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 where Island Surf & Sail is based.
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 chuckling.
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. The event saw a smaller fleet this year due, to some to degree, to an Elton John concert in Puerto Rico. However 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 them will be competing in their fifth Highland Spring HIHO this July.
The Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller is a "no pain, no gain" 20-mile downwind ride from Pusser’s Marina Cay/Scrub Island to Nanny Cay Resort & Marina. The event was resurrected in 2005 and is an open class format with any board or sail accepted.
Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller 2007 – Final Results
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)
Pusser’s Rum, event sponsor, is the Original Navy Rum that was served onboard ships of the Royal Navy for 330 years. The "single malt of rum" and father of grog, Pusser’s Rum is recognized as the world’s most rich and full-flavoured rum – and it’s all natural, no flavouring agents are used.
Pusser’s owes its rich and unique flavour to its distillation in wood. It is the only rum, and in fact the only spirit in the world, that is still distilled in wood; hand-crafted in the inefficient and costly old way in wooden pot-stills. Pusser’s alcohol recovery is a mere 57% in contrast to the 99% or better of modern industrial metal column stills.
For more information on Pusser’s visit www.pussers.com.
For more information on windsurfing in the British Virgin Islands and information on equipment rental for the Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller, visit Island Surf And Sail online: http://www.surfandsailbvi.com.