Brothers Robbie and Mike Hirst led a strong fleet of international competitors at the second annual Nanny Cay Nations Cup that gathered November 10 off Nanny Cay Marina in the British Virgin Islands. The Hirsts, last year’s clear winners too, teamed up with last year’s second place helm, Colin Rathbun, to make an unstoppable force. Counting nothing worse than a third place in their 10 races the Hirst/Rathbun "Team BVI" finished the regatta with a mere 17 points. Simon Manly and his Team St Martin finished in second place ten points behind and Team USVI with Chris Curreri at the helm was third.
Fourteen teams representing ten countries rotated through seven one-design IC24s in 10 flights giving a total of 20 races for the weekend with each team competing in 10 races. The simple entry requirement for the Nanny Cay Nations Cup is that all crewmembers carry the same passport. IC24s are modified J/24s and the fastest growing one-design class in the Caribbean with fleets in the US and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Nanny Cay Marina was the main sponsor and event host. The Royal BVI Yacht Club quenched thirsts and stoked the barbecue all weekend. Stella Artois, Penfolds Wine and Highland Spring Water were in plentiful supply all courtesy of TICO.
"The perpetual trophy stays in the BVI for another year and the question is will anyone be able to dethrone these guys next year?" said organiser Richard Wooldridge.
The winds were a little light but on Sunday a steady southeasterly set in with glorious sunshine and perfect racing conditions. The fight for second place was intense; at the close of play on Saturday it was "Team Holland" who looked favourite with a six point cushion over the USVI. However Simon Manly and his St. Martin team came out blazing on Sunday morning scoring two bullets. It all came down to the last flight with St. Martin scoring two second places which knocked the USVI into third place.
A venerable English crew of Mike Masters, Robin "Dr T" Tattersall, and John Walsh, "The Beefeaters", were all at sea on Saturday morning with one crew member short. A young lady offered her services and was quickly snapped up by these veterans. "The Beefeaters" went on to sail brilliantly knocking Holland into fifth place in the overall standings. "They received the award for ‘best dressed crew’ with their white flannel shorts and old school ties. It should be noted that even with their 21 year old crew onboard they still managed an average age of 54!" said Wooldridge.
Seamus Hennessey was awarded ‘Bravest Man In The Regatta’ for sailing with four spirited Irish ladies and surviving to tell the tale. "Team Barbados" was awarded a bottle of Moet for traveling the furthest and showing great spirit at the back of the fleet.
John Holmberg was overheard muttering that his brother Peter [America’s Cup skipper for Alinghi] would be onboard next year to "sort those Hirst boys out".
For more information: www.racinginparadise.com
1, BVI, Robbie & Mike Hirst/Colin Rathbun (17 points)
2, St. Martin, Simon Manly (27 points)
3, USVI, Chris Curreri (28 points)
4, The Beefeaters (England), Mike Masters/Robin Tattersall, (30 points)
5, Holland, Frits Bus (32 points)
6, ORION (PR), Fraito Lugo (35 points)
7, St George (England) Andrew Waters (37 points)
8, Canada, Chris Watters (40 points)
9, BEYC (USA), John Holmberg (44 points)
10, Urayo (PR), Gilberto Rivera (46 points)
11, HIHO (USA), Andy Morrell (48 points)
12, Nanny Cay Expats (UK), Steve Roose (55 points)
13, Ireland, Sandra Dillion (61 points)
14, Barbados, Peter Armstrong (67 points)