Ray Roberts - Langkawi gazette (Pic The Star)September 21, 2009 / Source: The Star.

Despite the economy downturn, the Royal  Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) in 2010 will still go on as planned,

There had been fears that the annual regatta, which is part of the Asian Regatta calendar, might be shelved due to the economy.

But the regatta organisers Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC) allayed the fears by confirming in a press statement that they are calling for entries for the popular event scheduled for Jan 11-15 in Langkawi.

Reigning champions Quantum Racing of Australia, skippered by Ray Roberts, (pictured here) has won the RLIR Prime Ministers Challenge Trophy for four years in a row.

The RLIR, which began in 2003, involves yacht racing in several categories – the Racing class, IRC class, Sportsboats, Multihulls and Club Cruisers.

During the regatta’s early years when it was held in February, the absence of strong winds that are conducive for exciting racing had been a setback for the organisers.

However, the decision to switch the regatta to January, to take advantage of stronger winds in the sea at the time, has breathed new life into the event.

The fact that the RLIR is sandwiched between the popular Phuket Kings Cup and Singapore Straits Regatta had also increased the interest from foreign yachts that actively compete in the region.

Teams participating in the RLIR 2010 will compete for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy (for participants of international-registered yachts), the Commodore’s Challenge Cup (for participants of club-registered cruisers), “LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy” (for participants of the IRC Class), Langkawi Sports Trophy (for participants in the Sports Boat Class) and the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup (for participants under the Multihulls category).

The race entry forms, schedule and further information can be obtained from the RLIR official website www.langkawiregatta.com.