154 boats have been split into 16 classes and range in size from the 75' Reichel Pugh, Titan XII, supporting a crew of 20, to the one man Lasers and windsurfers. The BVI Spring Regatta officially kicked off tonight with the Mount Gay Welcome Party and the opening of the Regatta Village and sailing will begin tomorrow in the Sir Frances Drake Channel, continuing through Sunday on three different courses.
There was racing today in the last race of the BVI Sailing Festival under sunny skies, with ten to 15 knots of breeze and for the glory of the Nanny Cay Cup, 33 boats sailed from Bitter End Yacht Club to a finish line just off the Nanny Cay Marina. Today's racecourse led the competitors on a scenic jaunt through BVI waters. After a short upwind leg in North Sound, the fleets sailed out through Colquhoun Reef Channel, left Mosquito Rock and West Dog to port and sailed south of Ginger Island, Carvel Rock, Cooper Island, Salt Island and Dead Chest before entering the Sir Frances Drake Channel and proceeding to the finish line placed off of Nanny Cay. Weather conditions were good and all the boats completed the primarily downwind race in just over four hours.
No stranger to the Caribbean, but making its debut in this year's BVI Sailing Festival, Roger STERGEON's (USA) Rosebud placed first in today's race. Tuesday's winner, DSK Comifin was second and Highlife placed third. For the series, Danilo SALSI's (ITA) DSK Comifin took home the top prize, followed by Highlife and third place went to Equation. Rosebud was not in contention, as she did not compete in Tuesday's race.
There was an altercation on the Cruising class start line, and rather than risk a DSQ, Avocation withdrew. Placing first in the today's Nanny Cay Cup was Disco Inferno, Shamrock once again placed second and Tuesday's first place finisher, Jeroboam CA NOVA finished in third place. Regardless, Vittorio CODECASA's (ITA) Swan 45 Jeroboam managed to hold on to the first place spot for the series winning a tiebreaker with Shamrock, the second place series finisher. Disco Inferno finished third overall.
In the Bareboat division, DUNBAR continues his winning streak. DUNBAR placed first again today winning the class overall. Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR), sailing Inn Harmony, followed DUNBAR with another second place in today's race and a second place in the Festival. About Time placed third today but only fourth in the series as he finished sixth in Tuesday's race. It was Team Germany that finished third after placing fourth in both of Tuesday's and today's races.
The weather has been a hot topic the last few days as initial predictions for wind appeared gloomy for the sailing contingent but things are now looking better. Although some shower activity is expected, so is a constant ten to 15 knots of breeze out of the east.
The BVI Spring Regatta racing will take place 31 March-2 April on the south side of Tortola in the Sir Francis Drake Channel on four different courses.
The BVI Spring Regatta is presented by Nanny Cay Marina and is jointly owned by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association. The BVI Tourist Board is a Platinum sponsor; The Moorings, Heineken, Mount Gay Bitter End, First Caribbean International Bank, CCT Global Communications and the Sol Group are Gold sponsors; Highland Spring Natural Mineral Water and Maui Jim Sunglasses are Silver sponsors and Fujifilm is a Bronze sponsor.