The legend of Raja Muda!..
The Raja Muda is the Malaysian Coastal race that takes the fleet from Port Klang, Pula Pangkor, Penang and into Langkawi. Hopping off RAW after the delivery, Campbell boards a plane and flies back to Kuala Lumpur to joing the Windsikher Team to race over the patch that we had just sailed through. RAW stayed in the marina while the fleet did battle on Bass Harbour. The Raja Muda is now in its 24th year and has quite a reputation for being one of the best of its kind in Southeast Asia. Of course the fleet took a bit of a pounding on the Penang - Langkawi sector with an infamous Sumatra rolling through and dusting everyone up with a decent 35 knots! Following the previous evenings storm the fleet have a pleasant two days of racing on Bass Harbour. For the full report full Captain Marty's great coverage on Asian Yachting.
Great to see some of the competitors that RAW will face in the Kings Cup make their way into Langkawi. This includes the very stealthy Stealth catamarans from Alan Carwadine's Asia Catamarans and Danny Moore's 3itch Carbon Racing. 3itch had almost a complete sweep of multihull line honours but with the new Stealth WOW snatching the vistocry away on OMR. But no sooner had Sarab Singh's Windsikher had wrapped up the Raja Muda Trophy as Campbell was back on RAW for the final delivery stages!
On the Nacra, we'd left Langkawi and head for Rok Nok some 75nm's north. I do recall it being one of the windiest days on record and as we had a broken a beam strap on the previous nights heavy landing off a particularly steep wave, we had a few repairs to do. The beam strap was fashioned in the local hardware and we set of under jib alone as we replaced the broken strap. Turning to head north toward Rok Nok as we exited the entrance to Bass Harbour we flew right along with the twin trapezes being put to good use! The wind didn't abate and as we drew along side I remember seeing the forestay adjuster plate snapped. Thankfully the forestay pin was then wedged at an angle and that was what was now holding the mast up! Leaping up and down in the waves we fashioned a back up line around the forestay to the bridle wires as security and then continued the pounding!
As it became dark the wind was still strong out of the NE and the waves had a few extra hours to build! Perfect conditions... Black moon, strong winds, increasing seas! As the hours went by I remember that we mused about finding these islands in the dark. We were navigating off a single bearing line, a flashlight on the compass mounted between the two of us on the deck. We were sitting on the deck but hooked into the trapezes for safety. In my mind at that speed we should hit Rok Nok in about 4 hours... But as the 4th hour came and went I had to ask whether we might have missed it, "are we there yet?"... As the extra hours went by the question popped up more frequently! The conversation went very quiet for a long time... But out of the drakness a faint outline slowly appeared and the conversation picked up to the more cheery topic of a hot meal. At about 10pm we rode a small beach break into a space between 2 scrubby trees, jst enough room to fit the Nacra. To say we crashed that night would be correct...
Over on RAW we swung out of Bass Harbour, popped the spinnaker and headed off towards Koh Lipe, just 30 miles out. Having a little extra time up our sleeves meant we could take this extra dog leg and its well worth it!
Langakwi's peaks are high enough to generate its own weather system so a few miles into our pleasant run the wind suddenly switched to the north and now we had to beat to Lipe Island! Just typical! But by sun down we drop anchor in a rather pleasant bay listening to three different types of music emanating out of the beach bars. This place rocks until 3am!
A sunset sail and then wake up to he view - beautiful waters, sandy beaches it's not so bad.
Koh Lipe has a Thai Immigration office to deal with the large number of people visiting from other Thai ports and Langkawi. It's busier than it first appears but this is a great thing as clearing RAW into Thailand here is a lot more convenient than trapsing around Phuket form department to department!
Throw in a good and healthy breakfast and then its off to Rok Nok, a short 35nm's north. Continue...