Mount Gay Rum Neptune Regatta 2012

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AY Race Report 4, 5 & Summary

KukuKERchu, The Dash, O'BlueEyes & Kay Sira have winning grins...
By AsianYachting MultiMedia

11:02:2012 Fifteen to twenty knots with two meter seas, ends the regatta on a high note. While the IRC Racing and Multihull classes contested two windward/leeward races off Nongsa Point Marina, the PY and Classic classes completed the second leg from the overnight stopover at Karas Besar, up the Riau Strait to finish off the marina. With the wind in the upper range the crews were forced to work hard while overcoming the excesses from the last few days to complete this years program.

David Ross' Ker 40, KukuKERchu has completely outclassed the other two yachts in the IRC Racing Class. By adding first and second to their tally today, making it five wins out of seven races to well and truly seal the deal. Last years winner Brent Morgans Archambault 35 Men at Work started of well winning the race down to Neptune Island and snuck in the last race today by two seconds but a few mistakes in between left them in second place. The thoroughly entertaining crew on Chris Furness\Guz Wilkinson's Elan 410 Rikki Tikki Tavi put up a good fight but just could not get over the speed hump and settled on third place.

Going into today's races Nicolas Gillier's Singa'loc held a three point lead over Alice Lim's The Dash. Talk about turning the tables upside down, as a very determined crew on The Dash nailed the startline in both races and led around every mark to wrap up the days racing and in doing so sail away with the Multihull title. Two fourth places for Singa'loc drops them down to second overall. Consistently scoring third places Lee Yung Sheng's Siren leaves them in third place with Alan Hodges Kaze 3 slotting into fourth.

The fresh breeze helped the PY and Classic Classes make good progresss up the Riau Strait from their overnight stopover at Karas Besar and all finished by 16:00 hours. Glen O'Grady's Young 88 O'BluEyes has been on fire all week and by winning today, makes it four wins and a second place to proudly secure the PY title on their first attempt. By claiming second place today Simon Read's Beneteau Oceanis 350 Aeolus XC has elevated up to second overall. Although troubled with rudder problems throughout the regatta Simon Connor's Olson 34 Sapphire Star held on to secure third place.

After splitting a fuel tank and having diesel sloshed throughout the boat, Mike McCabe's Cambria 50 Goldenrod II battled on and was rewarded with first place in the final race. Second place for Barry Wickett's Slipper 42 Kay Sira with RYA Yachtmaster students onboard have done enough to win the Classic Class title on their first attempt. Tim Wilson's Auzeppy-Brenneur 68 El Oro skippered by Simon Blundell came alive in the tough going to claim third place today and ended up in third overall. Mehdi Khaled / Chris Schuler Westsail 32 Mico Verde slipped of the pace a little in the uncomfortable sea but two earlier wins has them holding onto second overall and were awardwd the "Spirit of Neptune Prize" for their efforts.

Summary
Anyone entering this event should be prepared to take on the spirit of adventure on a remote island without any resources. An almighty effort is made to erect a tent village, fully fledged bar and cooking facilities that is manned by volunteers from the Royal Marines. Not everything goes to plan and the tidal anomaly caused a few problems getting on and off the island. The weather gods were kind, providing plenty of wind for every race, blue skies and no rain throughout the week. Next year the event reverts back to Chinese New Year which suits expat holiday makers that make up the majority of competitors. Tudor and The Ferret must be congratulated for pulling off such an event on a limited budget and if it was not for crews looking for something new and adventurous the event would not happen at all. So if your looking at traveling to new lands and utilizing the boat for what it was designed for, this is your event but don't start complaining if the facilities don't come up to expectations as it is not meant to meet five star expectations. To cap it off most of the resources have gone to help the Pulau Blanding village which now has running water piped over from Pulau Buaya a couple of miles away courtesy of the regatta. They also are gamefully employed to erect and deconstruct the tent city and all the temporary facilities on Neptune Island, which in world economical terms cannot be measured or it would exceed the richter scale for economical benefits. None of this exceeds the personnel sense of achievement and not relying on event organisers to put in place every whim of enjoyment. So come and enjoy the boat you own and huge camaraderie amongst your friends with some yacht racing thrown in and I'm sure you will be surprised what comes of it.

The long hard work back...
By AsianYachting MultiMedia

10:02:2012 After a tour of the local fishing village on Pulau Blanding on the layday, the sailors were back out on the water preparing for their departure. The NE tradewind picked up for the 70nm beat back up to Batam and if they time it right, should have a favourable current through Selat Pengelap and the Riau Strait. The PY and Classic Class cut their journey in two with an overnight stopover at Karas Besar, similar to the way down. With Neptune Island forming a spectacular backdrop, PRO Jerry Rollin sounded the horn for the mass start and they were off quicker than a drovers dog. Tactical decision time came soon after clearing Neptune Island. Which way to go around Pulau Buaya blocking their way to the north of Neptune. Most the yachts decided to tack over and gain ground to windward. Others sprung their sheets and reached off but after rounding found themselves several miles to leeward and as the expected bend in the wind did not occur they were at a severe disadvantage.

Once again the IRC Rracing and Multihull classes disappeared over the horizon. After beating upwind most the way and sitting on the rail for 10 hours 13 mins David Ross' Ker 40, KukuKERchu breasted the finish line and the clock started ticking. Skipper Johnno Rankine said "The next boat back was a small triangle on the horizon at sunset but they will have current all the way up the Riau Strait". As it turned out KukuKERchu hung on to score the daily double in front of Chris Furness\Guz Wilkinson's Elan 410 Rikki Tikki Tavi that excelled in the bumpy conditions. Brent Morgans Archambault 35 Men at Work gambled on taking Pulau Buaya to leeward and had to live with it, by being relegated to third place.

All the Corsair 750's went to windward of Pulau Buaya and it came down to boatspeed in the choppy sea and lengthy periods of concentration for the skippers. A tack for tack battle developed between Nicolas Gillier's Singa'loc and Lee Yung Sheng's Siren with Singa'loc nudging ahead to take the honours by a mere minute after 11 hrs 49 mins of racing. Trailing further back Alice Lim's The Dash claimed third spot with Alan Hodges Kaze 3 slotting into fourth. This result gives Nicolas Gillier's Singa'loc a healthy three point lead over Alice Lim's The Dash in the overall stakes with two races to run.

As the PY and Classic Classes bashed their way north, it became apparent that they were not going to make the 18:00 cut off time, so PRO Alex “Ferret” Voss decided to use the times taken as the yachts passed through the Selat Pengelap gate to calculate the results. This time Simon Read's Beneteau Oceanis 350 Aeolus XC clocked out in front. Unfortunate for Glen O'Grady's Young 88 O'BluEyes as they were within a stones throw of the proper finish when in the interests of the fleet the decision to shorten was made but still ended up in second place. Daniel Whittington's Ericson 28 WYSIWYG went the right way around Pulau Buaya which earned them third place.

Similar story in the Classic Class. Not known for its upwind performance Mehdi Khaled / Chris Schuler Westsail 32 Mico Verde went the right way around Pulau Buaya and punched above their weight to secure first place. Not to be out done Barry Wickett's Slipper 42 Kay Sira pushed on and scored second place to lead the overall pointscore. Tim Wilson Auzeppy-Brenneur 68 El Oro skippered by Simon Blundell would normally go well upwind but went the wrong way around Buaya and had to settle on third place.

Full details check out the Neptune Regatta website.

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