Hi ho and bottle full of rum......
„The Black Pearl?“ Yeah, I heard those stories...for ten years they have been looting Ships and settlements. And they never leave a living soul behind....“ „No survivors? Hmm, I wonder who tells the stories then...“
Most windsurfers may have heard stories about the famous HIHO Race, but only very few have ever taken part. Strange, at least if you take a closer look at the concept behind that different kind of competition. The Caribbean - lonely islands, incredible beaches, action packed racing with constant tradewinds, wild parties - it is an extraordinary combination of sailing and windsurfing. What more could a windsurfer wish for and dream of. With that time proven concept the Highland Spring HIHO 2009 celebrated it´s 25th anniversary. This was the final drop that let the (rum-)cask overflow and send us on our way...
Treasure Island, Dead Chest Island, Bitter End, Sir Francis Drake Channel, ...all these names indicate the wild and rough history of that region. The British Virgin Islands, a cluster of around 60 islands, was an El Dorado for pirates in former times, with their hidden and unaccounted bays, perfect to hide and wait for the Spanish ships in transit, loaded to the brim with gold from the new world.
At the end of June, a fleet assembled in the Moorings Charter Base on Tortola that would have frightened even the Spanish armarda. Consisting of a total of 18 boats, mostly catamarans ranging between 40 & 47 ft, not loaded with robbed Inka gold but windsurfing stuff and provions, especially liquid ones. The 300 year old praised traditon of the Royal British Navy of the daily rum ration was revived by not only the real members of the Royal Navy, that took part in that race in huge numbers, but was also strictly followed by all competitors during the event.
continue >>> Story and photos by Chris Hafer