The 1st Rodrigues Cup

Trip Start Oct 29, 2006
Trip End Jul 09, 2009

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Flag of Mauritius  , Rodrigues,
Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shortly after we arrived, we were invited to a regatta around the island. Honestly I wasn't looking forward to go out on the ocean at all after all this time, but I was looking forward to three promised parties and heaps of company. Anthony didn't want to damage his boat further, apart from that we had a bunch of repairs to do to get her going again, so we said we'd think about it. Three days to go to the race and people kept persuading to participate and that it would be the coolest thing. We got to know the Mary Ann Crew and the Tantrum Crew pretty well. "Mary Ann" was the main organizer and Anthony had never done a race before. Once they brought over the sheet with the handicaps, it was basically promised that we would participate if we would get the boat ready in time. So we spent the following two days sewing sails, taking the stirring apart, fixing a winge, making a mess and cleaning it back up.







                                                        THE BOATS  

                                        Standard Crew + extra Rodez Crew


     Skipper Piet-Hein
  + Benoit
  + Marie


     Skipper Pieter 
  + Willy
  + Jean-Luc



     Skipper Anthony
  + Santonio



     Skipper Fedor
  + William
  + Jean

I called Fedor "the Russian", 
it just fitted,
                                          he wasn't even Russian ;)



     Skipper Stephan
  + Dominique 
  + Philippe 


     Skipper John
  + Percy
  + Andy
  + Axel
  + Jean-Christian



     Skipper Seki
     I always called him 
     Jackie Jan ;) 
  + Max
  + Birgit
  + Keng


     Skipper Bruce
  + Jeolle
  + Bjorn
  + Claude
  + Ian

                                                              LEG 1


 What a start! We had it all two rainbows and a dolphin. Normally you would guess those would be the best signs you could possible get to start a race. 



Well it looked pretty but the weather forcast was slightly out of focus. So we ended up with 35 knots wind instead of 20, which is a huge difference. Normally we would have never had so much sail up. Now I know that racing is really bad for a boat. It made sounds it never did before. In order to stay close to the reef, we would have had to tag a lot. After the first tag we decided to do as little tags as necessary, since tagging with an unexperienced crew was kinda slow. Apart from that I started the race getting my head caught in the sheets, because the boom came around. I lost a couple of shells and the shock took a couple of seconds until it vanished. I was so damn lucky I didn't have my head one bit higher. It probably would have knocked me out completely.
The wind was rough and Santonio got seasick, whereas I was surprisingly okay (after quite a dose of drugs). Even though the first leg was the shorter one, it seemed to take ages and I was sick of being cold, wet and yelled at.

Pretty much every boat damaged something. Hirondelle and us we lost our anchors during the race. Hirondelle's went down about 30 meters, so they had to stop. Ours was banging against the front for a while until we realised where the sound was coming from. It took some paint of the boat. Sails were ripped and the inside was absolutely not prepared for being tilted that much. The one time I looked down, the belge water had risen to the surface and oranges, tomatoes and our toothbrushes were having a bath in it. I couldn't believe the bathroom cupboard opened. It's normally a very strong magnet. And Double Dutch even broke their forestay.

To make it even better, I needed to pee so desperately from those seasickness tablets, that I jumped down without looking and I landed on a bottle of shampoo. At least the belge water had a nice smell to it afterwards and the bubble production was amazing.


 The picture was taken in Tantrum, but Grain de Sable looked pretty much the same plus water and bubbles.


After we more or less finished that rough leg 1, I was hoping we would cancel the whole show and head back the short way. I wasn't in the mood of breaking more stuff and spending the rest of my holiday fixing things.

But we came third as a first result in times. It turned out it was a lucky idea not to tag as much, since we were much faster that way and apparently there was a current slowing those down who stayed closer to the reef.


Once we arrived in that new anchorage, you start looking around and you realize it was all worth it ;)

Especially since we had a wonderful BBQ on that beach, including live music... of course they made me sing the 'Hotel California' ;)
William brought his trumpet, which gave it a very special twang too. I like it!

                                                    PIROUGE RACE
   The whole racing thing was also meant to be a cultural exchange. So we got invited to come along on their boats. The principle of sailing is so much more visible on those little pirouges. You don't need a lot at all, one sail, one mast, one rudder, one hull and a bit man power. The rest is leaning at the right times and a bit know how. That it works that well in such a simplicity is truly amazing. I enjoyed that race way more than the ocean race, maybe because I didn't drug myself and didn't even get seasick.



The evening was pleasure pure. We had a feast in a hotel, live music, dancing talents and some good conversations. By that time, I almost knew everybodys name ;)




                                                           LEG 2

Even though I made the suggestion to just screw the rest and head back the short way without a race, my voice stayed unheard and we continued to race along leg 2. 
This time we were a bit more fortunate and the weather was sorta nice. Furthermore we had another crew member, Anthony's pirouge captain coined us for leg 2 - very gentle guy.

The whole trip was alright, but I was still glad when it all was over. Anthony is a bit too competative for my taste. But apparently that was good, since as a surprise we won the second leg. He was so surprised about it that he became really good friends with that rum bottle..

It was a bit strange, since he doesn't really drink that much. But I though fair enough over all we got third and considering that was his first race, it was pretty damn good result, so I let him celebrate.


...maybe I shouldn't have... 


We got cute little wooden boats as prizes and everybody was capable of saying thanks or something, just Ant was a bit out of it ;) 
Basically the pictures say it all.











 Too bad the party continued without me, since I spent my time taking care of my drunken sailor.
I tried to break him, shake him and try to wake him, but that didn't work.
Maybe I should have followed the song and put him in a tub with salt and water till he's sobber.



Anyway after lying there for several hours I was so sick of it that I danced at least a little bit,



until I headed back to experience the most uncompfortable night ever. 
It was freezing cold and little sticks kept poking me through the tend ground.


Of course Ant didn't have a clue what happened last night and was wondering why he's not on his boat, but on the other side of the island. After that he didn't want to touch any alcohol again. All I was hoping to hear was some sort of sorry and thank you. I got the sorry, I didn't get the thank you..

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Where I stayed
Grain de Sable
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