The Neptune Regatta 2015
The Neptune Regatta, the world’s only sailing regatta that takes its participants across the Equator and back again, will take place on and around the Riau islands of Indonesia from the 14th to the 21st of February 2015. The hosting marina, where the racing starts and finishes, is the Nongsa Point Marina and Resort on the island of Batam, located just 11 miles from Singapore. The Neptune Regatta forms part of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championships
The international Neptune Regatta is organized by a group of experienced and enthusiastic sailors and is open to a wide variety of vessels from pure racing yachts to modern family cruisers with the Regatta fleet divided into six classes: the IRC Racing Class, the Racing Multihull, the Premier Cruising, the Cruising Class, the Cruising Multihull Class and the Motor Boat Rally Fleet. At the end of the week prizes are awarded according to the low point scoring system to three vessels in each class that have completed their series.
Though there are different routes depending on the race and the class – for example, the Cruisers anchor overnight at Pulau Riau heading South and Pulau Karas Besar heading North while the Racers don’t stop – all participants in the Neptune Regatta get to take in the breathtaking natural beauty of the area, including the clear tropical waters, the volcanic peaks and the numerous small islands. The jump off point for the Equator is Pulau Sikeling, also known as the Neptune Island, with its stunning white coral beaches. There are plenty of challenges in store as well with all sailors having the opportunity to tackle an area of cross tides and whirlpools known as ‘The Cauldron’. Sailors can also expect to experience very different sailing conditions between the geographically similar southbound and northbound routes due to the Northeast Monsoon.
Adding unique character to the Neptune Regatta, before the race restarts at the Equator in ‘Zero – The Race’, each vessel is allowed a time window to pay homage to Neptune and to hold a ceremony for the uninitiated sailors who are crossing the line for the first time. This custom is regarded as ‘a seafarer’s baptism to the Court of Neptune’.