Situated off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the tax-free haven of Langkawi is a popular island destination for foreign tourists and locals wanting to escape from it all and relax amidst the warm azure waters and white sandy beaches.
The January to February period is monsoon season in Langkawi and the rest of Malaysia; something bemoaned by many – except water sports lovers, as the strong winds and slightly choppy waves are perfect for competitive and challenging sailing. And that is the cue for the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) – one of the region’s premier races – to set sail.
After the tenth anniversary celebrations last year – which followed, by all accounts, the best regatta ever – the organisers of the RLIR 2013 have a lot to live up to. But they’re up to the challenge, as preparations are under way to make the eleventh year the best yet. Starting on 7th January and running until the 12th at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC) at Kuah harbour, RLIR will see six days of action-packed sailing.
There will be a total of 13 classes with two exciting new additions to this year’s race: the IRC Bareboat Charter Class and the White Sail Class. However, the most highly sought-after prize is the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy, contested by the racing yachts. Among the 35 entrants this year are Thailand Kings Cup 2012 winners, Team Jelik, under influential skipper Frank Pong.
The sight of the champions, along with their fellow competitors’ yachts filling up Kuah harbour will make the view alone worth a visit. “We are looking forward to welcoming yacht owners from across the globe to participate and register for this thrilling event,” enthused the Rear Commodore of RLYC and Chairperson of the Regatta Advisory Committee, YM Tunku Soraya Dakhlah Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah. There is also the possibility of entering the competition yourself; the RLYC has six charter boats available, so if you feel like putting your sailing skills to the test with a group of friends against some of the world’s best, head to their website for more details.
“We have strong wind conditions with flat waters at the Kuah harbour (during the Kuah harbour race), as well as strong wind conditions with choppy waters in coastal areas (during the Coastal race). All participants can look forward to a challenging and fascinating sailing experience”, said Ahmad Zailini Bashah, chairman of the Regatta’s technical committee.
With such beautiful scenery, sunshine and lively post-race parties, what’s stopping you?