The Neptune Regatta. WOW what an adventure.
A full length glossy article will be appearing in the next issue of Changi Log that is due in the ‘shops’ in another week but if you would like to download the fully pimped pdf you can do so at,
It is about 9mB but the colours are worth it!
The Dash One Design Coastal Racing turned into a great battle. On the return race just 1 minute separated SingaLOc and Siren at the finish line and that was after 11 hours and 49 minutes of racing! At the beginning of the north bound race from Neptune Island to Nongsa, the four Dashes swapped positions countless times and were cross-tacking each other for the first 2 hours. This sort of let the IRC boats get away but it was great One Design racing.
But the Neptune Regatta is more than just racing it is five days of adventure that leads to the discovery of King Neptune’s realm by crossing The Line! The Dashes proved very worthy little boats, Able to mix it a bit with much larger race boats and then having the ability to park on the beach.
Accommodation on Neptune was a great tent city as Neptune Island has been uninhabited since its creation which, we assume was a long time ago! So there, the only footprints the island has seen have been from the local villagers and two lots of Neptune sailors.
The event is really a sojourn through time as it takes competitors south between Pulau Batam and Pulau Bintan. Bintan was formerly the Centre of the Malayworld and as one sails further south the islands become increasingly less-touched and the waters much clearer. Just superb!
When we brought The Dash into Singapore it was with the Neptune Regatta clearly in mind. It was the minimum-sized platform that would fulfill the safety criteria of headroom, a bunk for every crew, cooking facilities and a real toilet! Added to this was a lot of other safety and navigation equipment. Thanks to Yung from Siren for researching the best Nav’ gear and now most of the Changi Dashes have the full suite Raymarine E7 which not only navigates but also can play movie and music!
It was a great event as it brings every one back to basics and it was so good that we are safely ging to say that 10 Corsairs will be in the 2013 Neptune slated for the next Chinese New Year. Another great aspect is on the lay-day you get to visit the nearby fishing village with some 1400 inhabitants. The villagers welcomed the regatta crews and it was an enlightening visit. On the island boats are still being built with the same old time-honoured methods. The smell of fresh cut timber is rather pleasant although most of us would have forgotten that!
There are not that many hazards on the way down but a very challenging area named The Cauldron. This is where the Java Sea and the South China Sea meet. It is a rather vast area that throws up all sorts of challenges. It began with confused waves and made it feel as if we had sailed into a giant washing machine. That gave way to an extreme current that rose up and flattened the water’s surface but on the edge of this was a small standing wave – very peculiar! Giant whirlpools dot the area and you spend most of the time in awe of the power of Mother Nature! But once through that, it is plain sailing again.
Crossing the THE LINE is every sailors dream, or should be! Of course it differs from boat to boat as to the ceremony to be inflicted on the crew. But we liked SingaLocs account. They laid a bottle of Champagne on the deck in preparation but to everyone’s surprise, King Neptune helped himself shooting the cork off totally un-assisted! Well it is thirsty work protecting the deep! Biut deep it isn’t! At the Equator it was only 20m deep, unbelievable but true.
We would like to thank all the crews for making the Neptune Regatta 2012 such memorable event. Peering into next year – we’ll have more boats in the Coastal Racing Fleet and building upon our experience we can safely expect better racing and a great time at Neptune Island
Thanks to the Neptune Team as well as Kaze, Siren, The Dash and SingaLoc.