86 boats representing 17 countries enjoyed great conditions, in day one of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta. Starting in a 12 knot easterly which built to 15 throughout the day, boats raced a combination of two long and one windward-leeward race.
In CSA Racing, fleet leaders established early, with the winners of the three racing divisions each taking three bullets in a clean sweep. Blitz, the King 40 owned and skippered by Peter Corr (USA), took first in CSA-Racing 1 (3 points); Team McFly-Joanna, the Beneteau First 40 skippered by Tony Mack (GBR) took first in CSA-Racing 2 (3 points); and the C&C 30 Don’t Panic, owned and helmed by Julian Mann (USA) sits in first (3 points).
”Racing was really fantastic,” said Dave Brennan, Principal Race Officer, “We were able to start off Nanny Cay and I sent my committee boats on three different race courses which worked out really well. The racing was good, conditions couldn’t have been better and racers got to enjoy a lot of the real beauty here with courses that took them around the scenic rocks, Deadman’s Chest, Salt and Ginger Islands.”
A veteran of Spring Regatta, Corr is racing a new boat, Blitz this event. He’s spent a lot of days optimizing it to be race ready for this week which appear to have paid off nicely.
”The courses were fun, the first course was long and the wind was a bit light to start, but picked up on the downwind leg,” Corr said. “We found conditions really shifty particularly upwind and were constantly getting headed so keeping the speed we wanted and hitting our targets was tough. We had a bad start on our third race, we got pushed to the pin and had to jibe to come out putting us on port which turned out to be the right side so we were able to make up for our mistake at the start. We got good speed up with some good tacking in – three races, three bullets, love it!”
Skippering with one hand did not stand in the way of a clean sweep for Mack and his crew. Mack underwent rotator cuff surgery just three weeks ago and has been finding it just a bit tough steering the starts, “I can’t spin the wheel fast enough!” he smiled. Fortunately, Lucy Jones from Performance Yacht Charter is on board helping him steer starts.
This is Mack’s fourth consecutive year chartering boats to race Spring Regatta and he says he doesn’t necessarily expect to win on a charter boat…but he’s won Spring Regatta every year so far. He’s racing with pretty much the same team that he sails with at home on his J 111.
”I’m quite proud of them really,” Mack said. “All our starts today were good, the first race was a long beat which was fine, and the windward leeward race was pretty close – it does seem that once you get in the lead it is so much easier than trying to get there! There were more shifts today than we would normally expect, but our tactician Jeremy Smart did a great job of playing them.”
In just his fourth Regatta ever, Julian Mann (USA), owner skipper of the C&C 30 Don’t Panic, also helmed his crew to three bullets today.
”Everything just fully clicked and came together,” Mann said. “We’ve had a couple of solid days training in mid to light air and that really showed in our transitions today. Last week in St. Thomas we were really just racing ourselves, but we committed to do today exactly what we’ve been practicing and it paid off.” Pete McCormick, project manager and main trimmer on Don’t Panic noted that racing the C&C 30 is very technical, “It’s huge for our program to have made this kind of progress and to be competing at this level.”
Another boat taking two bullets in two races today was Piglet, the smallest boat in the Spring Regatta Fleet. Racing in CSA-Multihull, the Teegull 2300, was helmed by owner skipper Joe San Martin, and crewed by David Walworth and his wife Michelle, all from St Croix. Walworth says that there’s a lot of disparity in speed in their class so they really have to focus on sailing the boat to its full potential.
”It makes it hard to judge against the other boats so we’re always figuring out a way to make sure we aren’t getting complacent,” he said. “We positioned ourselves well on the starts today which worked for us. We’re always looking to improve our boat handling and reading the weather better, tacking on the shifts when we can, that’s a big one for us. But, it was a lot of fun and a great day out on the water.”
Racing continues on Saturday for all classes, with a first gun at 1000.
For more information, please go to: http://www.bvispringregatta.org/