Racing to meet King Neptune at the Equator…
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
11:02:2018 Batam, Indonesia: When was the last time, you picked up the hand bearing compass to see if the boat is making progress, into the strong tidal current or if your on a collision course with passing traffic? This is part of the navigators duty, while the rest of the crew are changing/trimming sails to suite the circumstances and having fun, pushing the boat along as fast as they can.
This is passage racing at it’s best and being able to stop half way through a race and celebrate crossing.the Equator, makes the Neptune experience, “Turning Slimy Pollywogs (Never crossed the equator by boat) after being thoroughly denounced for their crimes and carrying out a suitable penance chosen by King Neptune, into Trusty Shellback’s” very unique indeed.
For the 8th edition, the Western gateway to Indonesia, Nongsa Point Marina & Resort on Batam Island, is the departure port again, for a series of island hopping passage races, through the tricky Riau Island archipelago, stopping at Fishead Island on the way down to Neptune Island and Mubut on the way back. While down at Neptune Island, after the famous Equator Race, there is also an extra day of passage racing around nearby Islands and some sampan racing at the local fishing village on Pulau Blanding during the lay-day festivities.
The weather forecast looks nice and breezy from the North to North Easterly trade wind in the early part of the week for the trip down and reduces in time for the long slog back.
The beach is still beautiful and sunsets as spectacular as ever. The all-tide dingy landing dock, will be bigger and easier to access and the A-frame huts on the front beach are designed to provide crew staying ashore, during the 4-night equator experience with shelter from the elements. Still have to bring your own bedding, torch, pillow, toothbrush, teddy bear and towel etc.
The Neptune Bar (recently dubbed the “Best bar in Asia for 4 days a year”) will be manned by Muddy Murphy’s Pub from Singapore and complementing the camp kitchen, serving hearty breakfasts and bringing some extra spice to the dinner table each night.
On the racing side Alex “Ferret” Voss (Regatta Director) and Jerry Rollin (Principle Race Officer) are expecting to provide crews with a downwind sleigh ride, on the island hopping adventure to the equator and assure the frivolities pertaining to being ceremonially inducted, will be a memorable occasion.
Although there are no Monohull Racing Class yachts entered, there is 11 well prepared production and custom boats divided into Premier Cruising, Cruising and Classic Classes, based on their size and ratings.
Eight Multihull’s, including six Dash 750 trimaran’s from the Changi Sailing Club fleet in Singapore, are all in the Racing Class. Also 5 support motor vessels to run the event and another 2 to share the experience with the family, over an extended Chinese New Year break.
Although the main emphasis is having fun while racing a yacht to a new tropical destination, the Neptune Regatta is the eighth point scoring regatta on the annual AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP), where all the skippers and yachts are awarded points based on their overall placing’s at the end of the regatta. The score goes towards being crowned with the 2017-18 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year title.
As we will be out of telephone and internet reach for the entire regatta, readers will have to wait, till we return from the Equator next weekend, for the full run down, on what took place.
Premier Cruising Class
Motor Yacht Rally Fleet
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