With all boats home safely, it was time for the Neptune fleet to wind down and have some fun. To congratulate themselves on another trip from Nongsa Marina to the equator and back, to reminisce about the good the bad and the ugly of the last week, and to congratulate the organisers on a logistical tour de force successfully executed.
Think about it – setting up a tent village, a field kitchen, outdoor showers and latrines, and a bar, and then shipping in food for 200+ sailors for four days, all the bar supplies, and every last extra down to the toilet paper and the charcoal. It’s not a small job. And then organising and running all the tendering service and the ship-to-shore transfers. It’s a huge job, done by a very small number of people who work extremely hard. So, congratulations to one and all.
The evening opened with a very positive speech from a representative of the Indonesian Marine Tourism Dept, and then moved quickly on to prizegiving and finally the Hass-meets-Regatta tradition of ‘down, downs’ when both heroes and miscreants alike were called to the stage for a glass of medicine that looked suspiciously like Mount Gay rum. Most took it bravely, including tv presenter Angela Kan, now officially weighing in at 3 stone wringing wet.
Tales were told, stories were swapped, and then somehow everyone ended up in the pool, which is the way it has been at the end of every Neptune Regatta. One competitor described the event as ‘completely mad’ and another was more conventional in calling it ‘awesome’. The bottom line is this: the Neptune is different. It is a regatta organised by sailors, for sailors. It is an adventure as much as it is a race. And above all it is FUN. If you can’t have fun sailing down to Pulau Sikeling, camping on a no-facilities island for four days, racing to The Line, and converting a few Slimy Pollywogs into Trusty Shellbacks – well, don’t join in.
Until next year, signing off from the Mt Gay Rum Neptune Regatta. Hic..!
by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia
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5:35 PM Mon 18 Feb 2013GMT
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