Awakening of King Neptune at the equator…
Most the yachts are owned by expats living in Singapore and the regatta is a good excuse to escape the traffic jams, over the Chinese New Year break. Building onto the successful 2016 formula, they have added several tweaks to expand the program this year. Experimenting with a new 75nm Leg 1 race, around the north side of Bintan for the IRC and Multihull Racing classes to Fish Head Island. The cruising classes will continue with the traditional route down the Riau Strait between Batam and Bintan. On the return journey, stopping over at the village of Benan, with its sheltered anchorage, accessible pier, restaurants and resort accommodation will provide a new experience, and a much needed shower, for all.
The all-tide dingy landing dock introduced last year, will be bigger and easier to access and new A-frame huts are being built on Neptune Island are designed to make the 4-day equator experience more accessible and comfortable.
Last weekend the North Easterly arrived with a vengeance and forecasted to mellow to the mid to high teens, throughout next week. 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 the frivolities pertaining to being ceremonially inducted, will be a memorable occasion.
Unfortunately the Racing Class yachts are giving the regatta a miss this year, but thirteen monohull’s are divided into Premier Cruising and Cruising Classes based on their size and IRC ratings. Nine Multihull’s are divided into Racing and Cruising based on their design and performance.
Seven Motor Yachts this year (including five committee support boats) show that the Neptune Regatta is continuing with the pioneering work of opening up the Riau archipelago to the pleasure boating world.
The Neptune Regatta is the seventh 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 the 2016-17 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year.
The main emphasis is having fun while racing a yacht to a new tropical destination. Four 50ft plus Singapore based boats, Robert Lamoureux Beneteau Sense 55 Grand Lux, Victor Nurcombe Bavaria 56 Sakkara, Prof David Stringer and Dr Irene Lim Beneteau 54 Kayhan and Fintan McKiernan’s Beneteau 50 Sea Monster are contesting the Premier Cruising Class.
Nigel Gribble Beneteau 390 Hikaru II, Anna Fourie Beneteau Oceanis 41 Ma Ja Belle and Graeme Hespe CS36 Jens Jaunt are returning for another attempt at the Cruising Class title. They will have to overcome newcomers Kris & Monica Levickis Beneteau 34 Vitamin Sea II, Oliver Nolan Corbin 39 Dessert First, Patrick Lim Oceanis 37 Windhover, Andrew Schleis 48ft Mazu and Clive Haswell’s 45ft Calon Lân. Their biggest threat is Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly that is occupying 7th place in the AYGP Rankings and has constantly collected trophies at other major Asian events.
In the Multihull Racing class, five Corsair 750’s, Graham Horn Corsair Dash Mk II Jaza Too, Shaun Norris Dash 750 Witblits, Xavier Glenard / Damien Geoffray Dash 750 Kaze and Alice Lim Dash 750 DebDash and Tim Hill’s family sailed Dash 750 Cicak are going head to head in one design racing. Guy Scott’s newly acquired Stealth 11.8 Afterburner are joining in the fun on their first outing.
After having a good time on past years, several yachts are making return appearances. In the Multihull Cruising Class, husband and wife team on Gary & Karen Matthews Lagoon 46 Katrianne are taking on newcomers Leszek Artur Dymaczewski Firefly 28 Firefly.
Creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, where boat hopping, living onboard and consuming sumptuous amounts of food and drink is encouraged amongst all the participants. By popular demand MC Richard “Cannonball” Gillam is back to rock the Neptune Bar, courtesy of Mount Gay Rum (recently dubbed the “Best bar in Asia for 4 days a year”) will be running non-stop and Mt Gay Rum sundowners for an hour every evening.
Chef Rizan makes a return appearance and Muddy Murphy’s Pub in Singapore are bringing some extra spice to the dining table.
As we will be out of 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.
Goto last years AY Photo Gallery
Premier Cruising Class
Motor Yacht Rally Fleet
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