Young sailors based at the National Sailing Training Centre took part in a mini match-racing regatta this afternoon, providing them with a rare opportunity to compete on keelboats instead of the smaller dinghies they are used to.
Sailing on the Foundation 36 (F36) boats used in the Monsoon Cup Malaysia regatta, six teams competed against each other in eight races, organised as part of the grassroot sailing programme Belia Belayar.
Mohamad Faizal Norizan, champion of the recent Liga Layar Malaysia (LLM) Langkawi, emerged the winner, beating Ahmad Latif Khan Ali Sabri Khan in second place and Mohamad Hafizzudin Mazelan in third.
Nur Amirah Hamid and Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy were placed fourth and fifth respectively while Ku Anas Ku Zamil ended in sixth place.
The regatta was held in collaboration between the organisers of Belia Belayar and Kedah Sailing Association (KSA) to identify potential talents in the sport of match-racing among the current crop of young dinghy sailors aspiring to make the transition to the bigger keelboat categories.
“I hope this would be the first of many more, with other states following this collaboration with KSA. It is very encouraging to see the dinghy sailors having an interest in match-racing and hopefully this will open a path for their future after graduating from dinghy categories,” said Arif Yap of Innovatige Sdn Bhd, the organiser for Belia Belayar.
One of the youngsters who took part in today’s races was Muhammad Fauzi Kaman Shah. The 13-year old Langkawi native had his first taste of match-racing with Ahmad Latif’s team as the bowman.
“It was very different from Optimist but I enjoyed it very much,” said Muhammad Fauzi.
Faizal saw this initiative as a good way to expose his junior to the sport.
“I had four sailors with no match-racing experience and was able to guide them in their positions,” he said.
About Belia Belayar
The Belia Belayar is a programme jointly launched by the Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) and the Malaysia Sailing Association (MSA) and is part of the initiative under then Sailing Development Programme. The programme is organised to cultivate the interest of young hopefuls to hone their skills and make the grade to a higher level in match-racing.