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’.
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Now one regatta that I would love to take part in is the Bay of Islands Sailing Week 2015. Situated on the Northern tip of North Island, New Zealand, the Bay of Islands is an irregularly shaped natural harbour containing 144 islands. With a sub-tropical climate, it makes for a great sailing destination. The regatta’s outer race courses offer deep water, great winds and the thrill of racing past picturesque coves and islands during the height of the New Zealand summer. The Bay of Islands Sailing Week 2015 runs from Wednesday 21st January until Friday 23rd January.
Over 80 yachts have registered for the Bay of Islands Sailing Week. They will be sailing over three days and will be racing across several divisions and four racecourses using the inner harbour between Paihia and Russell and the outer bay toward Cape Brett.
For more information on the Bay of Islands Sailing Week visit the official Sailing Week site.
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Once again, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is proud to host the China Coast Regatta 2014. As in the past, this action-packed event will attract some of the most professional sailors from across the world. Taking place from October 10th to October 12th 2014, the China Coast Regatta 2014 forms part of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championships 2014/2015. Racers can expect challenging conditions on the waters located directly south of Hong Kong. So, what does this regatta involve and what are some of its major highlights?
Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta
This year’s Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta is nearly upon us, and sailing enthusiasts and everyday folk have plenty to look forward to as the whole town comes alive in celebration of all things sailing. Four jam-packed days of festivities and activities will take place in anticipation of the big race day, with most events starting at around 11 am and going on well into the night, ending around 11 pm. Many of these will be free of charge, ensuring that everyone can take part in celebrating and enjoy immersing themselves in the electric atmosphere and festivities and that nobody feels left out.
Preceding the official race, which takes place on August 31st, an impressive collection of 46 sail training vessels from all over the world will pull up at Falmouth docks, and over the four days of activities, punters will be given the opportunity to board some of the largest and most impressive ships and explore them in all their glory. Among the ships pulling up will be a selection of the famous and visually stunning square sail Tall Ships. Access to the ships will be free of charge, and viewing times will be entirely dependent on the tides. However, the times set out for viewings at the docks are 12noon to 8.00 pm on Thursday 28th August, 10 am to 8.00 pm on Friday 29th August and 10 am to 8.00 pm on Saturday 30th August. Visitors must enter the ships by, or before 7.00 pm, and all ships will be closed for entry come the 31st as they prepare for the big Parade of Sail.
The big sail will begin at Falmouth Bay from 11.00 am on Sunday 31st August, and visitors to the Falmouth tall ships regatta are advised to arrive early to get the best view of the event. The vessels will not begin to undock until 12 pm, and between then and 3.00 pm there will be an impressive display as the ships head through Falmouth’s gorgeous bay, passing Pendennis and St Mawes, Henry VIII’s Tudor castles as they kick start their race up London’s Thames to Greenwich.
Some great live music has already been confirmed for the Falmouth tall ships regatta, with Abba Revival, the UK’s finest Abba tribute band, set to headline proceedings at 9.15 pm on Friday 29th August. Exciting and hotly tipped local talent will also be performing at the series of free events, as well as other bands from across the country.
Take a look at the Falmouth Tall Ships Association website for more details
Cowes Week 2014
Cowes Week 2014, which takes place August 2 to August 9, promises to be spectacular, with many exciting events planned. The event kicks off on Saturday with a performance by The Blades Aerobatic Display Team, and throughout the day there is a variety of musical entertainment, as well as endless options for food and drink. Sunday is Family Day, with a choice of kids’ activities, including flag making and face painting, just to name a few. In the evening enjoy a screening of The Goonies at the outdoor cinema. Special family tickets are available. An unusual on-going event this year is the Boss Up a Mast fundraiser, where you can nominate your boss to be harnessed atop a mast, until a certain amount of money is raised for the event’s charity, UKSA. Thursday is Ladies’ Day, celebrating the participation and success of women in sailing, and sports in general. A ladies’ lunch will be held, as well as the presentation of prizes to female sailors throughout the day. In the evening, the Ladies’ Trophy will be presented at a VIP drinks reception. Exhibition racing commences, and the event concludes Friday with a performance by the RAF Red Arrows. Of course, the grand finale is the fireworks display, which has been a tradition since the very early days.
Cowes Week is the longest-running regatta in the world, held annually on the Solent, a strait which separates mainland England from the Isle of Wight. Started in 1826, it now involves up to 1000 competitors participating in some 40 different races. Anyone, from Olympic champions to first-time sailors is welcome to participate, which is sure to provide plenty of entertainment for spectators
There are plenty of great spots to view the action on the water, but there are lots of other possibilities onshore as well. Stroll through the town and explore galleries and boutiques; or take a break in one of the many pubs and restaurants and just soak up the atmosphere.
On the Water
If you want to be closer to the action, there a number of options, from family-friendly spectator boats to luxury charters, with food and drink provided.
Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time spectator, Cowes Week 2014 is sure to leave with memories to last a lifetime, or at least until next year’s event!
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is to be held this year on the 16th to 20th July 2014. It will be an action-packed four days of racing, with five whole nights of fantastic parties. It is an event not to be missed! This is the first yachting event of the year in the annual Asian Yachting Grand Prix. The event will be run professionally, with a high, international racing standard of extremely talented yachtsman. The event is to be held at Cape Panwa, on the beautiful southern coast of Phuket. Conditions here are excellent at this time of the year – with plenty of wind.
This year will see around 40 boats from across Asia, and even the world, come together to race over the four intense days. Around 400 people will race. It is sure to be a stunning, intense sight, at one of the most fantastic yachting locations in the world.
The course is varied, with the race navigating around small islands, which leads to a mix of both intense, demanding racing in contrast to more scenic racing in some parts of the course. Not to be missed is the post yachting, regatta party, which has legendary buffets, all free, and great entertainment and people. The party means that nobody leaves Phuket without an incredible, balanced experience. Open every day, is also the bar, offering a wide selection of beers and exotic drinks.
There is usually seven, but sometimes six classes to be raced. These include Sports boats, Multihulls, Cruising boats, Bareboat Charter vessels, IRC vessel classes, Classic vessels and Firefly 850.
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek offers the opportunity to charter a vessel to race in the contest. The organisers can help arrange this for you, to make sure that you do not miss out racing in this spectacular event.
Cork, in Ireland, is home to The Royal Cork Yacht Club, which is generally accepted to be the oldest sailing club in the world. Its long history dates back to 1720, when it was founded by a great-grandson of one of King Charles II’s courtiers. It received a royal charter from King William IV in 1831. The club plays host to Cork Week, which was inaugurated in 1978 and is Ireland’s largest sailing regatta and a major event on the international sailing calendar. The regatta takes place every two years and Cork Week 2014 will be held from 5th-11th July. This year the official name is Volvo Cork Week 2014, as Volvo, well-known for its investment in sailing events, has chosen to sponsor the regatta for the first time in 2014.
The regatta is based at The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s premises in Crosshaven, a quiet village at the mouth of Cork harbour. A few kilometres upriver lies Drake’s Pool, where Sir Francis Drake successfully hid from the Spanish Armada. Cork Week 2014 will see a range of competitive races taking place on six different courses, along with a wide variety of shore-based entertainment. Complimentary berthing is provided to all competitors who are given assigned placed at the Crosshaven marina.
Racing is provided for IRC classes, Two-Handed classes, White Sail Only classes and One Design classes. The number of race entrants for Cork Week 2014 is expected to be around 400 boats, making for an uncrowded but competitive event. All races take place outside the mouth of Cork Harbour, apart from the Harbour Race, which is sailed on a round-the-cans course in Cork Harbour. Other courses include a Windward/Leeward Course, One-Design Course, Olympic Course, Slalom Course and Trapezoid Course, with different challenges presented each day.
An additional event this year is the new Dinghy Dash for Cash mini-series, which will take place on Sunday, July 6th. This will consist of three races over a triangular course starting and finishing at Camden Fort Meagher via Currabinny Bank. This open event will be limited to 50 dinghies. Monday 7th July is a practice day, and the main regatta races will be held over four days from Tuesday 8th to Friday 11th July. Daily prizes are awarded, with overall class trophies and Prix d’Elegance and Boat of the Week prizes awarded at the close of the event.
The Aegean Sailing Rally
The 2014 Aegean Sailing Rally, organised by the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club, will be held on July 18th to July 24th. It is an event that will be raced over 340 nautical miles in 2014 (depending on which course is devised the race distance can vary from 250 to 400 miles) and will include four racing legs.
A prestigious sailing event, this annual rally began in 1964, with competitors coming from all over the world to take part. Top Greek sailing teams also take part in what is regarded as the most important sailing regatta in the whole of Greece. The types of vessels that feature at the rally can range from supersport racers to impressive yachts.
The Four Racing Legs
Athens to Milos (a distance of 75 miles) will be the first leg of the 2014 Aegean Sailing Rally. This will be followed by comfortably the longest leg of the rally – the 120 miles from Milos to Astypalea. Next is the shortest leg, which is the 60 miles from Astypalea to Ios. Ios to Sounion is the final leg of the event, and this leg is a distance of some 83 miles.
A Chance To Take In Wonderful Scenery
Crews for the event can be made up of experienced sailors to those looking to experience serious sailing for the first time. The rally was originally a sailing event, but over time has become more of a cultural experience for those taking part and watching the event. The schedule is such that there are four days dedicated to racing, while the remaining days of the 2014 Aegean Sailing Rally allow competitors to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Aegean Islands. There will also be special events laid on at each of the race’s destinations, and these will reflect the culture of the specific destination. Some of the delights on offer include watermelon pies and an array of 80 beaches.
A Particularly Testing 2014 Race
The 2014 Aegean Sailing Rally, the 51st, is expected to take place in strong north winds, and the route has been designed in such a way that it will test the athletic prowess of the individual crews.
Related Articles: The Aegean Rally
West Highland Yachting Week
The 2014 West Highland Yachting Week takes place between July 26th to August 2nd, and will be held at three different venues – Oban, Craobh, and Tobermory.
Competitors From Around The Globe
The Scottish West Coast’s premier sailing event, the West Highland Yachting Week attracts over a thousand competitors globally. While the event receives media coverage at both local and national level.
There will be a variety of social events at the West Highland Yachting Week, including live music. On the opening weekend, Craobh Marina and the Lord of the Isles will be the host when competitors meet for the apres sail ashore, and this will feature dancing, a fireworks display and some surprises.
The Loch Melfort Race
One race will be the Loch Melfort Race. This will kick off the event’s points series. This decision was influenced by the fact that, because of tidal restrictions, the traditional Round Lismore race won’t be able to take place. The Loch Melfort Race will involve the island of Shuna being circumnavigated twice, and the race begins from Craobh Marina. The wind direction, on the day of the race, will determine whether the course of the race will be in a clockwise or an anti-clockwise direction around the island. The race will finish off the coast of Craobh.
Round The Buoys Race
July 14th is the day of the Craobh to Oban Passage Race, while the Tunnock’s and Argyll event is held on the Tuesday. The longstanding Round the Buoys course will involve the Tunnock’s, with the Firth of Lorn being the venue for the Argylls inshore race.
Tobermory is the destination for the fleet on the Wednesday of West Highland Yachting Week. The following day, the Tunnock’s take part in the Round the Buoys race again, and, on the same day, the Argylls will have another race inshore.
Oban on Friday, July 18th is the destination for the racing yachts. While, later, the Argyllshire Gathering Halls will host a prize giving dance.