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10 April 2001, 08:43 am
Maximum Racing For Big Fleets
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BVI Spring Regatta

The 30th annual BVI Spring Regatta concluded as the most successful ever with a total of 98 races run for 13 classes in the three day event.
The multi-course course, multi-start format using separate start and finish lines on the spinnaker course enabled the race committee to run 12 races for the spinnaker beach cats; 11 races for the big boats, Melges, Racer/Cruiser I and Racing I; 9 races for Racer Cruiser II and the non-spinnaker beach cats and 8 eight races for Racing II. Bob Phillips, regatta chairman and ISAF race officer was delighted at the success of the format: "We achieved what we set out to achieve - three days of non-stop racing and plenty of it. It's been such a successful format that I've heard that visiting yachtsmen from the States competing here are already thinking of using at regattas such as the Detroit NOOD and Block Island Race Week."

Adam Gosling owner of Yes! a Sydney 60 from the UK and winner of the big boat division: "I think it was great, I think it's the first time I've ever done 11 races in a regatta let alone over three days. At a regatta like Cowes Week you do 7 races in 7 days and we did more than that in a long weekend so it was fabulous. Great fun and really exciting racing."

Mick Schlans, owner of Blade Runner, a national championship-winning Express 37 from San Francisco was equally impressed: "The problem that so many regattas have is that they can't get many races off and people sit out and wait a long time but this was excellent being able to immediately return to the starting area and then restart. I thought that this was the nicest regatta format that I've ever been involved in.

Blade Runner (2,2,3,2,1,8,1,1) sailed an excellent regatta topping out Racing II, the division packed with highly competitive Caribbean-based boats such as Antigua's Lost Horizon II (3,8,1,1,7,1,5, 2) which was second, Rushin' Rowlette, Magnificent 7 and J-24 Jersey Devil. Another visiting yacht Mumm 30 Twisted Lizard (1,5,2,6,2,3,2,8), returning for the second time, was third.

Commenting on his success skipper/owner Mike Schlens said: ""I don't think that there was any specific key it's just that on our boat everything was coordinated very well and I think that it speaks very well for the racing format and for the venue because I think it shows how fair the venue is if an outside boat can come in and still be competitive. My real concern in coming down here is that I thought we would have no ability to be competitive and we would be just chasing boats around the marks but I think that your venue was so superb that it made a lot of fun for us."

The big boats back since their hiatus last year saw close racing between Maxi Sagamore (1,1,6,3,2,3,2,1,2,5,1), Swan 60 Sotto Voce (4,2, 1,2,3,1,1,2,6,1,3) and Yes! (2,3,2,1,1,2,3,3,1,2,2). As they went into the last day Sotto Voce was leading Yes! with a tie-break, Sagamore was still in with a chance. The second race of the day gave Sotto Voce an unwelcome sixth place and Yes! which never dropped below third place for the day took the 11 race series with 22 points. However Sagamore took the honours for the second leg of the second Caribbean Big Boat Series and continues to lead the series as the fleet awaits the final leg at Antigua Sailing Week. "We had a really good crew that worked very well together and on these short courses it's all about crew work. Whilst we haven't all sailed together as a team before we just gelled very quickly," commented Adam Gosling.
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