LANGKAWI: Thailand’s THA52 came into the 15th Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) boasting one of the fastest yachts in the competition – the TP 52.
And the Thai team, skippered by Don Whitcraft, duly stamped their superiority by taking the overall lead in the Racing class on the first day of action yesterday.
With light wind to start the day, THA52 clocked 114:26 to finish second behind Australia’s Emagine in Race One.
They then clocked 38:05 to finish first in Race Two, ahead of Hong Kong’s Black Bazza (39:51) and Emagine (40:11).
The strong showing by THA52 means they lead the standings with just three points.
Emagine, who competed in the IRC1 class last year, are second with four points while Black Bazza and former winners Oi! of Australia are tied in third with seven points.
“It’s good to start with a win today. And to get a win over a TP 52, which is a Formula One boat, is also a good start," said Emagine skipper Scott Bradley.
In the IRC1 class, the Vincent Chan-skippered Mata Hari also enjoyed a strong start – winning both races yesterday – as they look to win their third straight RLIR title.
“After being pushed up to IRC1, we are going up against bigger boats and it was a difficult race for us,” said Vincent.
“I made some adjustments to the crew. The core of the team from last year is retained but we also have South Korean Kim Sung-wook, who is a medallist at the 2014 Asian Games, serving as our bowman.
“He took care of the front very well and that’s important because we cannot afford to make little mistakes.
“And it’s a good start for us ... pulling off two wins despite the light wind.
“Hopefully, the wind will pick up tomorrow.”
In the IRC2 class, Danish team Phoenix also made it two wins out of two while Malaysia’s Old Pulteney Blue Angel finished second in both races.