a winner at Neptune Regatta
The unrelenting North Easterly and sloppy seaway made it all the more challenging for crews and their machines. Jon Cray's Swan 42 Sea BASS and Simon Piff's Ker 32 Rekering Dream traded first and second places, to end up tied on 13 points but Piff's Rekering Dream 25% penalty reduced them to third place and handed Cray's Sea BASS the silver medal. Chris Furness\Guz Wilkinson Elan 410 Rikki Tikki Tavi kept them honest but sail handling issues kept them from advancing beyond fourth place.
The leading Racing Multihulls were tied on points coming into the final showdown. The expected battle between Scott McCook's Grainger 30 RAW and Richard Eyre's Corsair C37 Zhuka, fell by the wayside as Zhuka's centerboard was broken after hitting the reef last night. This left the door open for McCook's RAW to capitalise, notching up two wins and race away with the title. Eyre's Zhuka did their best and the three early victories kept them in second place. Jean Proust Corsair C28 Manao Express and Alan Hodges Dash 750 Kaze 3 traded second and third places to be tied on 20 points only to be broken in Manao Express favour for third overall.
Readjustments to the Premier Cruiser handicaps have led to Peter Cremers Warwick 75 Shahtoosh winning the last four races and well deserved as they were streaks ahead of the other yachts in the class. Brian Maher's Beneteau 47 The Black Rose had to settle on second overall after falling of the pace in the final races. Victor Nurcombe's brand new Bavaria 56 Sakkara has done well on their first outing in anger to take third place.
Three first places for the husband and wife team on Gary Matthews Lagoon 46 Katrianne sealed the deal in the Cruising Multihull Class. Matt Lutter's Dean 40 Vectis with the whole family and friends onboard, thoroughly entertained the fleet with their antics and in the process earned second overall. The Russians on Vladimir Ignatiev's Leopard 39 Nirvana 8 won the last race and in doing so climbed up into third overall relegating Oliver Marschner Maverick 400 Cosmoledo down to fourth.
Despite hitting the reef on the way back, the Malaysian Team on Ramasamy Menon's Dehler 39 VG Offshore held on to take out the Cruising Class title. Patrick Lim's Beneteau 37 Windhover won the last race to secure second place. Simon Connor's Olson 34 Sapphire Star pushed hard but couldn't advance beyond third overall.
A special thanks went out to the sponsors, an army of volunteers, race officers, assistants, media, support boats and crew. The 2014 Neptune Award went to Todd and Barbara Keeler on their Ocean 55 Fishhead, that tirelessly served as start boat, powered up the computers at the island and towed back Rob's Rib that ferried crews to and from the beach at all hours of the day and night.
Unfortunately due to ill health, Tudor John the Regatta Architect and driving force behind the event, handed over the reigns to his trusted generals. His parting message is for the regatta to continue on unabated and wished everyone good luck. Farewell Tudor thanks for the memories. He maybe gone but the legend lives on and long may the regatta continue into the future.
The Neptune Regatta has joined the race for the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year and is now the 7th pointscoring event on the 2013-14 Calendar. Over the next few days the AYGP standings will be upgraded and can be browsed by Skipper - Yacht and Regatta.
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