Team Bitter End Holmberg
managed to knock the defending BVI champions from their perch at this weekend's (Nov 17/18) third annual Nanny Cay Nations Cup - but it's hard to imagine how the regatta could have ended any closer. As competitors went into the 20th and final race of the two-day event, two-time winners Team bmobile BVI
were two points behind the USVI's Team Bitter End Holmberg
. In this nail-biting finale, the BVI team had to win the final race - with the Holmbergs placing fifth (last) - to win the event for the third time in a row. If the BVI placed second and the Holmbergs last, the regatta would end in a tie. The Holmberg team had not placed worse than third the entire regatta.
Conditions could not have been more perfect for the last day of racing. There was a little more wind than Saturday but very little wave action. The mark boat had not had to adjust the course at all all day, the sun was out and the course was set right off the beach. Six teams were ashore watching the final race unfold with no-one thinking the BVI had a chance.
All eyes were on young 16-year old Alec ANDERSON helming for the BVI with Robbie HIRST calling the tactics. The start went badly for the HOLMBERGS. They ended up "taking transoms" and tacked out into the Sir Francis Drake Channel. "The Canadians were on fire,"
according to Richard WOOLDRIDGE of Racing In Paradise
, and rounded the windward mark first with the BVI in hot pursuit. Incredibly, the Holmbergs rounded the windward mark in last place by several boat lengths.
It was a two-round race but the HOLMBERGS could not close up on the run downwind, rounding the leeward mark still firmly in last place. Dotty HOLOUBEK's Crabtown Sailors
and Team Holland
did not give any ground. Equally, the BVI team desperately chased the Canadians for their much needed first place finish but the Canadians defended their lead to take the race with the BVI finishing second and the HOLMBERGS last.
Back on shore the points were double checked - the two teams were locked on 18 points each. In the event of a tie it's the number of bullets (first places) that decides the outcome. After sailing 10 races over the weekend, the BVI had five bullets but the Holmbergs had six. Team Holmberg
, representing the Bitter End Yacht Club and the USVI, took the 2007 Nanny Cay Nations Cup.
The HOLMBERGS, namely John, wife Dianne, son Kai (age 8), brother Peter and his wife Denise gracefully accepted the fine half hull trophy and perpetual award.
Team Bitter End Holmberg (John HOLMBERG) - 18
bmobile BVI (Alec ANDERSON) - 18
UK Blighty's (Andrew WATERS) - 24
HIHO (Andy MORRELL) - 25
Canuks (Chris WATTERS) - 26
Holland (Frits BUS) - 28
STM 'Scuba shop' (Simon MANLY) - 38
Crabtown Sailors USA (Dotty HOLOUBEK) - 42
Team Tatters UK (Robin TATTERSALL) - 46
Home Nations UK (Steve ROOSE) - 47
English Roses UK (Simon WOOD) - 48
The Nanny Cay Nations Cup is a round-robin regatta where the simple requirement for entry is that all crew members carry the same passport.
IC24s are modified J/24s and the fastest growing one-design class in the Caribbean with fleets in the US and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Nanny Cay Resort & Marina, event sponsor and official home of the BVI IC24 fleet, is a full-service marina and boat repair facility located within a natural basin on the south side of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. It has berths for 180 motor cruisers and yachts up to a draft of 12 feet and storage space for 260 boats. Nanny Cay's boatyard has a 50 and 70 ton Travelift; the latter capable of lifting catamarans up to 33 feet wide. Riggers, sailmakers, provisioners, restaurants, marine engineers, shipwrights, fiberglass specialists and yacht charter companies are all based at Nanny Cay. Nanny Cay Hotel has forty-two apartments appointed with classic West Indian design and easy access to tennis courts and a large swimming pool.
Ting, Stella Artois, Penfolds Wine and Highland Spring Water were in plentiful supply, all supplied by TICO.