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SAILORS from around the world will battle it out at the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) from Jan 12 to 17.

So far, the organiser has received 36 entries. Of the 36 yachts which have registered, 10 are from Malaysia, seven from Britain, six from Australia, three from Thailand, two from Singapore and New Zealand, and one each from Austria, Denmark, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia and Vanuatu. More entries are expected as registration closes on Jan 12 at 5pm.

“It’s an honour to see 36 entries at this time, which include a wide global representation of nations.

“While many are RLIR regulars, we also have a number of first timers. This shows that the RLIR is a highly-regarded event among serious sailors around the world,” said Royal Langkawi Yacht Club executive director and general manager Wicky Sundram.

The RLIR will see the re-emergence of Team HIFI, skippered by Neil Pryde, and along with Team Oi! skippered by Peter Ahern, are the top contenders for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy, which is given to the winners of the Racing Class title.

Oi! clinched the trophy early this year, while HIFI won in 2013. Also back in the line-up are Team SMU (Singapore Management University) who missed the 2014 edition despite winning the Langkawi Sports Boat Challenge Trophy last year.

The other yachts on the trophy course are Phoenix, Chantique, Smystery and the evergreen vessel Eveline.

Not only will the participants be competing for the coveted prizes and trophies. They stand a chance of receiving the Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award which is presented every year to the best competing team.

The Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award is presented in memory of the late Founding Chairman and the first Commodore of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC), Almarhum Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

The RLIR is organised by RLYC and sanctioned by ISAF and Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA), and is part of the Asian Yachting Circuit.

For information, visit www.langkawiregatta.com or contact Wicky Sundram at wickysundram@langkawiyachtclub.com.