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2 April 2005, 10:01 am
Light Winds, Hard Racing
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2005 BVI Spring Regatta
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

In a pleasant surprise for competitors in the first day of racing in the 34th annual BVI Spring Regatta presented by Nanny Cay Marina, the winds were slightly stronger than forecast and the race committee, making the most of the breeze fired off 42 races between the 14 classes. Classes sailing on the Norman course saw one race, the Cooper course three and on the One-Design course, up to seven races.
The 68-foot Equation and 75-foot Titan XII are sailing in a class in which there are boats as small as 36-feet. Regardless of the tight windward leeward courses, Titan continues her winning Caribbean streak with two firsts and a second. Two points behind, Richard SHULMAN's IMX 45 Temptress nips at her rear. For Titan's tastes, these courses are short with two-mile legs and elapsed times of an hour and thirty minutes or less; one race today only lasted thirty-eight minutes. Impeccable crew work and a strong brain trust at the back of the boat that includes America's Cup veteran Peter ISLER are keeping Titan in front. 'They're incredible,' said Celtic V's skipper currently third in the class.

In Class C, Cosmic Warlord and Martin JACOBSEN's Crescendo look set to cross swords throughout the rest of the regatta. Both class winners last year with well-honed crew, they are tied for the first place position. Mermaid II, Geoffrey PIDDUCK's new acquisition, is shaking down well and follows closely only two points behind.

Racing D is currently being dominated by John FOSTER's Magnificent 7 from the USVI. The BVI's Mistress Quickly trails by five points and Lost Horizon from Antigua is close behind following Mistress by one point.

In the Racer/Cruiser class, the BVI's Peter HAYCRAFT and his Pipe Dream crew are in first place finishing 2,1,1 today. Jose SANCHEZ's Puerto Rican Myett's Balaju II is second and Pat NOLAN's ladies on Boomerang are third.

With three first place finishes, Jib & Main is being dominated by Cayennita sailed by Tony SANPERE. Dot Com, skippered by Dunbar; BVI Yacht Charters/HIHO (Bareboat B), skippered by Phil OTIS; Tom MULLEN's Shamrock V in Performance Cruising; and St. Croix's Llewelyn WESTERMAN (Multihull), also lead their classes.

Sailing on the One Design course, Caribbean Auto Mart leads the Beach Cats after five races with four first place finishes and a total of nine points. Rush is in second place trailing by six points. With 16 points, Wave Magnet is dangerously close behind.

Lasers are split into two classes. Emma PAULL leads the Laser Radial class and Thomas BARROWS has five firsts in the Laser class.

In the IC 24 class, the Hirst brothers are continuing their winning streak on Seahawk with 14 points after six countable races - the seventh was thrown out after a mark issue. Two other BVI boats, Conch-Querer and INTAC, round out the top three.

Following some class ratification recently some IC 24s are carrying as much as 275 lbs of lead now to even up the boat weights. The subject of much discussion in the regatta village tonight, these weight additions have unsurprisingly made a considerable difference to the performance of some boats. However, John HOLMBERG's Stinger suffered by finishing on the wrong line in one race today. Fortuitously, his other bad race today, which included a winch over ride on the start and subsequent poor tactics, was the one that was thrown out. He is currently in fourth place.

After only one race today for the Formula Windsurfing class following some starting issues and light winds, a family of BVI watermen took the top three places. Brothers Sean and Alex ANDERSON placed first and second respectively and their father, Ewan, placed third.

Tomorrow winds are predicted to be slightly stronger, and with race committees committed to racing as many races as possible, anything can happen.

Alastair Abrehart/Linda Stern (As Amended by ISAF), Image: © Event Media
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