The 38th Pusser’s Round Tortola Race took place on Saturday, November 24 and the smallest boat in the fleet – INTAC, an IC24 – won the racing class. Besting much larger boats, battling big seas and winds gusting in the 20-25 knot range, INTAC won this annual circumnavigation after corrected time was calculated. Pusser’s Rum, the Original Navy Rum that was served onboard ships of the UK’s Royal Navy for 330 years has sponsored the race since 1989.
INTAC, owned by Mark Plaxton and skippered by 16-year old Alec Anderson, was tenacious as it hung on to the bigger boats that desperately tried to shake it off. "Annoyingly close the whole time," said one competitor. Second Nature, the Hughes 38 skippered by Bill Bailey, won the cruising class.
Trimaran Triple Jack, a 29-year old Kellsall One-Off skippered by George Lane, took line honours and was expected to considerably improve on its time of 4 hours and 8 minutes from last year, but finished seventeen minutes slower. However, there was good reason. The owner, Steve Davis, went overboard on the spinnaker run on the north side of Tortola and then the daggerboard broke on the last beat of the race. In the end, Triple Jack placed third behind the Sirena 38 Pipe Dream. Having survived the man overboard incident, Steve was awarded the Pusser’s Survival Kit.
Both the racing and cruising classes started in the Sir Francis Drake Channel off Nanny Cay and then headed anti-clockwise around Tortola. After the beat east up the Sir Francis Drake Channel, the fleet turned the corner at Great Camanoe, and it was a downwind run to West End where, after a quick wiggle through Soper’s Hole, it was a beat back to the finish off Nanny Cay for the racing fleet. The Cruising class finished off West End. The prize giving party was held at Pusser’s Landing, Soper’s Hole, where Pusser’s Rum ship’s decanters, flagons and hip flasks were awarded.
Report submitted by Pusser’s Round Tortola Race
1 – INTAC, IC24 – Alec Anderson/Mark Plaxton
2 – Pipe Dream, Sirena 38 – Peter Haycraft
3 – Triple Jack, Kelsall One-Off – George Lane
4 – Gryphon, J/40 – Jeff Williams
5 – CCT KATS, IC24 – Chris Watters
6 – Luxury Girl, Beneteau First 10R – Guy Eldridge
7 – Rhumb Squall, Antrim 30 – Alison Knights
8 – Diva, Modified 30 sq mtr – Robin Tattersall
1 – Second Nature, Hughes 38 – Bill Bailey
2 – Rascal, Cal 40 – Adrian Sinton
3 – Stella Di Mare, Grand Soleil 39 – Eric & Sheryl Groenenberg
4 – Mystery, Pearson 53 – Simon Wood