Source: Asian Yachting
All eyes were on the clash of the titans in the racing class of the Langkawi Regatta.
Ray Roberts put Evolution Racing into the box position at the start, and although neck and neck with Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi up the first beat, they held a slight advantage at the windward mark.
In the end an exceptionally strong north-easter blasted down Bass Harbour to bring this year’s regatta to a spectacular conclusion as Ray Roberts from Australia with his Evolution Racing team came out the winners in a nail-biter with Neil Pryde’s local entry Hi Fi – the two going into the final day on tied points.
Both boats, fully powered up, reached speeds in excess of 20 knots on the long downwind leg, and as they closed in on the mark, Evolution Racing dropped the spinnaker in the water and was forced to steer away, leaving the door open for Hi Fi to take the inside berth around the mark.
Tack for tack, up the next beat Neil Pryde held the advantage, but as they narrowed in on the bottom mark again, it was his turn to slip up and allow Ray Roberts to take the inside running and regain the lead.
Evolution Racing rounded the final windward mark just in front of Hi Fi, but as Hi Fi has a lower handicap, at that stage it probably held time on Evolution Racing. They split gybes to either side of the course, and as there seemed to be more wind down the middle of the course, Roberts surfed away to finish two minutes and fifty seconds in front. That clinched the race and gave Roberts and his crew, including gun tactician
Steve McConaghy their fifth Royal Langkawi Regatta title in a row. Line honours went to Frank Pong’s 75ft Jelik III, while the battle raged close behind him, resulting in third place and third overall for the biggest boat in the fleet.
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