Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 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!





Barz Optics - FloatersNorth Technology - Southern SparsAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

RC44 Sotogrande Cup – Rain does not stay on the plain
Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two. While the wind was not excessive Even as RC44 crews and race management surfaced for their breakfast this morning, it was evident that the onshore easterly breeze, that had been blowing all night, had caused the sea state to build to the extent that waves were already breaking over the harbour wall.
Posted today at 3:05 pm
28th May announced as the America’s Cup Endeavour Day
The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program, dedicated to inspiring everybody who engages with the initiative and to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.
Posted today at 2:51 pm
Challenging Qingdao tests Extreme Sailing Series fleet in Act 2 opener
As the fleet of seven crews hit the water the wind was down to just a couple of knots, delaying the start of racing. China's Olympic Sailing City is renowned for its tricky weather conditions that can catch sailors off guard with sudden changes – and the opening day of Act 2 Qingdao 'Mazarin Cup' was a prime example.
Posted today at 2:12 pm
Extreme Sailing Series – Team Oman Air promise to bounce back
Qingdao is notorious for delivering tricky conditions that can change in an instant, and that's just what happened today After almost two hours of bobbing around waiting for enough wind to allow action to commence, a solid 15-knot breeze swept over the seven-strong fleet allowing three races to be held.
Posted today at 1:35 pm
Antigua Sailing Week – 8 teams contest Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge
Racing is done in two preliminary heats of three races each. The two top finishers of each heat go to the final round Racing is done in two preliminary heats of three races each. The two top finishers of each heat go to the final round, which also consists of three races. All races are approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length keeping them challenging and exciting to watch!
Posted today at 11:50 am
RYA announces new Olympic Performance Manager
The RYA is delighted to complete its World Class Programme management team with the appointment of Mark Robinson Robinson, who joins the British Sailing Team in June from a Performance Manager role at Australian Sailing, takes on the post vacated by Stephen Park OBE and will lead the world’s leading Olympic sailing nation as it continues its quest for medal success in Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Posted today at 11:40 am
Marion Bermuda 2017... an Extravaganza
Entries now stand at 60 yachts for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race and there is still time to get off the fence Entries now stand at 60 yachts for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race and there is still time to get off the fence and enter this classic, 40th Anniversary Race.
Posted today at 4:32 am
RC44 PRO earns his bucks on snakes and ladders opening day
Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Nonetheless Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio read his crystal ball well enough to stage four races on this course which uniquely has Europe, Gibraltar and North Africa as a backdrop.
Posted today at 3:57 am
North Sails - 60 years of sailmaking - 1986 12 Metre Worlds
In early 1986, a series of races were held off of Fremantle as a precursor to the 1987 America’s Cup. In early 1986, a series of races were held off of Fremantle as a precursor to the 1987 America’s Cup. Dubbed the 12 Metre World Championship, a dozen syndicates competed in what they considered a “shakedown series” to test their boats against the competition. Some of the teams had new builds, their first development boats.
Posted on 27 Apr
Heiner's consistency pays dividends in Sailing World Cup Hyères
Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn. Out of the 534 racers from 52 nations, racing across the ten Olympic events, Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn.
Posted on 27 Apr