LANGKAWI: Team Hollywood of Australia are just two races away from winning the Racing category in the 17th Royal Langkawi International Regatta here.
Having completed eight races until today, the Ray Roberts-led team maintained top spot with seven penalty points and should have no problems overcoming the other four teams to seal their dominant victory in the final two races tomorrow.
Their nearest challengers are 2017 and 2018 champions THA72 of Thailand, who have 14 penalty points, followed by the three local teams – SCS Janda Baik (25 penalty points), Zuhal (28) and Uranus (29).
But Roberts and his team are not about to rest on their laurels.
“With each race, we become more confident, but there is no guarantee, plus the Thai boat is chasing us closely as are the Malaysian teams. If they get a bit of good luck, they also have a chance to win. We will work hard tomorrow,” Roberts told reporters here yesterday.
But he need not worry as THA72 helmsman Kevin Whitcraft has as good as flown the white flag.
“We have struggled to compete with them (Team Hollywood) and we can’t finish first this year. They have a new boat and excellent crew, plus their sailing is good. So, maybe we will try again next year and hope for the best,” he said.
A total of 35 yachts from Malaysia, Australia, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, the United States and United Kingdom are competing in this year’s five-day RLIR, which began yesterday, and are divided into seven categories – Racing, IRC 1, IRC 2, Sportboat, Cruising, Multihull and White Sail.- Bernama