Ewan Anderson won the Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller for the third time in a row on Sunday, April 29 with a blistering time of 44 minutes. He fought off his son, 17-year old Sean, who finished two minutes behind him. Event organizer Owen Waters was third.
This "no pain, no gain" race in the British Virgin Islands started off Scrub Island with a start line far enough east to give all the competitors room to clear the notoriously windless Beef Island Bluff. It was then a straight shot down the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the finish off the Nanny Cay lagoon.
Ewan showed typical form and sailed a fast race following the same strategy that has won him the event for the last two years – sail deep, follow the lifts along the south coast of Tortola and "go no further than half way across the [Sir Francis Drake] Channel". "Shortest distance racing and if there’s a cherry at the end that’s all the better," he said.
At the prize giving in the Pusser’s Pub in Road Town, Ewan, the oldest competitor in the fleet, said he was "very surprised considering the very tough competition today due to the likes of all these guys that are all doing very well especially Sean with all the hot shot gear".
"Obviously everybody thought he [Sean] was the winner today," he said referring to the fact that the photo boat was following Sean for the closing stages of the race. "With Owen and the other big fat boards and nice sails, I was surprised to see myself getting through there."
The wind was a little lighter than the 20-knots forecast and started to lose its punch for the tail enders. It was a far closer race with the entire fleet finishing in less than two hours, where in past years, competitors have still been coming ashore four hours after the start. Ewan’s youngest son Alec was sixth and all three of the Andersons will be competing in their fifth Highland Spring HIHO this July.
In late May, event organizers announced the Pusser’s Painkiller Chiller, a four-event windsurfing series in the British Virgin Islands over June and July. Races this month include Sunday, July 1, Oscar’s, West End, and Sunday, July 15, Pusser’s Marina Cay. Contact Owen Waters at Island Surf & Sail, 494 0123, for further details.
Report and photographs submitted by Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller.
1. Ewan Anderson
2. Sean Anderson
3. Owen Waters
4. Eric Spenser
5. Roy Keegan
6. Alec Anderson
7. Chris Warburton
8. Dave Pettigrew
9. Carolina Pettigrew
10. Mirko Sangers
11. Rusty Henderson (DNS)