The 42nd annual PegLegs Round Tortola Race organised by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and sponsored by Nanny Cay Resort, Marina and Boatyard will take place on Saturday, November 19th. Three classes – racing, cruising and multihull – will compete in the 36-mile race with all eligible for the overall prize. The much loved trimaran Triple Jack will be aiming to make it three wins in a row at this year’s race. The 47 foot ‘one-off’ Kelsal, owned by Richard Woodridge and Steve Davis, has won the Round Tortola trophy for the last two years and in 2009 set the race record for the fastest circumnavigation in 3 hours, 33 minutes and 27 seconds.
Last year Triple Jack was on course to beat its own record before disaster struck. As skipper George Lane recalled: “It all went swimmingly well until Soper’s Hole when the boat suddenly didn’t feel quite as good as it should and we realized that we had snapped our dagger board off!” Fortunately Triple Jack was still able to beat up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the finish line and take first place in the racing class; she held off igoodia, skippered by Milt Baehr and Mark Plaxton, by one minute. Jack Dusty III a Pearson 40 skippered by 84-year-old Bill Hirst won the cruising class.
With the wind gusting over 25 knots the conditions tested even the most experienced BVI sailors. Peter Haycraft sailing Pipe Dream, lost his mainsail half way up the first beat on the south side of Tortola. Diva, a modified 30 Square Meter, skippered by Dr Robin Tattersall, lost the top of her mast on the north side. Of the thirteen boats that entered four did not finish with John Hayes’ Wild Fire awarded third place in the racing class for his sporting retirement to assist the floundering Diva.
Following the same format as the last two years, classes will start in the Sir Francis Drake Channel off Nanny Cay and then head anti-clockwise around Tortola. After the beat up the Sir Francis Drake Channel, the fleet will turn the corner at Great Camanoe and head on a downward run to West End where, after a quick wiggle through Soper’s Hole, it will be a beat back to the finish line off Nanny Cay.
The first start will be 9.05 for the cruising class, followed by the racing and multihull classes at 9.35am. Registration for the race will be held on Friday 18th at the Royal BVI Yacht Club, Road Reef Marina, between 6pm and 8pm. The after-race party will be held at Nanny Cay beach bar as soon as competitors finish, with the prize giving at 6.00pm.
For further information on the PegLegs Round Tortola Race, contact Captain of Sailing, Guy Phoenix, at the Royal BVI yacht Club or e-mail: [email protected] or telephone (284) 494 3286.
While Triple Jack still holds the record for fastest circumnavigation of Tortola in the Round Tortola Race, the outright and multihull record is now held by Soma, a Formula 40. Soma, a St John-based catamaran and frequent BVI visitor, smashed the Round Tortola record on April 15th 2010 in the first, and so far only, attempt on the Nanny Cay Challenge. Soma circumnavigated Tortola and outer islands in 2 hours, 50 minutes and 15 seconds destroying Triple Jack’s record set in the 2009 PegLegs Round Tortola Race.
The Nanny Cay Challenge is an all-comers event for multihulls and monohulls. The monohull time to beat of 4 hours, 15 minutes and 5 seconds, was set by Dave West’s Jurakan, a Melges 32, also in the 2009 PegLegs Round Tortola Race; there have been no challengers since then. Competitors must attempt the record anti-clockwise and round Beef, Scrub, Great Camanoe and Guana Islands to port. An entry fee of a $250 donation to a BVI charity of the challenger’s choice includes two night’s dockage (before and after attempt) at Nanny Cay.
As with most sailing events, the reward is in the taking part and bragging rights but record breakers are able to celebrate their feat with a free dinner at PegLegs for up to 15 crewmembers and a jeroboam of champagne compliments of Nanny Cay Marina. They will also get their name on the trophy, which will be on display year-round in PegLegs. To enter the Nanny Cay Challenge, challengers should contact Miles Sutherland-Pilch, General Manager, Tel: (284) 494 2512, [email protected].