|Sunday, 16 September 2007|
Race five saw Ng Heng Li's Gapurna 1 Team quickly out off the blocks and take a commanding lead for the rest of the race. Rizal Mahadi Gapurna 2 took second and began closing in on the leaders. Third place for Andrew Yeow Gapurna 3 had them tied for first place with Ng Heng Li's Gapurna 1 after the drop race was introduced.
Being extra keen to get going saw Andrew Yeow Gapurna 3 and Afendi Abdullah's Kedah Team forced over the startline which put an end to their chances of being crowned the SEA Games team for 2007. Rizal Mahadi Gapurna 2 pounced at the chance of leading the fleet and went on to record a win in a nick of time. Sneaking through in the light wind Haris Fabilah's Royal Malaysian Navy Team drove a wedge between the two Gapurna Teams right at the finish line. Third place for Ng Heng Li's Gapurna 1 had them tied with Rizal Mahadi's Gapurna 2 for first place with one race left to run. Talk about the tension rising amongst the troops!
One mistake could make all the difference. Stay calm and keep clear of trouble was the advice for the Gapurna Teams from Dave Moxey the RSYC Sailing Academy manager. Approaching the startline a little early had a few boats running down the line, only to be called up by the boats underneath them just as the horn sounded. PRO John Ferguson signaled premature starters. Who were they? Afendi Abdullah's Kedah Team once again broke off to restart. The flag remained up until Ng Heng Li's Gapurna 1 team restarted which dashed their chances of representing Malaysia. Rizal Mahadi's Gapurna 2 team, only just kept their nose clean at the pin end, picked up a good shift and stayed in the pressure to lead around the course and score a resounding victory. Despite the threat of protests that did not affect the winner, Rizal Mahadi's Gapurna 2 Team go on to become the first Malaysian keelboat team to be selected for the 2007 SEA Games.
Big Dave Moxey extended his congratulations but stressed to the winners "This is only just the beginning. There is a long way to go. Over the next two months extensive race training is on the drawing boards with specialist RYA instructors before we can take on the favoured Thai Team in their own backyard. But we intend on giving them a good run for there money".
Capt. Marty (Martins) Rijkuris http://AsianYachting.com
| Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 September 2007 ) BYM Sailing & Sports News|