With six Gunboats confirmed to race the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta, the competition dial has been seriously notched up for one of the best Caribbean racing events under the sun. In the line-up are: Gunboat 60 Arethusa, Gunboat 62 Elvis, Gunboat 66 Extreme H2O, Gunboat 60 Flow, Gunboat 60 Momentum, and Gunboat 55 Thirst.
It’s 50 days until the start gun for the first day of racing in the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival. A highlight is always the diversity of boats that participate across many classes - this year there will be some 18 classes - including boats who are in for the very first time, like the newly launched all-carbon HH66 NALA. Others, such as the J122 El Ocaso which has competed in the regatta for the past 10 consecutive years, just keep coming back for more.
The year ended on a high note, as we opened the new outer marina after 17 months of construction. At a ceremony held at the entrance to the new outer marina on December 12, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, declared the marina officially open.
On Sunday evening, under a setting sun on the beautiful beach at Nanny Cay, the 45th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival drew to a close with the ritual awards ceremony and fabulous fireworks. The entire fleet was treated to a delightful racing day, with a light easterly of 8 to 12 knots throughout the morning, becoming a little lighter towards the end of racing. It was no surprise that first place in CSA-Racing 1 went to the TP52 SPOOKIE, skippered by Steve Benjamin (USA), finishing the regatta with 7 bullets over 7 races. The Melges 32 Soca, skippered by Luis Juarbe (PUR) finished second with 18 points, and in third, Tschuss, a Mat 1180, skippered by Christian Zugel, finished with 23 points.
Day two of the 45th BVI Spring Regatta offered up just what the people came for: plenty of sunshine, turquoise water, breeze up to 17 knots and awesome sailing. Races today took most classes to the north side of Tortola and around Sandy Cay, a BVI National Park and one of the most spectacular islands in the BVI.
It may have been a rainy day in the BVI but not enough to take the heat out of today's racing, which saw 12 classes on three courses enjoy a consistent easterly breeze of 13-15 knots. Some competitors continued their winning streak of earlier in the week: SPOOKIE, the TP52 owned and skippered by Steve and Heidi Benjamin (USA), took first in CSA-Racing 1 with 3 points; Ventaneiro 3, owned and skippered by Renato Faria (BRA) sits in first in CSA-Performance Cruiser 1 with 2 points; and in CSA-Bareboat 2, Warvor, helmed by Willem Ellemeet (NED) is also in first with 2 points.
Today was all about switching gears and changing pace, with the 3rd Annual VP Bank Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge being raced off Nanny Cay as part of the BVI Spring Regatta's Maritime Heritage Day. The Challenge brings to life the significance that the beautiful old Tortola Sloops played in island life more than a hundred years ago, and celebrates the theme of sailing which has always been a mainstay of island culture.
Triple Jack takes overall; SPOOKIE breaks Monohill Round Tortola Record; The BVI Sailing Festival Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup and Nanny Cay Challenge started promptly at 09:30 on Tuesday morning in seas a little rougher than normal due to last week's high winds, and an easterly breeze of 18+ knots. The BVI-based trimaran Triple Jack, owned by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis, charged off the start to an early lead in the CSA Multihull class. She made her way around the island in 3 hours and 19 minutes - almost 46 minutes slower than her record-breaking time last year - but her corrected time of 3:46:38, gave her first place overall in the 2016 Nanny Cay Cup.
The Round Tortola Race Race for the Nanny Cay Cup kicks off the 2016 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival tomorrow and life couldn't be more perfect for the crews of 54 boats competing - the forecast is for breeze in the upper teens. The Nanny Cay Cup not only sets the scene for a week of great racing with spectacular views of Tortola throughout the 31-nautical mile race, additionally, the teams can also race for the Nanny Cay Challenge - a perpetual challenge for the fastest mono and catamaran record around the island.
SailRacer, brainchild of Nanny Cay’s IT guru and keen racing sailor, Adrian Sinton, is a suite of apps that work in synchronicity to bring shared weather and mark location data to both regatta officials and competitors alike. SailRacer is a sponsor of this year’s BVI Spring Regatta which will be using the race committee mobile app Sailracer RC and Sailracer Basic applications.