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Bali’s Turtle Island Regatta
Written by Administrator    Friday, 10 August 2012 10:39    PDF Print E-mail

strong winds had bought out the kite surfers in droves, not all of whom had full control of their boards. One kite wrapped around the mast of a Hobbie 16 at speed and almost ended in disaster. Back on the beach the damage was mounting, two lost rudders and four bent masts, pulled out fittings not to mention some bruised egos. A few ice-cold Bintang beers helped ease the pain.
By 6pm, the sailors were ready to move from our club house to the new Serangan Water Sports facility where preparations were completed for the regatta banquet. Guests started arriving and the Hatten (Bali's Local Wine) started flowing. By 7pm, the competitors were eagerly devouring a buffet of barbequed, chicken, sea food, spicy pork spare ribs and other Bali delights.
Around 80 sailors, guests and local officials enjoyed the magnificent view over the harbour. The night was broken by the sound of fireworks and rockets lighting up the sky. Then it was time to see which lucky guests had the winning tickets for the many wonderful prizes that had been donated. Drinking and post mortems of the day's events continued on into the night with everyone agreeing that the party was a great success.
Sunday morning and competitors started arriving to repair as much of Saturday's damage as possible before heading out again to the course. Only one out of the five catamarans decided to risk it again but with swapping and borrowing of bits and pieces the full fleet of Blasers finally took to the water. Once again the windward mark had gone "missing".The start boat lost its anchor and had to motor to hold position but at last the 5th race got underway. Capsizes saw the lead change hands several times before the race was finally won by Richard Tery. It was decided that the final race would be abandoned as five had been completed.
Back at the club a few well deserved beers and the presentation ceremony got underway. The trophies, which were large hand carved turtles were awarded. It's a bit hard to explain to your friends that you received a turtle because you were the fastest boat but Serangan has been known for years as "Turtle Island". The locals have started to realize that there is more gain in showing tourists the turtles than killing them for sticks of sate. The Club hopes to continue working with the local community in Serangan to promote sailing as a sport for both young and old. In fact, a couple of juniors were able to take third place among the adults.