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10 December 2004, 09:54 am
Dinghies And Formula Windsurfing To Be Introduced
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BVI Spring Regatta
Tortola

The organizers of the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival presented by Nanny Cay Marina are planning a major expansion of the one design course. Introduced in 2003 for the IC24s, the course hosted both IC24s and beach cats this year and witnessed twenty-three races in two days.

Building on this success, the IC24s and beach cats will be joined by three classes of Lasers (radial, standard, and 4.7s) and a Formula Windsurfing class for 2005.According to regatta chairman Bob PHILLIPS, the BVI Spring Regatta is working towards becoming a more inclusive event: 'I'm excited that we will be able to host groups of sailors that are being left out of the other regattas - dinghy sailors and windsurfers. Dinghies and windsurfers are accessible and fun to sail and this further opens the BVI Spring Regatta up to junior sailors and those who prefer to sail dinghies or windsurfers. We're uniquely placed to add this element to our regatta. The one design course is set inshore just south of the entrance to Nanny Cay Marina and perfect for smaller craft and the related fleet control and safety issues.'

Phillips has big plans for this one design event. 'We have had many Olympians at Spring Regatta over the years and it's our dream to make this event a stepping stone to future games. It may take a few years, but our goal is for the one design course to become a qualifying event for the Central American & Caribbean and Pan American games.'Competitors may compete with their own Lasers or boats will be available for charter through the Royal BVI Yacht Club at $400 for a four-day rental.

A boat tuning and set up clinic will be held on the Nanny Cay beach Thursday (March 31) afternoon. For Laser rental and to book a place on the clinic, contact the Royal BVI Yacht Club: e-mail: judy@rbviyc.net, web: http://www.rbviyc.net, Tel: + (284) 494 3286.Formula Windsurfing is based on a three-sail, one-board concept and is ideally suited for Caribbean racing working in a broad wind range of 6-30 knots. Production equipment commercially available from the major manufacturers is used.

Formula Windsurfing eliminates the need for bag and bags of windsurfing equipment and levels the playing field for competitors while offering flexibility in the type and weight of board sailed. Competitors register one board, three sails and three fins for the entire event. The BVI Spring Regatta will allow a maximum board length of 290cm and a maximum width of 110cm with a maximum sail size of 12m. For board rentals contact Nanny Cay-based Island Surf & Sail: e-mail: owen@surfandsailbvi.com, web: http://www.surfandsailbvi.com, Tel: + (284) 494 0123.

Organisers are importing veteran one design race officer Tom DUGAN to run the show. Tom served as the principal race officer at the 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Sunfish World Championships and was a course manager for US Sailing in the Team Racing Championships (Hinman Trophy) in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He ran the Etchell World Championships and before that the Laser Masters Worlds, the 505 North Americans and the Laser Masters North Americans. He has also served on the US Sailing Race Management Committee and was a consultant to the US Star Class Olympic Trials in 2004.One design racing is just a part of the overall event.

The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival is billed as 'seven days of fun with two great events in one'. The expanded seven-day format introduced in 2003 has turned the traditional three days of racing action into a week-long sailing festival that takes participants throughout the British Virgin Islands. Three days of destination cruising, racing and Lay Day fun, in, around, to and from Virgin Gorda's enclosed North Sound starting March 28 lead up to the main three-day regatta starting on Friday, April 1. The three-day regatta takes place on the south side of Tortola in the Sir Francis Drake Channel on three different courses.

Alistair Abrehart
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