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Mother Nature Tried but Couldn’t Dampen the Layday Fun at Bitter End

Mother nature did her best to dampen the sailors fun today but- it takes more than a couple hours of torrential rain to ruin a day on the water at the Bitter End Yacht Club. Today, the official layday for the BVI Sailing Festival, every sailing dinghy and Hunter 216 that Bitter End has was out on the water participating in either the Nations’ Challenge Cup or dinghy racing. Competition began in the morning with about ten knots of breeze but was delayed due to some torrential showers in the early afternoon. The weather cleared and, with very light and fluky wind, sailors took the boats around 4PM to compete in two more races.

A total of six teams, three from Great Britain, one each from the US, Canada and France, competed in the Hunter 216’s for the Nations’ Challenge Cup. With three races in the morning and two in the afternoon, the “YoSteamyMan” team, from Manchester, England and sailing the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival on Dark and Steamy were victorious with only eight points. They were followed by another English team, a group sailing on Mark IV, with 14 points. The real battle of the points was for third through fifth place. Scoring 19, 19.5 and 20 points respectively, Team Canada, a third British team , and Team USA enjoyed some very close competition.

Jake Jefferis took top honours in the Laser fleet finishing second in the mornings racing and first in the afternoon session. Alec Sched finished first in the Lasers before lunch and Jayce Huff was third. In the afternoon, Zane Yoder was second followed by Basiena.

The Hobie Wave fleet raced in the morning. Michael Heidweiller was first, Claire Knapman second and Joob Espresso was third.

“Dispite the rain, everyone had a great time. Mother nature threw us a curve ball but Bitter End is good a delivering great fun,” said the Bitter End Sales Manager, Erik Stacey. While the heavens opened up, the crowds enjoyed the restaurant and pub and Will Ferrell movies.

Tomorrow, the fleet of 45 boats will be racing back from the Bitter End Yacht Club to the Nanny C ay Marina, the event host, for the Nanny Cay Cup. Mount Gay sponsors a cocktail party late Thursday afternoon and there will be an evening of entertainment by Too Smooth. The weather for the main event, the three-day BVI Spring Regatta which begins on Friday, March 30, is not expect to be too hot with winds ranging from a low of 13 to a high of 21.

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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