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Competition Looks Hot for the 2007 Edition of the BVI Sailing Festival

It is now official, the 2007 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival have begun; 45 boats registered, marking this as the highest number of participants in the Festival, the low-pressure, three-day warm up for the regatta. With registration today, followed by a welcome party this evening at Nanny Cay, the event host, racers are readying their boats for tomorrows race from Nanny Cay to Bitter End and readying themselves with libations. Tomorrow is the start of three days of destination cruising, racing and layday fun, including the Bitter End Cup, the Nation’s Challenge Cup, one design and dinghy racing and the Nanny Cay Cup. All of this will lead up to the main event, the three-day BVI Spring Regatta starting which begins on Friday, March 30.

Ten boats are sailing in the Racing division and they include the second, third and fourth place finishers in last weekend’s St. Thomas International Rolex Regatta. Mad IV (second), a Grand Soleil 50, Yeoman XXXII (third), a Rogers 46, and Dark & Steamy (fourth), a DK 46, get a chance to continue their rivalry. Also of note in this division is Team Paul Mitchell, who placed second last weekend in the Racer Cruiser class. The Team gets another go at Martin Jacobsen’s Crescendo who placed first in the same class.

The biggest division for the Festival is the Cruising class with nineteen boats. After placing second in last year’s event and third in her class in Rolex last weekend, Shamrock, Tom Mullin’s J120, is one of the boats that should lead the fleet.

In the Bareboat division, Dunbar, one of The Moorings’ local skippers, will be competing. This may come as disappointing news to some of the other sixteen skippers in this division as he won this event last year and placed third in the 2006 BVI Spring Regatta.

Initial predictions were for very little wind tomorrow but updates are calling for 15 – 16 knots of wind and enough cloud cover so that it won’t be too hot in the Caribbean sun. The race course will lead the competitors from the Nanny Cay Marina and take them past the Baths, one of the British Virgin Islands’ most picturesque natural wonders, along the northern shore of Virgin Gorda and the southern side of the islands known as the Dogs, and Cockroach Rock,. They will enter North Sound via a channel through Colquhoun Reef and finish just off of Bitter End Yacht Club. Tomorrow night, Bitter End has an awards ceremony planned for 6PM when the Bitter End Cup will be presented,. Later, competitors get to show off their skills on the dance floor and in the limbo contest.

BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival encompass two great events. The 2007 Sailing Festival – a low-pressure, three-day warm up for the regatta – starts 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, lead 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.

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