Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dream Come True

For me, as a kid, I used to dream a lot. One of it is to own my very own yacht when I grow up someday. However, as a matter of fact, the price for a yacht and the money required to maintain it obviously beyond reach for most of us Malaysians. So, when I saw the competition organized by Firefly Airlines giving a free ride on yacht during the Monsoon Cup race, I said to myself, “It’s now or never. Whatever happens, I’m going for it.”

And so, I crapped a slogan for them and viola, I got the ride of my life!


Honestly, I’m a Terengganu local. In fact, I lived in Kuala Terengganu! So, I didn’t take the free return flight ticket to Kuala Terengganu.

The Monsoon Cup held in Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu is the final race of the World Match Racing Tour, a pinnacle of the yachting competition which is equivalent to Formula 1 in car racing competition. It is held in Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa. As it is the final race of the season, it will determine the champion for the 2009 season and thus the pressure is on for all the teams who are still challenging for the title, namely, Adam Minoprio, Tovar Mirsky, Ian Williams and Mathieu Richard.

My hot seat session was scheduled to be on the 4th December 2009. I witnessed the race between Damien Iehl’s French Racing Team and Torvar Mirsky’s Mirsky Racing Team. I was seated at the back of Iehl’s yacht while another Chinese lady from Sabah was placed in Mirsky’s yacht with the following instructions:

“When the team moved to the left of the yacht, you move to the left as well and vice versa.”

“If you don’t understand what they said, just stand in the middle!”

And of course, there’s one basic rule that you don’t need anyone telling you,
“Hold tight and don’t fell into the river!”

When everything was set, we got into the umpire’s speedboat and were sent to our assigned yacht. I was greeted by Iehl and his team members. The start of the race is different from any other race, car race, dragon boat race or cycling race. In the Monsoon Cup, the yacht might be separated from one another and depending on the wind condition and the team that successfully attack the other team, they will be given the priority to start first. So, it’s important to successfully attack and defend the attack from the other team during the start of the race. During the start, my team, Iehl Racing Team successfully attack Mirsky Racing Team. Through coordinated teamwork, communication and the ability to respond to the changing wind condition, they were able to force Mirsky to allow them to start the race first.

On the river, the wind condition changed very fast, it could be blowing to the left now and 5-10 seconds later, the wind might be blowing to the right. As such, every time the wind changed, the team will have to adjust the sails and thus, you’ll see the yacht bending to the left or right. For example, if the yacht bends to the right, the whole team will be sitting on the left, using the body weight as a way to balance the yacht again.

Each time the team changed the sail, they will have to release the ropes that tie the sail and the metal holding the sail will be swinging from left to right or right to left and everyone will have to watch out their head to avoid being hit by the metal! At the other end of the course, the team will have to turn their yacht 360 degree and it’s here when the team will have to change their sail, lowering one and releasing a new sail to allow the yacht to sail using the wind. They’ll have to work fast, efficient and quicker than their rival to maintain their advantage over their rival.
The race requires each team to sail up and down the river 3 or 4 times, depending on the race official’s decision which again depends on the wind condition. My team, Iehl’s Racing Team successfully maintain their lead from the start to the end, and thus winning their race against Mirsky Racing Team. Both however, gathered enough points to proceed to the next round of the race.

The final of the Monsoon Cup 2009 pits Adam Minoprio from Black Match Racing against Ben Ainslie from team Origin. However, the winner of the championship is known before the race since Adam Minoprio qualified for the final and all his rivals failed to do so. He won the Monsoon Cup race as well, giving him double cheer to the season ending championship.

As for me, the experience is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Below are some of the pictures taken during the Monsoon Cup. No picture was snapped on board because there’s one person who dropped his or her camera into the river before.

Interviews by one of the participants

Mini Concert

Craft show

Monsoon Cup's Yacht

Participants during warming up / practice session

P/S: Sorry for not blogging for so long, been busy with my studies and I'm thinking of moving to another blog. I shall update about the link later.



Thursday, July 16, 2009


Yes, I'm back home. It feels just like waking up from a sweet dream. Everything seems like to be a dream, as though as it just happened yesterday. Been really busy this few days. I just finished my log book yesterday and just now I just finished working on a part of my final report. Yeah, no kidding, I'm just starting to work on it due to so many problems.

Firstly, I only started my final report on my last week in Germany. Add the fact that I only worked for 3 days that week, I effectively didn't have the time to finish them properly. Coming back home, I realized that the home pc is broken. What's even worst, my laptop itself is broken. So, I've been spending the last few days trying to repair all this. Duh.

Plus, when i finally repaired them, I can't open my final report file! simply because I do not have the program needed. So, I start downloading from 5pm and yet after a short and yet eventful outing, I came back home at 12am only to realize that the download is unfinished. I kept waiting till 1.30am and when it's finished, I realized that the file itself is corrupted. I kind of fearing it will corrupt but I thought it's gonna be fine. It's just a 78mb file which can take me no more than 20 minutes in Germany to download and yet it's a bloody half day in Malaysia? Wth?

So, I changed my strategy by installing Getright and download it onto my laptop using P1. Even worst, the download speed is 20kb per second and it's gonna take me one and a half hour. I was so sleepy so I decided to sleep and check it out tomorrow. Using Getright, the file won't be corrupted so I just need to be patient.

This morning, I woke up to realize that the download stopped not even at halfway mark! Frustrated, I switched back to Streamyx, hoping the line in the morning will be fast and then resumed downloading. Me? Resume sleeping. Seriously, I was so sleepy from my day one here. I couldn't even open my eyes at 9am. Jet lag? I ended up sleeping till 2pm. Waking up, I checked the download and it's perfect.

Installed the program and I spent the next two hours working on my report. Now, I've got to burn midnight oil tonight and make sure I finished this tonight.




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On a cold windy night...


How shall I find the words to construct the sentences? Even if I managed to, it still won't be able to mention all I wanted to say isn't it? Many people will argue they're most productive at nights, yet I will argue that a cold, quiet night coupled with a nice song brings me peace. An air of relaxation and care free.

Anyway, just take a look at the video above. I would suggest you to watch and listen to it, with your heart, not your ears. Breath the song and the meaning behind it in a cold, quiet night, and you shall be able to know how I felt now. It would be even better if you sing along...



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lunch :)

Ok, I admit this is a working hours but it’s gonna be a short one. Daniel, my colleague asked me whether I wanted to join him and Jöerg for lunch just now. He actually asked me last week but I had to reject him as I had my lunch already at that time. Today, I can’t reject and putting financial string aside, I said ok.

Then, he told me that I’m thin and I can just sit at the back of his bicycle and he’ll give me a ride on his bicycle. I thought he was joking but turns out to be true! I ride at the back and the other colleagues who were having lunch in the garden was laughing at us.

He’s strong really. Imagine him cycling up the slope, with me at the back! Anyway, we had our lunch in a Thai restaurant. Again Jöerg treated me. He always treat me which makes me feel bad all the time. Anyway, thanks for the lunch. It’s great.



Of Beere and Kuchen

I was sitting down on a bench in the Hauptmarkt. My watch shows 11.30 and I’m waiting for 12.10. Suddenly, the bench shakes and I turned right. A couple just sat down on the bench. The man was eating something and the lady turned to me. We exchanged smile and the lady turned back, picked up the paper bag and gestured me towards it. She says it’s cherries. I knew instantly it’s Black Forest cherry. Feeling suprised, I took one and said thanks. Seeing me finished the cherry, she asked how was it. I said sehr schon. She gave me more. This time I took two. Again, I finished them. She gave me more but I said it’s enough.

She turned again, putting down the paper bag and took another one, gesturing me towards it. It’s red cherries she said. I took one and had it. This is more bitter. I preferred the black cherries. She offered me more but I said enough. After a while, they both got up and left. I said thanks again. I was so hooked up with the berries that I stood up, grabbed my backpack and when to a stall, wanting to buy some cherries. I bought 200 gram of the black cherry and the while counting my money, the lady grabbed a few red cherries and put it in my paper bag as well. I said thanks and walked away happily.

Later, I walked to Schwarzes Tor, an old Black Forest farmer house that is now converted into museum. I sat down waiting for the museum to open and after a while, an old couple came by car. The lady then brought me around the museum, giving me an insight of the life of the people here centuries ago. After the tour, she asked me, would you like to have a cup of coffee. I hesitated because a cup of coffee would be at least 1,50 euro and I normally cut down expenses like this. However, I do not want to disappoint her so I said yes. She brought me to the dining hall and together with her friend, we had coffee and marble cake. In my mind I was thinking that this gonna cost me at least 5 euro. I even had 2 cups of coffee. When I was about to leave, I asked her how much for the coffee and true enough, the friend said that it’s a gift. A GIFT!

That was it, it just made my day, what a fantastic day it is.



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