Twenty miles of “no pain, no gain” racing will take place on Sunday, April 22, in the 2007 Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller. This windsurfing event in the British Virgin Islands was resurrected for 2005 and takes competitors on a 20-mile downwind ride from Pusser’s Marina Cay to Nanny Cay Marina.
The start will be held off Pusser’s Marina Cay at 10.00a.m. with the finish off the Island Surf and Sail lagoon entrance at Nanny Cay. The race is an open class format with any board or sail accepted. The prizegiving will be held at the Pusser’s Pub in Road Town at 5.30p.m. the same day. There is a reserve date of Sunday April 29, if conditions are not suitable on April 22.
Race organiser Owen Waters is looking forward to this traditional ‘Thriller’ race: "The race track doesn’t get any harder each year but the sailors get hardened to the conditions. We have had 30 knots and 12 knots, it’s real world windsurfing and everyone is competing against themselves and local knowledge. Everyone is a winner in this event simply for having the bravado to do it. It’s a personal challenge for many and the ability level at the start of the race will have changed by the end.”
A record twenty-five hardy souls entered the 2006 event. Nineteen finished and 2005 winner, Ewan Anderson, defended his title with a time of one hour and three minutes – some do or die sailors landed at Nanny Cay beach over fours after they left the start line.
Last year’s race started in solid planing conditions with an upwind beat from the mouth of Trellis Bay to Beef Island Bluff. The lead was won and lost several times as the fleet approached the lighter and fluky conditions off the Bluff. Ewan Anderson, was the first to emerge and managed to hold his lead in the downwind sprint all the way to the finish. Next to finish was Rusty Henderson followed by Bill Bailey.
The first half a dozen sailors finished in what were described as "technical" planing conditions but the wind started to die and the rest of the fleet was left with painfully light conditions. After an hour of light wind, it rallied and brought the middle of the fleet to the finish – and then finally died for the rest of the day. Some of the tail-enders turned back, while the rest battled to the finish.
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 www.surfandsailbvi.com.