Saturday, February 28, 2009

The "Comedy of Errors" Regatta

On Saturday, 2-28-09, I had an invite to the Royal Selangor Yacht Club regatta. Not sure where the people in Southeast Asia learned how to sail, but two races were held at the mouth of the Klang river. While we were sailing down current toward the race course, I noticed that a batten was sticking through the main. We proceeded to drop the main to pull the batten and another sailboat (which was motoring) was headed straight for our beam. He narrowly missed us. I thought for sure we were toast. I had the helm for the first race. Had a perfect start at the committee boat side of the line. We hit the line full speed. Before I knew it, a First 37.5 was above us and tacked right into us. Instead of falling below us, he realized he was going to hit us on our starboard quarter. So he tacked again and missed us by two, maybe three inches. We were all pushing off or he would have hit us for sure. Later in the same race, we got tangled with a hunter 49. He was to windward and I was taking him up to keep out of dead air. He fell off anyway and got his boom fouled in our backstay. "Are you kidding me" was about all that I could mutter! Fortunately, it came free on its own or we could have dismasted and been in a very serious situation. We also broke running rigging twice during the race. We Jibed to get away from this guy and our headsail fouled around the spinnaker halyard. We had to drop the genny and untie the sheets to correct. We ran back to the finish and actually, for all of the problems we had, we finished fifth in our class (out of ten boats) on corrected time. The second race was much better. Martin had the helm and we had another good start. There was a cargo ship heading up river from the Strait of Malacca so our start was posponed. You need to know how to read the nautical flags to determine when your start is. We were the only ones that properly determined our start and nailed it. Other boats were 1-2 minutes late to the line. We had no problems in the second race believe it or not, and we finished second. All things considered, it was still a joy to be out on the water racing in Malaysia!

The Royal Selangor Yacht Club

Me at the helm during the first race

Cold beer is always good after a race! To my right is Christophe (pronounced Christoff) from France. Across from him is Martin. Martin was the captain and Christophe was inexperience crew.

I went out to dinner at an outdoor restaurant afterwards. Ai Lin (pronounced Eileen) was the one that invited me to join them. Her husband Trevor to her left and Mazlan is to my right. We had a great time and the food was really good.

Chicken feet were served along with crab, prawns, and oyster omlettes!


leah said...

Hey Chris! Super cool you got to race... but oh my goodness. your title was sure appropriate! Glad you made it out alive and well :)

eileen said...

eileen? funny. hey, maybe you should put some pic's of all the hard work you are doing over there in case "someone" gets the feeling it is a nonstop holiday???? ha! good to see you happy enjoying life as usual.