Local Favourite Wins Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship
Colin Rathbun Won The Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship
©Todd vanSickle/Gill BVI Match Racing Championship/BVI Spring Regatta
Gill BVI International Match Race Championship
Nanny Cay Resort & Marina, British Virgin Islands
In a thrilling final at the Gill BVI Match Racing Championships, local favourite Colin Rathbun (BVI) overcame Guy Mossman (USA) to take the title in the British Virgin Islands
Boat handling was key on the final day and Rathbun held his nerve to take an unassailable two-race margin in the final to win the championship.
Denise Holmberg provided riveting commentary throughout the regatta, "Today the wind was just as shifty as the first day but with big breeze it was a lot more exciting for the spectators at Nanny Cay."
Nikki Barnes placed third but at just eighteen years of age, she is one of the St. Thomas' hottest prospects. "My coach is Peter Holmberg, I love my parents but he is like a second father to me and he is so inspirational. Colin Rathbun is a very skilled match racer and I have never been able to beat him, even though I have managed to beat top rated sailors at least once, Colin seems unbeatable! We don't get to race so much in the Virgin Islands, so for me this is a really special event."
Rathbun had a real fight on his hands to win the championship with Mossman, especially as Guy won the first Round Robin of the day undefeated, so Mossman went into the final round very confident and in good shape and riding high but Rathbun had not been having such a good day. However, the Tortolan managed to regroup and win the final with two wins a row and the prize giving party on Nanny Cay Beach erupted with cheers as Colin and his team went up to take a bow.
"We had two very different days, the first day was a light and shifty but we had to change the gears a lot today with a stiff breeze coming down the channel out of the east,"
commented Rathbun. "Things started hard for us and we lost a little ground and today was all about winning the start, because there were no big shifts, the start determined the race. This is definitely a team game and the crew today were just great; Henry Leonnig, Jason Putley, Nick Cunha are my friends and I love to go racing with them and we all live here, so it was a pretty emotional win really. Today the tough stuff was the crew work and we were up against some really good sailors, even though we had a few hairy moments we managed to recover and all credit to the guys, there boat handling won us this regatta."