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2 April 2006, 08:23 am
Roasting Hot Racing
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BVI Spring Regatta 2006
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Out on the water yesterday for day two of the BVI Spring Regatta and rump roasting hot racing took place with winds of 10 - 12 knots and currents and shifts with which to content.
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In Racing A, Roger STURGEON'S Transpac 52, Rosebud (1-4-1-1-1-1, 9), holds a solid lead over second place competitor, Puerto Rico's Tom HILL, Sr., driving his Reichel-Pugh 75, Titan XII (2-1-3-3-2-2, 13). Crewmember Malcolm PARK explains why: 'This boat is known for carrying a lot of sails for different wind conditions. For example, in one race today between Ginger Island and Deadman's Chest, we peeled through three spinnakers in 5 to 6 minutes each, where Titan XII had up a jib during this same time. The spinnaker that really gained us a huge advantage - an advantage of about 1-minute - was one specially made to be sailed when the winds are coming out of a 90 to 120 degree angle.'

STURGEON, whose homeport is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will sail Rosebud for the last at Rolex Antigua Sailing Week. Then, he will sell the boat and come back with a new 65-footer to campaign during the 2007 season.

Rounding out third in Racing A is the USA's Daniel MEYERS' Custom 60, Numbers (3-2-2-2-3-4, 16).

Trinidad's Tim KIMPTON held on to his lead in Racing B (1-1-2-1-2-2, 9) aboard his new Melges 32, Crash Test Dummies. The USA's, Dave WEST'S Frers 39.5, Chippewa, kept its second place (2-2-1-4-3-5, 17) standing, while Italy's Danilo SALSI driving his Frers 45, DSK Comifin, (8-3-4-3-1-1, 20), moved up to third. 'The light winds yesterday were no good for us. We're a heavy boat. It was much better today,' SALSI said.

In Racing C, Antigua's James DOBBS, helming his Olson 30, Lost Horizon II (1-1-2-2-2-1, 9), held on to his lead by one point over St. Maarten's Frits BUS, skippering his Melges 24, Carib.natufit (2-2-1-1-1-3, 10). 'Its tough for us,' said BUS. 'The Olson can sail its own race. We have to concentrate on the Olson and keeping the other Melges 24s at bay. In the third race today, the winds picked up and favored the Olson. We couldn't catch him. It was some really close racing.'

Third in Racing C is Crewclothing.co.uk (5-5-3-3-4-2, 22), a Melges 24 skippered by the BVI's Peter TARN.

For the first time this season, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1-7-1-1-3.5-1, 14.5), a Kirby 25 jointly owned and recently rebuilt after a 10-year stay on the hard in weeds by St. Thomas sailors, Johnny FOSTER and Bill MCCONNELL, moved into a first place class position. They lead Puerto Rico's Tony MARI, Jr., aboard his J/80, Ex Mero Motu (3-1-3-2-3.5-6, 18.5), by four points, in Racing D. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly crewmember, Brett JOHNSON explained, 'We're sailing the boat really well in every position. It's a different boat to sail than our old one, a J/27, and we've got one less crew, which means we have more room but have more to do as well. Our speed is coming up so much that in the second race today, we tied with Ex Mero Motu by 1 100th of a second. So, they gave us each a 3.5 score, which is the mid-point between third and fourth.' Broken Drum (5-3-4-5-2-2, 21), St. Croix's Jack BISHOP'S, J/29, ended third in Racing D.

With 35 years of experience racing in the BVI Spring Regatta, the BVI's Peter HAYCRAFT retained his lead in Racer/Cruiser aboard his Sirena 38, Pipedream (1-1-2-1-2-3, 10). Kick 'Em Jenny, owned by St. Maarten-based, Trinidadian-native, Ian HOPE ROSS, a Beneteau First 36S7, (6-3-1-3-1-2, 16), finished second. 'I've been racing since I was a kid and sailed a number of boats, but this is the first time I've sailed in the BVI Spring Regatta. Light air is challenging and we're trying to get our spinnaker sets and tactics down, and it seems as if it's working.' Boomerang (3-7-3-2-3-7, 25), a J/33, sailed by the BVI's Pat NOLAN, is third in the Racer Cruiser class.

In Performance Cruising A, a collision during the second start sequence today has put Avocation out of the series. In a port - starboard situation, Avocation t-boned Northern Child. Both boats had to retire and Avocation has withdrawn accepting responsibility for the incident. Unfortunately, damage to rig will keep Avocation off the starting line tomorrow but Northern Child is expected to be back in the game. Avocation was in third place but with today's finishes (3-11), they now sit in fourth. Currently first in class is held by Stay Calm (1-1-1), Stuart ROBINSON's Swan 70; in the second spot is Jeraboam (2-2-2) and in third place is Affinity (4-4-3)

In Performance Cruising B, after a DSQ in yesterday's races and from the bowels of the class, Three Harkoms (12-1-1) has risen to third place after finishing first in both races today. Ron Noonan, with Wildflower (1-2-4) is currently in first place and he is followed by Odin II (5-3-2).

Racing in Performance Cruising B and currently in ninth place, Synergy, a custom Frers 49, is being crewed by a group of women who are working to raise awareness to the issue of domestic violence. Team WAVE, Women Against Violence Everywhere, is using Synergy as a platform to raise funds for leadership training for young women and to donate to groups locally that combat domestic violence. Through corporate sponsorship, plans are to race the Newport Bermuda race, taking advantage of the 100th anniversary to promote their cause. Skipper, Val DOAN, and owner, Lea de Hass, are using the BVI Spring Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week as training exercises for the seasoned crew.

Sailing in Bareboat A, Gabi ROMBERG, sailing with Team Germany, said. 'It was a great sailing day. Yesterday we felt like sausages. Today was really good. Although we have not done well, we had a lot of fun. Particularly in the light wind, everyone on the boat likes the short races.' Team Germany is currently in fourteenth place.

The leader in the Bareboat A class is Rob Swain Sailing School (1-1-3); Team 020 (2-2-2), is only one point behind and Shirley ROBERTSON, is in third place with Inn Harmony (4-4-1).

Southeby's International Realty (2-2-1), Neil HARVEY, co-skippering with Tom Barrett, is currently in second place in Bareboat Division B. Neil was a little disappointed with the weather conditions yesterday, 'Charterboats really need ten knots and above but regardless, this is a fabulous fleet with Shirley ROBERTSON, good European teams and top sailors from the Carolinas. This is the best regatta venue (Sir Frances Drake Channel) that I know of in the world, above Hamilton Island in Australia, Sardinia, Key West and Cowes.' Neil got his ten knots today.

Results in the Bareboat B class have Jan SODERBERG'S Chess (1-1-2) is in the first place position and Dunbar has moved into the third place position with Andrea Betty-Lee (6-4-3).

Elixer to Life, sailing in the Jib and Main class, could not repeat their success from yesterday and slipped from the second place spot to fifth. Marco HEITZ, the skipper, said the current was a factor and tomorrow plans include, 'Sailing better and better tactics from the skipper.' Clover III (1-2-2) has held on to the lead in that class, Mensae (3-3-4) is now in second place and the largest boat in the group, Fenix (8,1,3), is now in third place.

Racing is exceptionally close in the Multihull fleet; the top three spots are only one point apart. Joe SAN MARTIN with Piglet (1-3-2) is tied with Mike HIRST'S Manta (4-1-1) Triple Jack (2-2-3), just one point behind, is in third place.

In the highly competitive IC24 fleet, the first and second place spots have changed hands. Brand New Second Hand (2-3-12-1-2-7-7-5-2), sailed by Chris CURRERI, is now first and Robbie HIRST'S Sea Hawk (5-2-1-2-12-1-11-2-7) is second. Orion (1,1,17,6,1,10,8,1,5), a newly built IC24 from Puerto Rico, is hold's onto third.

The leader in the Beach Cat class, Francisco FIGUEROA, who hopes to campaign a Tornado in the 2012 Olympics, is used to heavy winds and this morning was praying for a little more air. '15 knots is optimum conditions for us. Caribbean Auto Mart is the biggest competition and they are sailing well. I am finding the handicap racing more challenging that the one design because you don't know how you are doing against your competitors and so you race against the clock.' Although he did not get his wish, Francisco continues to do well with Heineken (1-1-3-1-2-3-2-1-2). Caribbean Auto Mart (2-2-2-2-1-2-3-2-1) holds on to second place and Wave Magnet (3-3-1-3-3-1-1-3-3) is third.

After yesterday's racing Thomas BARROWS and Hugo ROLLER were tied. Hugo was reflective about his success yesterday, 'Thomas is more experienced and he knows more about tactics. I won one race because he made a mistake in the course. The second I was on the right side when the wind shifted.' Today, Thomas (1-3-2-1-1-1-1-1-1) was on top of his game and is now leading Hugo (2-1-1-3-4-2-2-2-2) by 7 points. Daniel ALSOP (3-4-3-2-2-5-3-3-4) is in third,

Perhaps the only person that really enjoyed the conditions yesterday was petite Laser Radial sailor, Sidney JONES from St. Croix. Before racing today, she said, 'I tend to do well in light air and so I would like similar conditions today.' Looking around at her fellow competitor, she added, 'A few more knots would be okay.' Today she held on to that top spot (2-1-6-2-2-1-3-3-1); Mimi ROLLER is not far behind in second place (3-3-5-1-1-4-2-2-4) and Tyler RICE has ousted Emma PAULL for third place (4-4-2-4-3-3-5-1-2).

It's April Fools Day and there have been just a few pranks played. Although the winds are light, Kevin ROULETTE, driving one of the press boats, convinced several crews that a notice had been posted this morning on the board indicating that all participants must wear a PFD's or risk disqualification. Panic ensued as skippers made sure they had enough PFD's for all crew members and then required that they be worn. Kevin owned and skippered the well-known Caribbean racing boat, Russian Roulette.

For full details on the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival including daily news, photos and complete results from the 2006 event, visit the official web site: http://www.bvispringregatta.org. Available on line and in the Mount Gay Results Tent, real time results are available through technology and expertise provided by Carib Data. Daily video coverage can be seen by visiting http://www.t2p.tv/ For more information on the British Virgin Islands visit: http://www.bvitourism.com. For more information on Nanny Cay Marina visit: http://www.nannycay.com.

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.

Linda PHILLIPS (As Amended By ISAF). Image, © Alastair Abrehart, Broadsword/www.caribbeanracing.com
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