“It started out as a
sparkling day for a regatta, especially considering the weather we’d had
for two weeks prior. A few small squalls later on made the day challenging for
the crews, and when we set the finish line inside the Bight, we thought that
would also make for an interesting finish. Little did we know at the time that
while the committee boat missed the squalls, the calm following the backsides
of various squalls didn’t miss us. Sometimes
the racers were drifting in, other times they came in flying across the line. I
guess the competitors were lucky we didn’t hang the finish line off the
stern of the “William Thornton” as was our first inclination… 100
yards nearer to the bar, you know,” Race Officer Dick Schoonover told me
about the weather at the 16th Virgin’s Cup run by the Royal
BVI Yacht Club.
Eighteen boats entered this famed
Lady Skipper event with Kerry Klein (USVI) winning the Virgins Cup Award in Racing Class on
Mistress Quickly, Guy Eldridge’s Melges 24 with Guy, Mark Peters and Stephen Carney as crew.
BVI’s Ulla Gotfredsen easily won the Cruising Class honors
on Shamrock, a J120 with members of
the West End Yacht Club Board as crew. Elsa Myers won the honors as the
Youngest Skipper, racing with Dr. Robin Tattersall on
his famous 30-Square Metre, DIVA. The joy in this pairing was that Elsa’s father, Elvett Myers, crewed for Dr. Tattersall
in the 1988 Olympics representing the BVI. Good Genes all around and
congratulations to each of these ladies for some great sailing. In fact, after
seeing the competition in this year’s race, no one can say that the women of
the BVI are not among the best competitors in the Caribbean.
Kerry tells me, “The best
part of the entire day was the ride back in front of a huge black thunder cloud
and squall line. We got a round of applause when we walked into Peg Legs
Landing. Apparently, everyone was watching us as we were screaming into Nanny
Cay under spinnaker in front of the squall line. One guy said he saw a funnel
cloud forming behind us and saw ‘tumble weeds’ of spray blowing
across the water as we were dropping our spinnaker and mainsail to come into
the channel at 30 knots +. As we rounded up to the dock to furl in the jib it
jammed, right when it was blowing like stink.” When congratulated about
her 1st place win, Ulla responded, “It’s all about team work.
Every crew member is essential and with Dave Cooper as tactician to direct the
show, nothing can go wrong!"
The Willy T was filled with
spectators for the finish of the race – a great finale as those who want to
party can view the competition as boats approach and cross the finish. Annie
& Mick Gardner, owners of the Willy T were the hosts with Annie giving out
prizes for MC, her son-in-law Ewan Anderson. Paul
Maddox and Bonnie Stormont’s ReAction was the
Committee Boat. Also on the Race Committee were Jennifer Hammond and Greame & Bridgette Maccallum.
Needless to say we all enjoyed the weekend and it looks as though some of the
participants might just need a year in order to restore their energy for the WillyT/Virgin’s Cup 2006.
1st Mistress Quickly Kerry Klein Melges 24
Myers 30 Square Metre 1:82:67
3rd Conchuerer Dana Waters IC – 24 1:86:80
-Shamrock – Ulla Gotfredsen J120 1:27:59
– Draggin Rope Dana Carini
Rainbow Maker Julie 57 ft sloop 1:39:69