“Brutal” Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller In The BVI Proves “No Pain, No Gain”
Tortola, British Virgin Islands, January 17, 2005 – Twenty miles of “no
pain, no gain” downwind sailing saw Ewan Anderson emerge victorious in the
Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller held this weekend (January 15). This
windsurfing event in the British Virgin Islands, and resurrected for 2005,
took competitors from Pusser’s Marina Cay to Peg Leg Restaurant at Nanny
Cay Marina and was not for the feint hearted.
Although obviously breezy at the skippers’ briefing, it was not until the
leading sailors reached Beef Island Bluff, with 4-6 foot standing waves
and winds reaching thirty knots, that they realized the race was going to
be one of endurance and survival. “Brutal” was how one competitor
described the race at the finish and race organiser Owen Waters of Island
Surf And Sail described it as “twice as extreme as we’d anticipated” and
estimated their average speed at 25-30 miles an hour.
Ewan and Owen were first to reach Beef Island Bluff and, having sailed too
low and too close to the cliff face, saw their wind evaporate and watched
Roy Keegan tear past further out to sea. Owen was first to escape the
Bluff’s clutches and followed Roy to the right of the course and the more
sheltered south side of Tortola. Having rigged for 15-20 knots at the
start and carrying large sails (7.7 sq. metres) they were heading for the
In a do or die call Ewan headed out to sea and the bigger winds, waves and
longer reaches with plans to do less gybing on the downwind
course. “Watching the others sailing very tight angles, I decided to
bear off and bear off, get comfortable, get in the groove,” said Ewan.
Slowly adjusting his sail to its fullest so that he could sail dead
downwind, he unhooked and effectively wave-sailed his way to Peter Island,
nature’s gybe mark for the final run to Nanny Cay and the finish at Peg
Leg Restaurant. Peter Island offered a curving wind and flatter water.
“It was strategy that worked,” said Ewan. “I gybed maybe five times and I
know Roy did at least ten”. Every gybe that ended in a swim sapped
strength and added two to three minutes to the race.
Although, the right choice in the end it was no easy win. Ewan ended up
in the water at least four or five times, and his knee “popped”
twice. With gritty Glaswegian determination he muscled his way down the
course to finish first.
Although no official times were recorded – the Pusser’s Painkiller
Thriller is more about finishing than the time it takes – Ewan finished in
about an hour with Roy and Owen only minutes behind. “Ewan claimed first
place, I came in second only one minute later but had no visual on him at
all,” said Owen. “Thirty miles an hour is extremely fast at sea.”
Peg Leg Restaurant, an event sponsor, welcomed the hardy fleet with
a barbecue lunch. The afternoon saw a short and sharp six-lap slalom
race off Nanny Cay won by Chris Simpson.
For the prize giving much needed Pusser’s Painkillers were provided to
ease the pain. Pusser’s Rum has been the original rum of Great Britain’s
Royal Navy for 330 years.
2005 Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller Results
1. Ewan Anderson (Team Island Surf And Sail/Pryde)
2. Owen Waters (Team Island Surf And Sail-
Starboard/Pryde/HIHO/Quantum Sails/ Nanny Cay/ Dirty Dogs)
3. Roy Keegan (Team Island Surf And Sail/JP/Pryde)
4. Chris Simpson
5. Sean Anderson (Team Island Surf And Sail/Starboard/Pryde)
6. Dave Pettigrew
7. Eddie Brockbank
8. Bill Bailey
9. Carolina Pettigrew
10. Jason Ruffle Smith
11. Craig Chomiac- DNF
12. Mirko Sanger- DNF
Slalom 1st Place- Chris Simpson
Super x stunt 1st Place – Owen Waters
For more information on windsurfing in the British Virgin Islands visit
Island Surf And Sail online: http://www.surfandsailbvi.com
For more information on Pusser’s Rum visit: http://www.pussers.com.