MIRI: Fifty-one yachts set off for Labuan yesterday for the 95-nautical-mile Miri to Labuan Passage Race in the 7th Borneo International Yachting Challenge which started last Saturday.
Boats from Australia the most number, four from Malaysia
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan flagged off the contestants at Miri Marina.
Also present were Assistant Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation (Sports) Datuk Lee Kim Shin, BIYC Miri Working Committee chairman Troy Yaw and Miri Mayor Lawrence Lai.
For the passage race, the participants will take the challenge to complete the route of which the fastest boat is expected to finish in 20 hours.
Apart from IRC Racing, participants would be judged accordingly to respective competing categories comprise Cruising A, Cruising B, Cruising C and Multi-hull along the passage race.
Last year, participating yacht from the Philippines was the champion for the IRC Racing of Miri-Labuan passage race after defeating two participating yachts from Sarawak, UluMulu and Sarawak Seahorse into second and third places respectively.
Remington from United Kingdom was the champion for the Cruising A category followed by First Light from Australia (second) and the third-placed winner was Tewai Pounamu.
For Cruising B category, Far Niente took the champion’s title while Arnak (second) and Keturah (third) in the same cate- gory.
In the Cruising C category, Petima was the champion followed by Pateke (second) and Amber Nectar (third).
Zosha was the champion for Multi-hull Category, Forza (second) and Deja Vu II (third).
Meanwhile, all the participating yachts from 14 different countries have been scheduled to leave Labuan Marina on July 28 for the 71-nautical-mile Labuan-Kota Kinabalu Passage Race.
Boats from Australia have contributed the most number with 22, while others are from British Virgin Islands, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vanuatu.
Four participating boats namely Sarawak Seahorse, Miri Magic I, UluMulu and Eloise are representing Malaysia for the race.
They are expected to arrive at Sutera Harbour Marina on the morning of July 29 followed by Kota Kinabalu Harbour Race the next day.
Prize presentation will be held in the evening at Sutera Harbour Resort.
Meanwhile, BIYC is a joint effort between Sarawak, Sabah and Federal Territory of Labuan, organised under the auspices of Malaysian Yachting Association.
It aims to promote Borneo Island and make the route between Miri, Labuan and Kota Kinabalu as one of the premier world yachting destinations.
The overall winner of the challenge this year will be those with the least scoring point on the corrected times of the Miri Bay Race, Miri to Labuan Passage Race, Labuan to Kota Kinabalu Passage Race and Kota Kinabalu Harbour Race.