THIS NOVEMBER, the 24 Hour Travellers were engaged to document the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta and we followed the entire race from registration day at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang right up to the finals in Langkawi. If you don’t know about this regatta, (aka RMSIR for short) let us bring you up to speed with some basic information.
The RMSIR is Asia’s second oldest race and Southeast Asia’s most challenging sailing event. This year, the RMSIR celebrates its 30th anniversary. Yachts competing in the regatta are from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia with several returning participants.
9 days, 4 locations, 3 overnight passage races, 260 miles in total, plus 3 days of harbour racing around the tropical islands of Penang and Langkawi – with Regatta dinners throughout the week as well as a Rickshaw Race in Penang, no wonder it is known as “the regatta with everything”.Taken from the RMSIR Website
DAY 1 – This was our first day of shoot and it started off really quiet with various yachts, skippers and crew arriving in from different countries. On this day, because it was just registration, we were able to check out the different sailboats and begin understanding the classes each of them would be sailing in.
The opportunity to shoot this regatta means a lot to us because on our bucket list is to circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat (maybe we should say learn to sail first and not be overly ambitious). Number one of-course do at least one overland journey across the Asian continent. Every daydream starts with a first step and I guess you could say that this regatta is our first step towards sailing.
International rule (sailing) – Wiki
The International rule, also known as the Metre rule, was created for the measuring and rating of yachts to allow different designs of yacht to race together under a handicap system. Prior to the ratification of the International rule in 1907, countries raced yachts under their own national rules and international competition was always subject to various forms of subjective handicapping.
Registration and measuring means crew bring down their sails for the organisers to measure up and this part spans over two days. On the first day, there is also an informal Barbecue organised by the RMSIR where sailors get to mingle and relax before their big race.
DAY 2 – Registration and measuring continues, during the late afternoon – a skipper’s briefing is held and by evening is the official opening party which is held in the RSYC.
Day 3 – Start of the RACE
On race day, everyone was up bright and early rushing around getting ready to head out to the start line. We were able to snap a couple of team photos for our Asian participants – HH The Raja Muda Of Selangor, skippering the Beneteau 44.7 Fujin, the Navy team Uranus, Tofan with skipper Azlan, Mellinium from Singapore and VG Offshore from Malaysia.
As the fleet and crews turn up under blue skies, yachts motored out from Port Klang to the start line and there wasn’t a spot of wind. We were put into the “media boat” and we too motored out to the starting line under the blazing hot sun.
The starting sequence was on time and the strong out going tidal current, caught a few boats on the course side, over the line. Earlier HH The Raja Muda of Selangor, was greeted by a bank of photographers, before leaving the dock and shortly after the start took the lead in the IRC 3 class. As the breeze increased, the yachts made quick work of the course until late afternoon but were left in limbo half way along and waited for the land breeze to materialise.Taken from Captain Marty’s Website Asian Yachting
We didn’t follow the racers to Pangkor but instead we headed off straight to Penang. However we were able to keep track of the race LIVE using an APP called YB Races.
PENANG – STRAITS QUAY MARINA
The logistics of moving the race management, crew, luggage, and media up the west coast of Malaysia is definitely the hardest part of the regatta. The RMSIR organisers and RSYC staff have to repeatedly pack and unpack their mobile office starting from Port Klang to Pangkor to Penang and finally to Langkawi. We were reminded of the time we were once in Film Production for TV Commercials and working in the art department was like moving house everyday day! The art department was always the first to arrive on set, in-fact set up the set – and always the last to leave.
As sailors begin arriving, the RMSIR organisers prepare for the evening’s trishaw race and for the next morning’s inshore races.
Wow – when do the sailors get any rest?? First you sail all day (and if there is no wind you wait and sail all night) arrive, party, sleep wake up and sail – arrive, party and race the trishaw – sleep wake up in shore races – dinner prize giving party – sleep and the next day – race to Langkawi! Doesn’t that sound like a ton of fun?
After a delicious dinner an eventful prize giving ceremony held at the Khoo Kong Si, the next morning is race day again for participants this leg of the race (Penang to Langkawi), is by far the most scenic and challenging for some as the weather is unpredictable.
We of-course have to drive to Perlis and that took us around one half hours to reach. As usual, we stopped off at R&R Gurun to top up food and petrol, threw in a cold shower too.
After three nights in Penang, we headed north to Perlis in order to catch our Langkawi Auto Express ferry to the island. Tickets cost us Rm420 return – a little pricey but if you intend to stay in Langkawi longer than a week – it’s worth it as you would rent a car for more by the day otherwise.
LANGKAWI – Royal Langkawi Yacht Club
After speaking to so many participants, they had one thing in common – everyone loved to sail the passage from Penang to Langkawi. For some, it is because there is a higher chance of wind compared to the first leg of the passage which is from Port Klang to Pangkor Island. Others prefer this part because the previous passage from Pangkor to Penang is challenging due to the several fishing boats that surround you with nets.
The Strait of Malacca is officially defined as the narrow stretch of water flowing between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The total length is only 805 km, but it remains the main shipping channel between the Indian and Pacific oceans. More than 50,000 vessels pass through the Strait each year carrying about a quarter of the world’s traded goods. Needless to say, it’s a hectic place.The Ocean Navigator
The final day concluded with inshore races in the earlier part of the day and by night the final RMSIR closing dinner. Photo credit to Guy Nowell.
We followed the media boat out on the final day to video the inshore races and we continued throughout that day till the end of the closing dinner. The final day was a long and productive one for us as we managed to interview several skippers and sailors, we shot a couple of sailboat tours and best of all we met so many passionate sailing enthusiasts who shared their knowledge and experience with us. Now, we’re back in our base – editing a video that we hope can share the RMSIR experience with you.
Hopefully next time, we get to sail.
After the final day – we continued our stay in Langkawi exploring the island in VANHALEN – revisiting the wild camping spots we once stayed in 2017 as well as the Eagle Eye Cottages in Tanjung Rhu.
That’s a story for next time.