the tittle was between Megazip and us. With a mere 3 points lead and 4 rounds to go, it was no comfort zone as Megazip is clearly the faster boat.

Day 4 saw racing in shore. Although winds were peaking at 27 knots, there was calm on the boat. Of course, that’s until 4 minutes before race start. It all started with the jib sail tearing on hoist. Following the frantic rush to replace the damaged component, we almost broached and at least 3 heads were knocked with flying bars, poles and lines. Fortunately, we suffered nothing more than a few bruises. We manage to join the start in time and secured a win in the Race 7 while Megazip came out on top in Race 8. This puts Megazip tied with us, with 3 wins each. Going into the last 2 races, there was only 3 points separating the both of us and anything can happen.

Final day of racing saw Emagine blaze the course to finish 1st in race 9. Fortunately, we came in 2nd ahead of Megazip extending our lead by 1 point. On to the final race, it was the most suspenseful. As it was a long course, we knew we could not let the big boats take off. So, from the moment go, we clung onto the pace of Megazip like a stubborn stain. At the final stretch, Megazip started pulling away but it was not sufficient and we manage to win Race 10 by a whisker.


This 2019 regatta was truly a memorable one as the big winds brought on new challenges and even more drama. It was probably the longest Langkawi regatta in recent memory. Almost all races were doubled in length and duration and this really tested the mettle and focus of Team Mata Hari KL Registry.



Every morning, at 6.30am sharp, we get lunch packs specially crafted by the great folks at Goreng Goreng Rebarn!
 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors KL Registry for their relentless support and everyone who played a role from preparing the boat, right down to feeding us and chanting us on. And to the organizers, a big round of applause for a yet another perfectly executed event; flawless from sea to land. The IRC1 Trophy rests with Malaysia for one more year!



 

Picture Credits: NST, BeritaHarian, Star, Icarus, RLIR, Marty Rijkuris, DVA, Asian Yachting, 

 




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