The weekend of June 25/26 saw 50-odd sailors from the British Virgin Islands’ financial services industry battle it out off Nanny Cay Marina in the inaugural Financial Services Challenge for the International Finance Centre Cup. Racing in the matched fleet of IC24s (modified J/24s) chartered from Racing In Paradise, the competitors saw 14 races which included three qualifying races to divide the competitors into gold and silver fleets.
On Saturday, perfect 15-knot conditions greeted the sailors and the points spread saw a natural break for the gold and silver fleet with five boats going into gold and four into the silver fleet. On Sunday morning, winds started at about 14-knots and steadily built to a solid 18-20 knots.
INTAC/Sucre went into the last day with a five-point margin over Harneys and had to fight hard to maintain the lead. Both Harneys and Conyers Dill & Pearman pulled out all the stops in their attempts to knock INTAC/Sucre from the top position but INTAC/Sucre eventually took the International Finance Centre Cup with a three-point margin. Harneys and Conyers tied with 25 points each but Conyers took the tie-break on the number of first place finishes to place second overall, leaving Harneys the third place slot.
The victorious INTAC/Sucre skipper, Mark Plaxton said his strategy was to maintain his five-point lead going into Sunday and not take risks. "After three races, Harneys closed the gap to one point. We managed to widen the gap on them, then all of a sudden out of nowhere came Conyers and they were only one point behind us. It was a three-way neck-and-neck battle during the last four races and it could have gone either way. The Viking Gods shined warmly upon our face and we were quite fortunate to finish in first place overall."
In the silver fleet, Banco Popular, which found its form – and some extra weight to hold the boat down – after the qualifiers, cleaned up with a 15-point lead over Walker Smiths who, in turn, beat third placers Citco by seven points.
The Financial Services Challenge’s primary sponsor and host for the weekend of sailing was the BVI International Finance Centre. For more information on the IC24 and photos and complete results from the Financial Services Challenge visit: www.racinginparadise.com
1. INTAC/Sucre, 22 points
2. Conyers Dill & Pearman, 25 points
3. Harneys, 25 points
4. Equity Trust, 46 points
5. Tricor/Euro American, 47 points
1. Banco Popular, 12 points
2. Walker Smiths, 27 points
3. Citco, 35 points
4. Streakin’ Beacon, 36 points