The 15th edition of the BVI Dinghy Championships is set to be one of the biggest ever with over 70 sailors registered to compete on 21 and 22 May off Nanny Cay.
Sailors from the BVI, USVI and Puerto Rico will take to the water in Optimist, Optimist Green fleet, Laser, Laser Radial, Open Bic and IC24 events for the honour of being named the 2016 BVI Dinghy Champion.
Racing will take place in the Sir Francis Drake Channel on two course areas, getting underway at 10:00 on Saturday.
26 sailors are registered in the Optimist Championship fleet with awards up to grabs in three divisions: white (age 10 and younger), blue (age 11 and 12) and red (age 13 to 15).
2015 winner Mia Nicolosi will be back to defend her title in the Optimist Championship fleet. Pipping her brother Teddy to the post by just one point in 2015, Nicolosi has been the form sailor throughout the 2016 season. Turning 13 in June, this will be Nicolosi’s last regatta in the blue fleet and for that title she will see her biggest challenges coming from the BVI’s Nathan Haycraft and Kyle Roose, Lake Sanford and Mathieu Dale from St Croix, and Caroline Sibilly from St Thomas.
Consistently taking first in the red fleet this year, the BVI’s Rayne Duff holds the titles from the MLK Regatta, VIODA Champioship, Sunshine State Regatta and the Cruzan Open but has missed out on the overall wins to Nicolosi. Duff has been training hard and will make the most of racing on home waters to return the title to the BVI.
The white fleet has just three sailors registered but national pride is at stake with Ryan Lettsome from the BVI, competing against Iola Kohl from St Croix and Luca Perino from Puerto Rico for division honours.
With 28 sailors registered for the Optimist Green Fleet, the stage is set for a great challenge. The Optimist green fleet is for those sailors new to racing and the youngest competitor in the mix is just 8 years old.
Leading the way for the BVI is Samuel Allen, who has posted top five results at all his regattas so far this year, and Noah George. There are a number of BVI sailors making their international racing debut, including De’Sani Thomas, Sophia Jara, Kael Chalwell, Ethan George and Victoria Rowlette – good luck to them all.
The visitors to watch in the green fleet include Milo Miller from St Croix who claimed the honours at the Cruzan Open and VIODA Championship whilst Puerto Rico’s Jose Guillermo Diaz has two second place finishes to his name this year.
Colin Rathbun will be hoping to defend his title in the Laser and will be up against the BVI’s 2015 Youth Worlds representative from 2015, Daniel Petrovic; can youth win out over experience?
In the Laser Radial class, defending champion Sam Morrell will be battling it out for honours with BVI sailors Thad Lettsome, Jerome Parkins, Stephon Ganga, Stephen Ganga and St Croix’s Taylor Hasson and Ethan Hanley.
Four IC24s and a J/24 are expected to line up in the keelboat fleet at the BVI Dinghy Championships. Helming the RBVIYCs Black Pearl will be Eddie Brockbank with Giles Wood skippering Latitude 18, duking it out against Ted Reshetiloff (Intac), Bob Philips (Roosta) and Aaron Gardner competing with his J/24 Bravissimo.
How to follow the 2016 BVI Dinghy Championships:
Results will be posted live on the website at www.regattanetwork.com/event/11807#newsroom
VIODA Triple Crown
The Optimist Championship fleet sailors are not only vying for the 2016 BVI title but also for the 2016 VIODA Triple Crown. With results from the VIODA Opti Championship in St Thomas, St Croix’s Cruzan Open and the BVI Dinghy Championships all counting towards an overall score the heat is on. Mia Nicolosi (ISV) is currently leading the way ahead of 2015 champion Rayne Duff (IVB) with Victoria Flately (ISV) holding off Mathieu Dale (ISV) for third.