Today was big at the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Boats raced down from North Sound to Nanny Cay, competing in the Nanny Cay Cup, the last event of the BVI Sailing Festival. Registration for the BVI Spring officially closed at 6PM and the Regatta Village officially opened.
The Nanny Cay Cup
The winds shifted earlier than expected today with the south east breeze swinging towards the south. As a result, boats spent much more time with their jibs up than might have been expected. Spinnakers were seen as far west as the Dogs but after that, it was a beat to Beef Island and then only boats with flat reaching kites could carry them to the finish.
Andrew Dion, sailing on the Martin 49 Defiance, described the start of today’s race as ‘pretty hectic’. “A lot of boats came up with pretty high speed and the wind kind of shut off at the line. There was some confusion but in the end it was a good solid racing start.” He continued, “The wind was really shifty today. We started to go inside the Dogs but the wind shut off so we jibed out and went on the backside. We saw Equation, Bella Pita and Vela Veloce go inside and they were just dead. There was a lot better wind on the backside.”
Taking the top spot in the Racing class today was Zen, the Santa Cruz 37 chartered from On Deck Sailing by John Bainbridge. This is John’s second BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. The first time here, he bought an unfinished condo at Nanny Cay Marina and Resort and this, the second trip, is to celebrate. Sailing with John is Ian Williams, two-time world match racing champion. Ian is one of only five skippers to hold multiple match racing World Titles and the first European to do so.
Following Zen in the Racing class was Pat Nolan’s Sistership. Pat’s crew are all women who sail together only once a year and it is always at BVI Spring Regatta. “I told the girls enjoy today, we may not be on the podium much.” Vela Voloce finished in third place.
Registration Closes and the Village Opens
Officially registration for the BVI Spring Regatta closed today at 6PM. The registration tally stands at 101 boats but according to Paul Miller, the president of Caribdata and regatta scorer, there may be a few more boards registering tomorrow morning. Overall numbers are slightly down from last year but Paul was not concerned. “This year we have seen a drop in the number of Bareboats and IC24’s registered but this is the healthiest racing fleet I can remember.”
Bob Phillips, the BVI Spring Regatta Chairman, echoed Paul’s sentiments. “Great boats with fun crews having an incredibly good time on the beach; what more do you want?
Tomorrow the main event begins with the boats sprinkled throughout the Sir Francis Drake Channel on three separate race areas. Uncharacteristically, winds are expected from the north and to be relatively light.