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16 December 2005, 10:23 am
35 Years Old And As Innovative As Ever
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BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival 2006
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

The 2006 BVI Spring Regatta, presented and hosted by Nanny Cay, will add a fourth race course to the already busy Sir Francis Drake Channel from 31 March-2 April. The one design course, which last year hosted IC24s, windsurfers, Lasers and beach cats, will split in 2006, with the windsurfers and beach cats branching out on their own to ensure that the only dirty air they get will be their own.
Owen WATERS, owner of Nanny Cay's Island Surf and Sail, said, 'It will be Formula racing again. We are expecting international sailors from St. Maarten and the United States. This year will build on last year with BVI sailors hoping to compete with windsurfers throughout the region in this new and exciting discipline. Many have already started training.'

The Racing and Racer/Cruiser classes sail in the Copper Island course area with back-to-back racing on windward-leeward courses. The multi-start, multi-race format pioneered by the BVI Spring Regatta ensures that time on the water is spent racing. For those who enjoy a change of scenery, tour races may be added to the mix.

Performance/Cruiser, Multihull, Bareboat, Jib and Main classes sail on the Norman Island course area. Such is the geological/topographical nature of the British Virgin Islands, that many of the marks from the previous regattas have been replaced by islands. On this race area - previously known as the non-spinnaker course - spinnakers are now permitted and allow those that don't want to race back to back, windward-leeward courses, the chance to fly a spinnaker, perhaps with less practiced or short-handed crew.

Also new for 2006 will be the 'Tent Village'. The tent village is a cooperative effort between Nanny Cay, the BVI Spring Regatta organizing committee and the Kids and the Sea (KATS) programme. This low cost housing has been introduced to encourage dinghy sailors from overseas to attend the event and the proceeds will go to KATS, the non-profit charitable organization dedicated to teaching children skills needed to safely enjoy the joys of boating.

'We believe it's a win-win-win arrangement,' said regatta chairman Bob PHILLIPS. 'Dinghy sailors can have accommodation for $25 per night, KATS gets a nice cash boost over the period and the regatta, hopefully, gets more dinghies sailors from the region and perhaps further a field.'

Four man tents will be available to rent 30 March-3 April (four nights) for $200 US. The tents will be set up just south of Peg Legs' Landing in the grass conveniently located near the sailing, the Festival Village and the bathrooms. Basic facilities will be available at Peg Legs' or the campers will be able to use the new, luxury European style private full baths located at the Nanny Cay Hotel. Interested campers should contact Eddie BROCKBANK at Peg Legs Restaurant, (284) 494 0028, for full details and to make reservations.

The 2006 Sailing Festival - a low-pressure, three-day warm up for the regatta - starts on Monday 27 March with a welcome party at Nanny Cay. Three days of destination cruising, racing and Layday fun including the Nation's Challenge Cup, lead up to the main three day BVI Spring Regatta starting on Friday 31 March. The expanded seven day format has turned the traditional three days of racing action into a week long sailing festival that takes participants throughout the British Virgin Islands.

Held annually on the first weekend of April, the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival is celebrating its 35th anniversary next year. It is now a seven day event with two events back-to-back attracting an average of 135 yachts per year with eighty percent of the competitors from overseas.

The three day regatta takes place on the south side of Tortola in the Sir Francis Drake Channel on four different courses.

Visitors can fly to the British Virgin Islands through San Juan, Puerto Rico with American Airlines, Caribbean Sun and Cape Air. Flights are also available through Antigua and Barbados on Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and BWIA.

For full details on the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival including daily news, photos and complete results from the 2005 event, visit the official web site: www.bvispringregatta.org. For more information on the British Virgin Islands visit: www.bvitourism.com. For more information on Nanny Cay Marina visit: www.nannycay.com.

The BVI Spring Regatta is jointly owned by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association.

Alastair Abrehart (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from this year's event:© Alastair Abrehart
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