Shaking off the lingering effects of New Year’s Eve hangovers, the crew of Pipe Dream, Peter Haycraft’s Sirena 38, taught a lesson in boat handling to young and old alike on Saturday, January 5. The Halyard Challenge regatta, sponsored by Latitude 18 and organised by the Royal BVI Yacht Club, saw the blue and white sloop take line and handicap honours in both races in a varied fleet ranging from a team of BVI’s hottest youth sailors to one of the region’s most respected senior yachtsmen.
If you wondered why a bunch of sailboats spent most of Saturday buzzing to and fro across the entrance to Road Harbour without seeming to have any fixed destination in mind, they were competing for glory, bragging rights and the generous haul of loot provided by Latitude 18 as prizes.
Haycraft, assisted by son Chris and an experienced crew, was able to place the vessel in good position at both starts, at full speed and heading in the right direction to lead from start to finish. They were able to take advantage of their deeper draft and size to head out into the strong easterly breeze running down the Sir Francis Drake Channel on the way upwind to the first turning mark off Brandywine Bay, while the smaller boats sought more sheltered waters inshore. They were also able to handle their spinnaker well on the downwind legs, including managing an astonishingly fast douse, repack and reset in the final race which finished with several changes of direction in a short space of time.
Second and third were fought out between two identical IC-24 class yachts, class heavyweight Andrew Waters in Conchquerer taking on Alec Anderson’s youth team aboard Intac, with Waters coming out ahead to finish second. In the battle to avoid last place (DFL in sailing lingo, the reader is encouraged to solve the acronym themselves), the maidens aboard Guy Eldridge’s First 10R Luxury Girl blushingly declined to hoist their spinnaker but were still able to eke out ahead of Dr Robin Tattersall’s venerable Diva by the narrowest of margins on corrected time.
King Greenspon of King Charters kindly donated his time and one of his immaculately maintained powerboats for use by the Race Committee.
Bragging rights in this case only lasted two weeks as the annual Governor’s Cup was staged on Saturday January 19.
Report by Latitude 18 Halyard Challenge regatta, courtesy of Emma Paull, Club Manager, RBVI Yacht Club. Photos by Pip Nockolds.
1 Pipe Dream – Peter Haycraft
2 Conchquerer – IC 24 Andrew Waters
3 Intac – Alec Anderson
4 Luxury Girl – Guy Eldridge
5 Diva – Dr Robin Tattersall