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6th Mount Gay Rum Neptune Regatta 2016

AY Race Report 6, 7 & Summary

2015/16 AY Grand Prix Event

Victory for Windsikher II and Kaze in final shootout...
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
13:02:2016 Nongsa Marina, Batam, Indonesia: With only one point separating first and second places in the IRC Racing Class, the final windward/leeward races in Batam would determine the overall winner. A similar situation existed in the Multihull Racing Class were Graham Horn's Jaza Too and Xavier Glenard / Damien Geoffray's Kaze, have traded first and second places and all hinged on the final return race from Karas Besar. An early start and good reaching conditions up the Bintan Strait, saw them all home and packing up by mid afternoon. Two windward/leeward races for the IRC Racers in 13 to 16 knots and a lumpy seaway, sealed the deal for Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II, to make it four regatta wins in a row, on the new ride.

Despite the threat hanging over them, Sarab Singh put the throttle down on Windsikher II and blitzed the course to win the first race and wrap up the series. Over a leg and half behind, Mick Tilden and the Sydney Hobart veterans on their Beneteau 44.7 Fujin, clung on like a limpid mine for second place and second overall. Andrew Cocks Simonis Voogd 56 Starlight lacked a little horsepower when changing gears in mixed company and settled on third overall. Windsikher II withdrew from the final race with headsail damage and let the other two circulate but it didn't make any difference to the overall standings.

Although Robert Lamoureux's Beneteau Sense 55 Grand Lux made the most of the fresh conditions to win by a country mile today, second place for Jeff Harris' J 92S Nijinski is enough for them to take the Cruising Class title back home to Port Klang with them. The Aussie's on Nigel Gribble's Beneteau 390 Hikaru II barreled in with third place and earlier performances kept them in second overall. After up and down performances, Lamoureux's Grand Lux secured third place overall, despite winning two out of six races.

The duel in the one design Corsair Dash 750 Multihull Racing class was settled in the last race from Karas Besar. The French team on Xavier Glenard / Damien Geoffray's Kaze crossed the finish line, just in front of Graham Horn's Jaza Too and in doing so are awarded the title on count back. Although it appears there was no one else racing, the three others weren't far behind and Philip Brown's Madfish III finished in third overall. They are all winners as the other two boats are family sailed boats and a very character building experience and rewarding for all concerned.

It's all cheers on Matt Lutter's Dean 440 Vectis and ready to celebrate the Multihull Cruising Class title, by dancing the night away. The main aim on Gary & Karen Matthews Lagoon 46 Katrianne is enjoyment and they certainly have had plenty of that and will be back for more next year.

Robin Kydd and his BuzzCat Oceantalk were awarded the Spirit of Neptune award for never ending services rendered to the regatta over the years.

All aboard and homeward bound...
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
12:02:2016 Neptune Island, Indonesia: Concern about light wind and strong currents in the passage North of Neptune Island, caused the race committee to display the 'follow me' signal, until the fleet were in clear water. Packing up the equipment became a priority and no one seemed to notice that a fresh 10 knot North Easterly had already arrived. The 3 IRC Racing boats staged their own start, while the rest of the fleet started further back and it was on again for young and old.

Picking the right path through the cauldron in less current and favourable wind shifts became a priority. Initially the faster yachts pulled away and depending on the course taken, closed back on each other, to constantly juggle the possible handicap placing's. While the IRC Racers went all the way back to Nongsa Marina, the Multihull and Cruising fleets went half way, for an overnight stopover at Karas Besar.

The IRC Racers took their own finish times at the Pulau Loban lighthouse, to shorten the course and take the strain of the race committees depleted resources, which were already stretched to the limit. While Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II and Andrew Cocks Simonis Voogd 56 Starlight finished within sight of each other, Mick Tilden's syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin was a mere speck on the horizon. When the numbers were crunched, Tilden's Fujin came out in front and narrowed Windsikher II's lead down to one point and all to play for, on the final windward/leeward races tomorrow.

Jeff Harris' J 92S Nijinski made it three wins in a row and placed one hand on the Cruising Class title. The Aussie's on Nigel Gribble's Beneteau 390 Hikaru II scored second place again and Guy Scott's Beneteau 50 Confluence came good with third place.

By winning today's race Graham Horn's Jaza Too has clocked up three wins, while Xavier Glenard / Damien Geoffray's Kaze have two wins and three second places. It's doable for the French team tomorrow, if they win the race they will win the one design Corsair Dash 750 Multihull Racing class. Third place for Philip Brown's Madfish III ensures them third overall and eager to have one more go at the dueling leaders tomorrow.

Since missing the first race, Matt Lutter's Dean 440 Vectis has won every race and will take something untoward to happen, for Gary & Karen Matthews Lagoon 46 Katrianne to take the Multihull Cruising Class title away from them.

Summary
The new all tide dinghy dock and beach huts are a great improvement to life on Neptune Island. The logistics of moving everything to the island, having enough vessels to conduct the racing and ferry crews to and from the boats, is still and always will be a nagging problem. The inevitable breakdown and change in plan stretches the resources. Luckily the dedicated volunteers, organisers and race management are used to making decisions on the fly, to solve difficult situations as they arise.

Having cruised through Indonesia for 30 years, I still can't believe the cruising CAIT permit system has been abolished, and the new system introduced. This is bound to improve yachting tourism and have a flow on effect for the regatta. There have already been approaches by the relevant tourism authorities and with their assistance, a new outlook could solve the logistic problems and can only make this regatta better.

More details check out the Neptune Regatta website.
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