Picture perfect weather was the order for the last day of the 2007 BVI Spring Regatta. Sailors were able to enjoy a consistent 20 knots of breeze, sunshine and relatively flat water in races that, in many classes, determined who was to stand on the winners’ podium at this afternoon’s prize giving.
ABN AMRO One (1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1, 8), the Volvo Ocean 70 that won the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race, sailed to a string of flawless first place finishes to win the Spinnaker Racing A class. Skipper, Brad Jackson, who served as one of two watch captains in the Volvo race, said, “Anytime there’s a race, we always want to sail as well as we can. It was a lot of hard work, though. The boat has a lot of load and we had to be careful in the kind of heavy breeze we had this weekend. If it had been light, under 10 knots, we would have had to really worry about Titan XII. Puerto Rico’s Tom Hill’s Titan XII (2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2, 16), a Reichel Pugh 75, finished second in class, while Noonmark VI (5-3-5-3-3-3-3-3, 31) a Swan 56 sailed by Geoffrey Mulchy ended third.
Devil 3 (1-1-3-3-1-2-1-1, 13), Chris Stanton’s Melges 24 from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, retained its lead in Spinnaker Racing B. Tactician and trimmer, Peter Stanton, said, “We made less mistakes maneuver- wise. We also have been sailing with the same crew, except for one person, so that’s helped us to improve.” Past BVI Spring Regatta winner in a J/24, Stanton added, “Melges 24s are a lot of fun, but they’re a lot of work. Its endless hiking and things to do. You can’t grab water or eat something downwind while racing like you can in a J/24. But the reward for us was hitting 17 knots. We use to get so excited to hit 11 knots in the J/24.” Crash Test Dummies (3-5-1-1-2-1-2-4, 19) a Melges 32 skippered by Trinidad’s Tim Kimpton finished second, while Chippewa (2-2-5-2-3-4-3-3, 24), a Melges 32 sailed with Wisconsin, USA’s Dave West at the helm, ended third.
In Racer Cruiser C, Doug Baker’s Olson 30, J-Bird III (7-3-1-1.5-5-2-3-1, 23.5), retook its lead over Rick Wesslund’s J/120, El Ocaso (4-1-1-6-4-1-4-3, 24) by a mere half point. J-Bird’s crew, who hail from California, normally race on the Andrews 80, Magnitude, a yacht that this past year set a speed record in the Newport, California, to Puerto Vallarta race. Team Paul Mitchell (1-2-4.5-4-3-5-1-4, 24.5), a Beneteau First 40.7 helmed by Mark Palermo rounded out third in class.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands’ boats took the first three slots in Spinnaker Racing D, with Chris Thompson’s J/27, J-Walker (1-2-2-2-2-1.5-1-1, 12.5) in the lead. Thompson said, “This was a good weekend and good for us. We got to sail with friends, and like everybody else this weekend, we optimized the boat to the limit. That is, we really got the greatest amount of boat speed possible without breaking anything or hurting anyone.” John Foster’s Kirby 25, The Good The Bad and The Ugly (2-5-1-1-3-1.5-4-4, 21.5), finished second and Magnificent 7 (3-1-4-4-4-4-2-3, 25), Foster’s former boat and now a J/27 owned and raced by Paul Davis, ended third. Davis said, “They (Foster and crew) encouraged us all the way. Now that’s what I call camaraderie.”
In Racer-Cruiser, the BVI’s Peter Haycraft held on to his lead aboard his Sirena 38, Pipedream (4-2-3-1-2-2-2-2, 18), to place first in class. Haycraft also earns the distinction of being one of the few sailors to race every BVI Spring Regatta since the event’s inception, and finishing first if not in the top three in class many of these years. Puerto Rico’s Julio Reguero, skippering his J/105, Umakua (2-1-1-3-3-8-4-1, 23), came in second. Reguero said, “We were very pleased. Especially coming back from a DNS the day before.” Puerto Rico’s Carlos Camacho, aboard his J/105, Abracadabra (5-4-2-2-4-1-3-3, 24), ended third.
It is good to report that today that no boats hit Bitter End’s Corinthian, the committee boat on the Norman Course. Regardless, there was a distress call from the committee boat to the number one mark boat. The message was relayed that the mark boat needed to hurry over as Corinthian was taking on water very quickly and the committee members needed to be taken off the boat. The mark boat responded immediately, all committee members were on the port side and appeared to be ready to abandon ship, but as the mark boat approached, they all called out, “April Fools.”
Affinity (1,2,1,1,3,8) held on to the lead of Performance Cruising A but Advantage (2,1,3,6,1,13) and Black Hole (4,3,2,2,4,15) switched positions again and this time, Advantage had the advantage, finishing in second place.
Rumor has it that a number of the boats classified in Performance Cruising B asked if they could switch to Performance Cruising A where they would be sailing against bigger boats. The issue was that they did not want to be in the same class with Christopher Lloyd’s nearly unbeatable Three Harkoms. Unsurprisingly Three Harkoms (1,1,1,1,1,5) continued on with the series of bullets today and easily took the Performance Cruising B’s top place honours. Diva (3,2,2,4,2,13), owned and skippered by Dr, Robin Tattersall, was second and Elmo (7,3,3,2,3,18), hailing from Great Britain and skippered by Robert Eggleton moved into the third place spot.
Although tied in points, Hotel California Too (1,2,5,3,3,2,11.5) was able to more today from third place to second leaving Bill Bailey’s Second Nature (2,2,5,2,2,3,11.5) with the third place prize. The big winner in the Jib and Main class is Mary Jane (1,1,1,1,1,5), sailed by David Hueter and Andy Kaiser.
Bareboat A was a class for which the results each day were the same. The final standings are, in first place, Joyce Smith (1,1,1,1,1,5), sailed by Tony Mack, second is Axez (2,2,2,2,3,11), skipped by van Dop and Makin’ Smiles (3,4,5,3,2,17), skippered by Moorings captain Dunbar is third.
Although it was a hard battle all the way through the regatta, Bareboat Division B, Acadia Champaign Lady (2,4,1,2,2,11) , sailed by Burt Keenan and Neil Harvey lost first place to Jan Soderberg in Chess (1,3,2,1,1,8). Southern Comfort (9,5,3,3,4,24) was a distant third. My Passion (3,1,11,9,3.27), sailed by Radboud Crud, was in the winners’ circle until Saturday when, he joked later that the very pretty videographer that was on board that day had distracted his crew.
Congratulations to Joe San Martin and his crew on Piglet (2,2,2,2,1,9) in the Multihull class. He finally beat Triple Jack (1,1,1,1,2,6) in the last race of the series. Triple Jack still takes the first place prize home but at least the crew on Piglet knows the Triple Jack gang can be beat.
The first place position in the IC24 class was not determined until the last race. Robbie and Michael Hirst, sailing MIO Broadband (6,2,5,6,4,1,1,1,2,7,3,3,1,2,7,2,53) were tied with Chris Rosenberg (2,3,8,5,1,2,5,2,3,5,1,2,5,4,1,8,57) after fifteen races, It was the Hirst’s second and Rosenberg’s eighth place finish in race number sixteen the clinched the series. Mio Roaming (1,4,2,4,3,5,4,6,8,6,8,6,10,7,6,4, 84), sailed by Andrew Waters, narrowly held onto the third place position.
High winds led to the beach cat fleet staying on the beach for the last day’s competition. This led Tom Ainger’s St. Croix-based Caribbean Auto Mart, an Inter 20, to retain its lead, St. Thomas’ Tom Kozyn’s Hobie 16, Team XO, to end second and fellow islander, Davis Murray’s TBD (4-2-4-4-3-4, 21), a Prindle 19, to round out third.
In the Laser classes, Trinidad’s Ryan Rocke (4-1-1-1-2-1-3-2-2-4-3-1-1-2, 28) led the class from day one and stretched his lead by 24 points over fellow islander, Stuart Leighton (1-2-6-6-1-5-11-5-4-1-1-3-4-4, 52). Rocke said, “This was my first international regatta and I’m very pleased with my results. It was a lot less shifty today, so I was able to really get ahead. Rocke led the Lasers overall and Laser Radial. Meanwhile, St. Thomas’s Olin Davis led the Laser 4.7s.
Complete results are available at www.bvispringregatta.org
BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival encompass two great events, The 2007 Sailing Festival – a low-pressure, three-day warm up for the regatta – started on Monday, March 26 with a welcome party at Nanny Cay, Three days of destination cruising, racing and layday fun, including the Nation’s Challenge Cup, led up to the main three-day BVI Spring Regatta starting on Friday, March 30, The expanded seven-day format has turned the traditional three days of racing action into a weeklong 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 36th anniversary, It is now a seven-day event with two events back-to-back attracting an average of 150 yachts per year with eighty percent of the competitors from overseas, The BVI Spring Regatta is presented by Nanny Cay Resort and Marina; the BVI Tourist Board is a Platinum sponsor; gold sponsors are Bitter End Yacht Club, CCT Global Communications, First Caribbean International Bank, Heineken, The Moorings, Mount Gay, and SOL,
Visitors can fly to the British Virgin Islands through San Juan, Puerto Rico with American Airlines, Cape Air and LIAT, 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 2007 event, visit the official web site: http://www.bvispringregatta.org, 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 jointly owned by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association,