Today was the kind of day that makes us believe that the British Virgin Islands must be the most gorgeous place on earth. With winds of 12 – 14 throughout the day, clear blue skies and turquoise water, the BVI Sailing Festival fleet sailed from North Sound, Virgin Gorda, downwind to finish just off the entrance of Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola.
The sleek, iridescent blue hulled Vincitore took the top spot from James Hudleston’s Three Harkoms and won the Nanny Cay Cup. Tom Rinda, the race officer said that after the start, and a short upwind leg, Vincitore took off like a rocket ship. Vincitore’s captain, Colin Booth, said that the boat sails relatively well upwind but really performs downwind. He reported top speeds of 26 – 27 knots with the boat reaching 20 knots easily. Today, Vincitore’s elapsed time for the eighteen mile course was two hours and ten minutes, more than one half hour in front of the next boat. With Three Harkoms in second, Arethusa, owned by Philip Lotz,, moved into the winner’s circle with a third place finish. Guy Eldridge’s Luxury Girl was behind by only four seconds corrected.
Tom Rinda described the start for the Bareboat fleet as eventful. “Justice tried to shut the door and did on two other big boats at the start but he also ended up shutting the door on himself. All three had to tack behind the line right before the start and Justice ended up being last across the starting line. “ Regardless of the start, Justice finished the race in third place. Team BVI took the second place spot and Cool Girl, the entry from Rob Swain Sailing School, won the Bareboat race.
In the Cruising class, after finishing third in the Bitter End Cup, Augustine, a Beneteau First 42 owned by Tony Sayer, placed first. Four minutes corrected behind was Kick Em Jenny, the Anguilla Beneteau First S7, owned by Ian Hope Ross. Nico Cortlever’s X 612, Vandriessel, placed third.
Tomorrow the main event, BVI Spring Regatta, will begin with 121 boats on three different course in Drake Channel. Although the world economy may have kept 2009 from being the biggest BVI Spring Regatta, it is looking like a great year with some interesting boats and competitors that have come from New Zealand, Holland, England, Ireland, Russia and beyond. There are professional sailors here as well as families and even a dog out on the race course. It promises to be a great weekend of racing fun and some intense competition.
Complete results are available at http://bvisr.result.vg/