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Triple Jack Sets New Round Tortola Record

On Thursday April 30, trimaran Triple Jack and crew managed to take 6 minutes and 38 seconds off their existing Round Tortola record, rounding the island in 2 hours, 33 minutes and 40 seconds.  It is Triple Jack’s third Round Tortola Record.

Despite high hopes for optimal conditions with 15-20 knot winds from the SSE, winds were lighter than expected. Indeed, the winds softened for the important final leg from Soper’s Hole back to Nanny Cay after some unexpectedly big winds on the north side of Tortola.

Triple Jack started off Nanny Cay at 11:38 and was raising its spinnaker off Beef Island less than 30 minutes later.  A quick gybe between Scrub Island and the Dogs had the trimaran heading to the northern tip of Great Camanoe for the take down. From Great Camanoe it was one single tack past Guana Island and along the northern coast of Tortola to Soper’s Hole.  Winds were strong and gusty with the occasional hole as the southerly winds accelerated down the north side of Tortola.

Triple Jack headed into Soper’s Hole two hours into the record attempt.  Conditions looked good to go around the outside of Little Thatch, instead of the usual inside track between Little Thatch and Frenchman’s Cay.  However, this radical tactic was ditched at the last minute, and Triple Jack weaved her way through the waters of Soper’s Hole in five tacks – two too many after a nasty shift ruined the Nanny Cay layline call.

Once outside Soper’s Hole with 2 hours and 10 minutes on the clock, the wind went very light and the chance of beating the record started to evaporate just like the wind.  But the wind did finally fill in, giving Triple Jack a straight shot to Nanny Cay and she crossed the transit in almost exactly the same spot as she left, six minutes and 38 seconds faster than the last attempt.

“A record is a record,” said skipper Richard Wooldridge after the circumnavigation.  “We took 4 percent out of the time.  Those six and a half minutes make it that much harder for someone else to break it. However with a bit more wind we can do better, we have the big advantage of being ready to go at a moment’s notice. Last time it was hurricane Sandy developing off Jamaica that fed strong S.Easterlies across the BVI. We need to be reaching to Beef Island at 20kts to do better…the day will come!”

This is Triple Jack’s third Round Tortola Record.  Triple Jack set the benchmark record of 3 hours, 33 minutes and 27 seconds in the PegLegs Round Tortola Race in November 2009.

Soma, a St John-based Formula 40 catamaran and frequent BVI visitor, smashed this record on April 15, 2010, in the first attempt on the Nanny Cay Challenge launched in February 2010.

Soma circumnavigated Tortola and outer islands in 2 hours, 50 minutes and 15 seconds smashing Triple Jack’s record of 3 hours, 33 minutes and 27 seconds.

Triple Jack snatched back the Nanny Cay Challenge on Thursday October 25, 2012, flying around the island in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 18 seconds, taking 10 minutes off Soma’s record time.

“Congratulations to Triple Jack, another good job! Triple Jack and Soma have been battling for supremacy since we launched the Nanny Cay Challenge in 2010 and we’ve really enjoyed the battle.  That said, we hope someone else joins that fray soon and brings the record down to under two hours,” said Miles Sutherland Pilch, general manager of Nanny Cay.

The entry fee of $250 will be donated to the BVI Humane Society.

Monohull Record

During the Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup in the 2013 BVI Spring Regatta, Peter Corr’s Alia 82, Aiyana smashed the monohull record by nearly half an hour. Corr and crew set a new record of 3 hours, 29 minutes and 44 seconds for the 37-mile run around Tortola.

The benchmark monohull time of 4 hours, 15 minutes and 5 seconds, was set by Dave West’s Jurakan, a Melges 32 in the 2009 PegLegs Round Tortola Race.

Paddleboard Record

On Saturday, September 17, 2014, Mike Hirst and Mark Cochran established the benchmark Round Tortola Record for a Stand Up Paddleboard in the Nanny Cay Challenge with a surprisingly fast time of 7 hours and 9 minutes.

Hirst and Cochran left Nanny Cay at 5:04am and landed back at 12:13pm.  The pair had been waiting for a calm weather window for some time and today, with very light southerly winds forecast, was the day.

The day was predominantly overcast and, as forecast, the breeze never filled in for the 26.43 mile circumnavigation.  They averaged 3.7 knots and burnt 5,700 calories each.  Both only fell off once.  Starting about an hour before sunrise, they passed under Beef Island bridge just before 7am, and Frenchman’s Cay bridge at 11am.

Nanny Cay Challenge

Nanny Cay launched the Nanny Cay Challenge for the round Tortola record in 2010.  Yachts visiting the British Virgin Islands are invited to make an attempt to beat the latest round Tortola records.

It’s an all-comer, any-day event, starting and finishing off Nanny Cay.  Competitors must attempt the record anti-clockwise and round Beef, Scrub Island, Great Camanoe and Guana Island to port.  An entry fee of a $250 donation to a BVI charity of the challenger’s choice will include two night’s dockage (before and after attempt) at Nanny Cay.

The beneficiaries so far:

  • RBVIYC Youth Sailing Programme $250 (March 2013)
  • VISAR $250 (March 2013)
  • KATS, $250, INTAC (November 2012)
  • BVI Humane Society: $250, Triple Jack (October 2012); $250, Soma (April 2010)

As with most sailing events, the reward is in the taking part and bragging rights but record breakers will be able to celebrate their feat with a free dinner at PegLegs for up to 15 crewmembers and a jeroboam of champagne compliments of Nanny Cay.  Record breakers also get their name on the perpetual trophy which is on display year-round in PegLegs Restaurant.

To enter the Nanny Cay Challenge, challengers should contact Miles Sutherland-Pilch, General Manager, Tel: (284) 394 2512,

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