Taking a seminar about racing while sitting on a white sandy beach with a backdrop of the beautiful BVI has got to be a darned nice way to learn, right? And it was for a group of Hanse owners and crews who gathered this morning shoreside at Nanny Cay to get racing tips from local sailor Keith LiGreci.
This year the Hanse class has its own racing division in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival which starts tomorrow with the Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup. Seven boats are signed up in the Hanse class including the 455 Saorsa owned by Paul Audet and Lucie McKercher (Quebec, Canada) who chartered in the BVI for a few years before buying. “We just love it here and we have got to know the other Hanse owners so it’ll be fun racing together for the first time,” Lucie said.
Peter Blackmore, from Atherton, Calif. is at BVI Spring Regatta for the first time, racing his new boat Peregrine Falcon, an Oyster 625. Peter who bought the boat last year, bases it in Palma de Mallorca and a few months ago had it brought across the Atlantic to cruise with family and friends in the Caribbean. He’s spending this last “vacation” week of his Caribbean tour racing Peregrine Falcon for the first time in Spring Regatta. “We’re having a fabulous time and looking forward to this week,” Blackmore smiled.
The TP-52 Conviction is back again this year after winning class at Spring Regatta in 2017. The boat is based in Barbados where it’s used as a platform for youth sailors – a big jump from sailing Lasers, but one that’s been successful for the Barbados Offshore Sailing Syndicate who owns the grand prix racer. The boat is chartered this week by a group of friends from St Petersburg, Russia and will be skippered by “Kuli” Kulinichenko, a veteran yachtsman from St Petersburg, Florida (yes, there’s a long-standing sister city relationship at play here!).
Preparing for their first Spring Regatta, 29-year old Morgen Watson (Calgary CN) and Meg Reilly (New Jersey, US) believe they may be the youngest owner/operators of an offshore sailing adventure business on the circuit. Meg was new to sailing when she decided to fulfill a dream to sail around the world and signed up for the Clipper Round The World race where she met Morgen, a seasoned sailor. By the end of the race the pair determined that they had to keep sailing. They bought Hermes, a Pogo 12. 5, a French-built performance racer cruiser with a class 40 hull, and formed Oceanraces.net, an offshore sailing adventure program. Their team for Spring Regatta includes sailors from Poland and the US. “We have all new sails and the conditions this week look perfect for Hermes so we’re excited,” Meg said.
Conditions look perfect for the 37-mile Round Tortola race with an ESE breeze ranging 15-20 knots. Start time is 1000 hours. Don’t forget sunscreen and cold beer!