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Highland Spring HIHO

Blast From The Past
I met Frits Bus in 1981.  He had just finished the Johnnie Walker Hook-In-Hold-On in the company of many other Dutchmen – all doctors and dentists in their early 20's who were working in the Netherlands Antilles. Frits competed in a couple more Hook-In-Hold-On events.  On the water these guys were a force to be reckoned with as they railed up their Dufour Wing boards and drove to windward with their large custom sails.  I recall one of the deVries brothers controversially finishing just out of the top spot in the 1982 event.
 
Frits now lives in St Maarten where he is well known as an avid yachtsman, kitesurfer, laser sailor and triathlete.  As for the rest of the Dutchmen, many still live in the Netherlands Antilles and, happily, they are planning a reunion at this year's 25th anniversary event.  Look for Arjan Baker, Ubo Tjaden and others.

"All of us are weather worn for being too long in the Caribbean and too much on the water." says Frits.  "But we will look forward to meet the new young generation of windsurfers and meet the old guard again and see whose belly is the biggest, whose knees are the most crooked and who can still party all night long!"
 
Take a look at some of the great photos of the event that we've posted on our web site.

Going Green
We have a couple of ideas as to how to make this year's event more environmentally friendly.  The best idea we had was to ask sail sponsor Neil Pryde to ship the 80 sails plus masts and booms minus all but the essential packing materials.  This means we will spend a little more to build storage racks in the 20' container we ship from Hong Kong to Tortola.  We think this is money well spent and common sense when compared to the more than 300 sq feet of cardboard waste that needs to be disposed of after the gear is unpacked and assigned to competitors.

Our friends at the BVI Tourist Board wanted to get in on the green scheme and we cooked up an idea where we would note each Moorings yacht's engine hours at the start of the event, then record the tally at the end of the event.  A special green prize will be awarded to the yacht with the lowest recorded increase.  Sharpen your sailing skills captains!

Nobody is more eco-aware than our friend and multi-HIHO champion Eli Fuller from Antigua who is sailing all the way to the BVI on his Cariacou sloop, then back afterwards.  Eli is already in the record saying that he'll have the sloop follow him under sail as he races through the BVI on his way to another Highland Spring HIHO title.

Buy Your Sails
In a deal worked out with sponsor Neil Pryde, we are offering racers the option to buy their sails and rig components following the event.  Great value is on offer with sails priced as low as $295.  At these prices you can easily pay the airlines unsavory excess baggage charges, or even ship the gear back by FedEx!  Here is a link to the pricing.

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Check out the HIHO Facebook for great photos form the HIHO archives.

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