Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Mt Gay Rum 2012 Neptune Regatta -The Riau Islands have moved

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 6 Feb 2012
Mount Gay Rum 2012 Neptune Regatta. Skippers’ Briefing. Alex ’Ferret’ Voss (Safety Officer (l) and PRO Jerry Rollin ¨ show off their flags © Guy Nowell/ Mt Gay Rum Neptune Regatta
There have been a number of last-minute dropouts from the entry list, but numbers are well up on last year’s inaugural event, with 18 sailing yachts and just the one powerboat. No doubt defending champion Men at Work (Stewart McLaren) will have their hands full fighting off the challenge from David Ross’s new Ker 40, KukuKERchu, but tomorrow’s opening race – 72nm from Nongsa Point to Pulau Sikeling (aka ‘Neptune Island) just 8nm from the equator – is not a straightforward passage race.

South through the Riau Strait and the Pengelap Strait, boats will have to deal with the wind shifts that go with inter-island sailing, and the thoroughly complicated currents that develop when the tide tries to push the China Sea into the Indian Ocean (and back again) twice a day. Last year one particularly gnarly patch of sea, riddled with cross currents and tidal overfalls, was immediately named ‘The Cauldron’, and with good reason.


It’ll be open season in the Cruising division too, with boats ranging from Daniel Whittington’s Ericson 28, WYSIWYG, right up to Sea Ranch, a Beneteau Oceanis 50 owned by newcomer Richard Lovenitz. 'We have a clear advantage here,' said Wittington, 'since we’ve done this before, we know where to go, and most particularly we know where not to go. This local knowledge will stand us in good stead, I’m sure.'

Back again, and this time racing in the Classic division instead of ‘merely’ hosting the media, is Tim Wilson’s El Oro, skippered by Simon Blundell and chartered to Simon Piff (Rainbow Dream). Piff says he is looking forward to some 'highly competitive cruising'.

And there’s an all-new multihull one-design division in the shape of four Corsair Dash 750s. Scott McCook, skipper of Yung Lee’s Siren, says that the saucy graphics on Siren’s sails are going to be a class-beater. 'Nobody wants to sail past a good-looking girl.' (We promise photos, later). Lee says he is on a 'practically vertical learning curve,' having bought the Corsair just a couple of weeks after learning to sail a Laser. 'But I know I am in good company, and we are all looking forward to tomorrow’s start.'



In the last 12 months the Neptune Regatta has established a very visible online presence for itself, having been ranked in the top ten sailing Facebook pages worldwide. Maybe that’s how the event has managed to attract no less than 16 nationalities among competing crews, from Australians to Russians, with Irish, Dutch, Korean and Canadian competitors thrown in for good measure.

Title sponsor this year is Mount Gay Rum, 'the Rum that invented Rum,' as they like to say in Barbados. (Down at Neptune Island, thirsty sailors will be able to enjoy sundowners at the Mount Gay Rum Beach Bar - did you know that Mount Gay’s Eclipse rum is was first created in 1910, to commemorate a solar eclipse coinciding with the passing of Halley’s comet? There’s more to this drinking thing than we realized!)

While the IRC racers are rushing straight to Neptune Island and a finish line off the beach jetty there, the remaining divisions will take it a little easier, making the trip in two ‘legs’, and stopping overnight at Pulau Karas Besar (Big Stiffy Island). We’ll tell you all about it later, but ‘normal service’ – ie daily race reports – from Sail-World will be interrupted over the next few days as internet coverage is not an option down south in the Riau Archipelago.



Safety Officer Alex ‘Ferret’ Voss got the audience’s full attention at the Skippers’ Briefing tonight when he announced that 'the Riau Islands have moved.' Actually, the WGS84 chart datum offset has been amended by about 120m, so navigators are well-advised to pay attention to non-electronic nav methods!

PRO Jerry Rollin surprised absolutely nobody when he reminded us that 'it’s all in the Sailing Instructions', and Brian Masters from sponsor Harry’s Bar apologized that drinks coupons cannot be purchased with credit cards on Neptune Island – there aren’t any terminals down there.'

In fact, there’s nothing on Neptune Island (Pulau Sikeling) except what organisers put there to welcome and entertain the arriving fleet. P Sikeling is an uninhabited tropical island with no water and no electricity – except that right now the Advance Party is busy building a tent village, Harry’s @ The Equator, the Mount Gay Sundowner Beach Hut, and bbq facilities for the whole fleet.

Neptune Regatta will return to Nongsa Point Marina next Saturday 11 February. Tonight, drink and be merry – tomorrow, we sail!





upffront 660x82InSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Clipper 70 fleet makeover begins
Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race. After clocking up an average of 41,000 miles each during their tenth edition race circumnavigation, the Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race.
Posted today at 8:42 am
Building conditions on Day 2 of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds
San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during summer/early fall, and Day 2 of Alcatel J/70 Worlds San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during the summer and early fall, and Day Two of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, did not disappoint.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Groupama Race – Between the north and Nouméa
Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. The crew was very pleased about his race. The owner and skipper, Karl Kwok, compared the luxury and unspoilt landscapes from the East coast to Polynesia and the West coast to Cebu island in Philippines.
Posted on 28 Sep
68 yachts line up for the first two races of J70 World Championship
In the second race, conditions ranged from 18-25 knots with choppy seas which left more than one competitor on his side After three days of “non San Francisco” conditions over the wekend-85 degrees with sailors waiting around for wind while complaining of it being to hot in the parking lot-“San Francisco” came back. In the second race of the day, conditions ranged from 18-25 knots with choppy seas which left more than one competitor on his side with the gennaker up.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's view of Day 2
Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru captured these images of the always picturesque classics as they sailed in a light breeze
Posted on 28 Sep
Legendary Mitch Booth to compete in St-Barth Cata Cup 2016
Sixty teams have already confirmed they will be competing in the event. As a triple world champion, Booth is no stranger to the F18. For this edition, he will be joined by Andy Dinsdale, a regular on the waters around St Barth.
Posted on 28 Sep
Legendary Mitch Booth to compete in St-Barth Cata Cup 2016
Sixty teams have already confirmed they will be competing in the event. As a triple world champion, Booth is no stranger to the F18. For this edition, he will be joined by Andy Dinsdale, a regular on the waters around St Barth.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's images from Day 1
Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones, Nioulargue for the Modern yachts, Pampelonne for the Wallys and the bay for the 15 m JIs, racing in an even swell and glorious sunshine. Most of the Classic yachts are not due to set sail until the second day of racing. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on hand to capture the acti
Posted on 28 Sep
J-70 Worlds - San Francisco - Images from a fired up first day
Images and video of the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Videographer and photographer, John Navas was on the water on the Berkley Circle, San Francisco for the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Here's his view of the day in video and still images.
Posted on 28 Sep
Alcatel J/70 Worlds - Cut-throat competition on Day 1 in San Francisco
World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition, but when you stack 68 of the world’s most popular One Design boats on San Francisco Bay in a crisp, late-September breeze, you can bet your last shackle that the competition will be ferocious.
Posted on 28 Sep