FIJI REGATTA 2013 KICKS OFF WILD

Caption: ‘THE ANTIPODEAN’ from New Zealand getting ready for the week long Regatta Event. Photos: ASHTOSH SINGH

By ASHTOSH SINGH

?Let Regatta Week Begin?

Those were the immortal words to start off with the 2013 Fiji Regatta Week.

The grand-daddy of all yachting tournaments in the South Pacific region more so known as Annual Fiji Regatta tournament kicked off for the 30th time in history prevailing itself, in the great Mamanuca?s on the island of Malolo lailai, the home to Musket Cove Island Resort and Marina, and this time a tribute to Late Mr Dick Smith the founder of the Fiji Regatta tournament also a pioneer of tourism industry in Fiji last night.

Present at the opening ceremony of the Fiji Regatta Week were yachting participants from all over the world, to name a few from NZ, Australia, UK, USA, Brazil, and participants as far as Germany, with their families small and big all in colorful attributes together with the smiling family of Musket Cove Resort and invited hotel guests at the resorts ‘Ratu Nemani Island Bar’ area where much of the excited action took place.

?I have been coming for the Regatta since the last 25 years and, I salute Mr Smith for his vision that we are seeing today,? Race Control Officer for the Regatta and an old mate of Mr Smith, Jack Hargreaves said.

Race Control Officer for Fiji Regatta, Jack Hargreaves

Caption: Race Control Officer for Fiji Regatta, Jack Hargreaves

?I first came to Fiji in 1967 and have been coming every year on my boat since then, the resort and marina has grown vigorously and, I tell you that a lot of hard work has been put onto Musket cove by Mr Smith as the way she stands today,? added Mr Hargreaves.

In the early days of the tournament the Regatta attracted more than 100 boats within the Musket Cove Marina area screaming with long masts tall and taller, while this year the tournament has registered a total of 90 boats to Musket?s shores for a week long of fun and serious competition.

Owners of a yacht from United Kingdom called the ?Silver Rouffian?, Couple Ken Laoner and Ilene Byron said that they have been coming for the Regatta since the last 20 years and every year it gets different, Fiji has developed from time and it?s not stopping its growing every year.

The event day started proper on Saturday with the PIRATES DAY RACE ?from Musket Cove to Beachcomber Island, a distance of 10 miles, one of the great and hilarious days of the Reggata me?arties, participants to be dressed as a pirate, with the rule set as anything goes by Sail, paddle jump ship or swim.

Not of all, one of Late Mr Smiths innovative idea was to start the Musket Cove Blue Water Yacht Club in the 1980?s. In which the membership required arrival in Fiji waters by a Captain or a Crew and membership to be valid for life.

Today the membership stands at 16,033 to still adding as this article goes online. It is said that almost every yacht that has sailed through the Fijian Waters during their journey is an alumni member of the club surprisingly.

Officials of the 2013 Fiji Regatta

Caption: Officials of the 2013 Fiji Regatta at Musket Cove Resort Marina.