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3 April 2006, 10:33 am
Lots of Trophies On The Line, Lots Of Boats - Over
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BVI Spring Regatta 2006
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

The BVI Spring Regatta drew to a close yesterday, with a series of tight finishes deciding the trophies in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. With conditions improving throughout the regatta, the sailors battling for honours on the final day did so on a picture prefect day in the Caribbean.
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It is no wonder that the place to be last night was checking the results in the Mount Gay Results Tent. Yesterday marked the last day racing in the BVI Spring Regatta, hosted by Nanny Cay, and the last of race of the CORT series, sponsored by Heineken. The event was included in the IRC Gulf Stream Series and the Caribbean Big Boat Series. Needless to say, there were an incredible number of trophies on the line.

Each day of this regatta, conditions have improved and yesterday, sailors (and photographers) enjoyed a picture perfect day with wonderful sunshine and ten to twelve knots of breeze.

Over Eager Starters

Jump the gun starts set the tone for the last day of racing on the Cooper Island course. Of the five classes competing, there were recalls in four of the first of the day's two races. And, in three of these cases, the premature starters were class leaders who seemed intent on making sure they held their position by jumping out ahead.

One of the most exciting gun jumps occurred in Racing A when, seeing a favoured pin end, Titan XII, Rosebud and Numbers ran out of room on the start line. This resulted in a jam up that saw Rosebud take a hit to its port bow as well as necessitated their taking a penalty turn and Titan XII having to circle back for a re-start. Protests were filed and dismissed, leaving Rosebud the class winner, with Numbers second, and Titan XII third.

Numbers now narrowly leads in the Caribbean Big Boat Series, a trio of events that kicks off with the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and concludes at the Rolex Antigua Sailing Week. However, Titan XII, has tied points with Numbers. Equation is third.

In the US-IRC Gulfstream Series A, Numbers also moves into the lead with Equation second.

Trinidad Victory

In Racing B, Tim KIMPTON's (TRI) first time entry of his Melges 32, Crash Test Dummies, proved a charm as the Trinidadian based crew sailed to a solid lead. Chippewa ended a solid second, while DSK Comifin took a third in spite of a protest and disqualification called on kinetics, or having its crew hang too far over the lifelines.

DSK Comifin, however, is enjoying the first place position in the US-IRC Gulfstream Series B, with Devocean second.

Stalwart to the winner's circle, James DOBBS (ANT), kept his accustomed class position aboard his Olson 30, Lost Horizon II, in Racing C, in spite of a few losses to St. Maarten's Frits BUS, who kept up the pressure aboard his Melges 24, Carib.natufit. The Kosa Loka crew from Puerto Rico launched into a rockin' dock party once ashore, celebrating their third place finish.

DOBB's performance was enough to edge a one point lead over Guy ELDRIDGE's (IVB), Melges 24, Mistress Quickly, to win the Spinnaker Racing A class in the Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (CORT). The CORT series is comprised of the St. Croix International Regatta, the Culebra Heineken Regatta and the BVI Spring Regatta, presented by Nanny Cay.

Young Star THOMPSON Impresses

In Racing D, Johnny FOSTER and Bill MCCONNELL's newly rebuilt Kirby 25, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, came from behind the won. Broken Drum finished second, while St. Thomas' Chris THOMPSON's J Walker, a J/27, moved into third with 17 year old Cy THOMPSON (ISV) at the helm.

Interestingly, the five boats competing in the Spinnaker Racing B class in CORT all tied in points for the lead. It took a tiebreaker that looked at each of the 21 races the boats sailed against each other during the threesome of regatta and calculating who beat who the most to break the tie. Even then, the boats finished only half a point apart with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly first, Sorceress second and Ex Mero Motu third.

With 35 years of experience racing every BVI Spring Regatta, Peter HAYCRAFT (IVB) aboard Pipedream won the Racer/Cruiser class. Kick 'Em Jenny ended second, while Boomerang placed third.

Pipedream also won the CORT Racer/Cruiser class, while Boomerang finished second and John HARACIVIT's Tempest from St. Thomas in third.

Stay Calm Stays Top Despite Corrected Time Loss

Although Jeraboam and Affinity finally beat the Swan 70, Stay Calm, on corrected time, the final positions in the Performance Cruising class did not change. Stay Calm was first, Jeraboam second and Affinity third.

In Performance Cruising B, Christopher LLOYD's (IVB) Three Harkoms got another bullet yesterday but the first day's DSQ has resulted in a third place overall finish. Ron NOONAN (ISV), with Wildflower, finished first overall and Odin II took the second place spot.

The CORT final results in the Performance Cruising class are Cayennita in first place, Shamrock in second and Three Harkoms in third.

Taking a second in yesterday's race, Bareboat A's overall class winner was Rob Swain Sailing School. Team 020 won the race yesterday and took home the second place overall prize and the Inn Harmony team, led by double gold medallist Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR), walked away with third.

Jan SODERBERG's Chess proved to be nearly unbeatable, winning yesterday's race and the overall Bareboat Division B class. Sotheby's International Realty, with Neil HARVEY, co-skippering with Tom BARRETT, was second in yesterday's race and second overall. Andrea Betty-Lee, sailed by local Moorings skipper DUNBAR, retains the third place spot overall.

In the last race of the Jib and Main series, Neal FINNEGAN (USA), sailing Clover III easily beat his competition. The real race was for second place. Cosmic Warlord corrected finish time tied with Mensae. Both boats were awarded 2.5 points for yesterday's race. Overall, Clover III was first, Mensae second and Acadia moved into the winner's circle as Fenix placed tenth in class.

In his debut with Manta, Mike HIRST (IVB), ended up winning three out of his first four races in the Multihull class. Yesterday's finish broke the tie with St. Croix's Joe SAN MARTIN's Piglet, and Manta won the overall class prize; Piglet was second and Triple Jack third.

As Competitive As Ever

Racing was just as competitive as ever in the IC24 fleet. At one windward mark, there was a four boat collision. With an eleventh in the first race of the day, Brand New Second Hand, sailed by Chris CURRERI (IVB), lost first place in the regatta. That honour goes to Robbie HIRST (IVB) and his crew on Sea Hawk. Orion would have placed first in the regatta but an OCS on the first day dropped the boat into third place.

Brand New Second Hand was the big winner in the CORT series. Fiona, was second and Intact third.

Positions in the Beach Cat class remained unchanged between Saturday and Sunday. Francisco FIGUEROA (PUR), sailing Heineken, held onto the top spot. Caribbean Auto Mart finished in second place and Wave Magnet was third.

BARROWS Unbeatable In The Laser

In the Laser, Thomas BARROWS (ISV) could not be beat yesterday. He finished the regatta with perfect scores and took home the first place overall trophy. Hugo ROLLER (ISV) finished in second place and Daniel ALSOP in third.

There was exceptionally close racing in the Laser Radial, first through third place was only two points apart. Although yesterday may not have been Sidney JONES' (ISV) day, this was JONES's regatta. After losing last year to Emma PAULL of the British Virgin Islands, and stating that her goal was to beat PAULL, she finished off with less than perfect scores but still retained her first place position. Mimi ROLLER (ISV) finished the regatta in second place and PAULL finishing in the top spots with a little more wind yesterday, finished third.

Sailing Laser 4.7s, Tortolla's Alec ANDERSON bested Morgan BRYAN (ISV).

The Prizes

There were a number of special prizes given out yesterday evening on the Nanny Cay stage. The Tourist Board Team Award was presented to Team UK, who was assisted by none other than Olympian ROBERTSON. ROBERTSON must like doubles because not only is she a double gold medallist, she is expecting twins.

The Chief Minister's Award for the Best BVI Boat was won by HIRST and his crew on Sea Hawk. Sailing in an extremely competitive fleet, he won top honours this weekend with 56 points after sailing twelve races.

The Bitter End Awards for Spirit and Enthusiam was presented to St. Thomas' John HARACIVET, sailing his Beneteau 38, Tempest, he has for years entertained the racing fleet with his wigs, hats, blow up toys and sense of humour.

The Moorings/Sunsail Charter Cup was presented to the best bona fide bareboat charter. This year it was presented to SODERBERG who proved to be nearly unbeatable in Bareboat B.

The Caribbean Big Boat Series award was awarded to Numbers who currently leads the series. The overall trophy will be presented following Rolex Antigua Sailing Week.

Daily video coverage of the BVI Spring Regatta can be seen by visiting www.t2p.tv.

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, Action from Tortola:© Anthony BLAKE
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