After storms delayed the start of the Caribbean 1500, a steady trickle of participating yachts began arriving at Tortola’s Nanny Cay Marina in late November. At press time, 25 yachts had docked and been given their welcome rum punch by new race organisers UK-based World Cruising Club. The World Cruising Club took over the rally from founder Steve Black and his Cruising Rally Association earlier this year and is looking to continue and expand on the success of the event.
The fastest boat to finish was Fat Cat, John Winter’s 24-metre Morelli, which completed the journey from Hampton, Virginia, in just less than six days. They were shortly followed by Blackbird, a Tripp 78 skippered by Michael Reardon, who took the overall win on corrected time ahead of Celebration.
“The start of the race was delayed by four days, which was frustrating for everyone,” commented World Cruising Club event staff Andy Schell. “However, it was a sensible decision, considering how Tropical Storm Sean developed, and we are very pleased that all the crews in both the Bahamas and BVI classes made a safe passage and are now enjoying the fun events and activities that have been laid on.”
For the first time, the arriving boats were able to clear BVI Customs in Nanny Cay, where previously they had to make an additional stop at Soper’s Hole. “After sailing non-stop for ten days, most crews are exhausted and looking forward to getting on dry land. With this in mind we were very pleased to partner with BVI Customs to bring them on-site,” said Nanny Cay general manager Miles Sutherland-Pilch. “
This year the Caribbean 1500 organized a number of different events for all participants including beach BBQs and live music most nights.
“The feedback we have been getting is that everyone has been sharing stories and having a great time which is what the rally is all about,” Mr. Sutherland-Pilch said.
Nanny Cay hosts a number of World Cruising events – including ARC Europe and the Atlantic Cup in May. It is also the host of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, now in its 41st year.