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2 April 2007, 10:45 am
Another Perfect Day In Paradise
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BVI Spring Regatta 2007
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Picture perfect weather was the order for the last day of the 2007 BVI Spring Regatta. Sailors were able to enjoy a consistent 20 knots of breeze, sunshine and relatively flat water in races that, in many classes, determined who was to stand on the winners' podium at Sunday's prizegiving.

ABN AMRO ONE, the Volvo Ocean 70 that won the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race, sailed to a string of eight flawless first place finishes to win the Spinnaker Racing A class. Skipper, Brad JACKSON (NZL), who served as one of two watch captains in the Volvo race, said, 'Anytime there's a race, we always want to sail as well as we can. It was a lot of hard work, though. The boat has a lot of load and we had to be careful in the kind of heavy breeze we had this weekend. If it had been light, under 10 knots, we would have had to really worry about Titan XII.'

Tom HILL's (PUR) Titan XII, a Reichel Pugh 75, had eight second places and finished second in class, while Noonmark VI, a Swan 56 sailed by Geoffrey MULCAHY (GBR) ended third.

Devil 3 Wins The Melges 24

Devil 3, Chris STANTON's (ISV) Melges 24 from St. Croix, retained its lead in Spinnaker Racing B. Tactician and trimmer, Peter STANTON (ISV), said, 'We made less mistakes manoeuvre-wise. We also have been sailing with the same crew, except for one person, so that's helped us to improve.' Past BVI Spring Regatta winner in a J/24, STANTON added, 'Melges 24s are a lot of fun, but they're a lot of work. Its endless hiking and things to do. You can't grab water or eat something downwind while racing like you can in a J/24. But the reward for us was hitting 17 knots. We use to get so excited to hit 11 knots in the J/24.'

In Racer Cruiser C, Doug BAKER's (USA) Olson 30, J-Bird III retook its lead over Rick WESSLUND's (USA) J/120, El Ocaso by a mere half point. J-Bird's crew, who hail from California, normally race on the Andrews 80, Magnitude, a yacht that this past year set a speed record in the Newport, California, to Puerto Vallarta race.

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands' boats took the first three slots in Spinnaker Racing D, with Chris THOMPSON's J/27, J-Walker in the lead. THOMPSON said, 'This was a good weekend and good for us. We got to sail with friends, and like everybody else this weekend, we optimized the boat to the limit. That is, we really got the greatest amount of boat speed possible without breaking anything or hurting anyone.'

Another Win For HAYCRAFT

In Racer-Cruiser, the BVI's Peter HAYCRAFT held on to his lead aboard his Sirena 38, to place first in class. HAYCRAFT also earns the distinction of being one of the few sailors to race every BVI Spring Regatta since the event's inception, and finishing first if not in the top three in class many of these years.

It is good to report that no boats hit Bitter End's Corinthian, the committee boat on the Norman Course. Regardless, there was a distress call from the committee boat to the number one mark boat. The message was relayed that the mark boat needed to hurry over as Corinthian was taking on water very quickly and the committee members needed to be taken off the boat. The mark boat responded immediately, all committee members were on the port side and appeared to be ready to abandon ship, but as the mark boat approached, they all called out, 'April Fools.'

Affinity held on to the lead of Performance Cruising A, whilst rumour has it that a number of the boats classified in Performance Cruising B asked if they could switch to Performance Cruising A where they would be sailing against bigger boats. The issue was that they did not want to be in the same class with Christopher LLOYD's (IVB) nearly unbeatable Three Harkoms. Unsurprisingly Three Harkoms continued on with the series of bullets on Sunday and easily took the top place honours.

In the Laser classes, Trinidad's Ryan ROCKE led the class from day one and stretched his lead by 24 points over fellow islander, Stuart LEIGHTON (TRI). ROCKE said, 'This was my first international regatta and I'm very pleased with my results. It was a lot less shifty today, so I was able to really get ahead.' ROCKE led the Lasers overall and Laser Radial. Meanwhile, St. Thomas's Olin DAVIS led the Laser 4.7s.

Complete results are available at www.bvispringregatta.org.

Linda Phillips (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Great sailing in Tortola:© Anthony Blake
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