Visitors to the BVI know how much these sailors love their games. Original party boy Dave Vincent started the “Anything that Floats” race in 1988 when he owned The Pub in Road Town. When Bonnie Gneiser bought it, she continued the tradition.
This year the Sinking Dinghy Race began festivities when 21 individual teams rowed the “sinking” Miss Bonnie (a hard-bottomed dinghy with holes drilled in the hull) out to a red buoy and then returned to the dock. This took over two hours with the fastest time at 1 min 5 secs.
King Greenspon did a great job as registrar and MC along with Brian Gandey & the Conch Charters staff as Race Organizers. Yvonne Remington was timer and scorekeeper.
In the Anything that Floats Race, last year’s champion James Giller – a pilot for the Royal BVI Police Force racing Eat my Wake III, came 1st. Coming in 2nd was UBS69, an above-water submarine designed and built by shipwright Erik Groenenberg that moved into 2nd, gaining speed around the marks as it was pushed by a crew of underwater divers. The Nanny Cay Machine II, The Revenge, headed by Martin Van Houten, came in 3rd, suffering a setback when their Polynesian-style outrigger pontoon continually ran into the last mark. However, they rounded eventually, beating out five other entrees. Chris Brockbank won the 12-and-under division of the race in a Nanny Cay dock wheelbarrow with floats.
Winner Giller tells AAS, “I used a similar concept to my machine last year. I changed the drive system (peddles) from a chain system to a V belt, the same kind of thing that you have on a car. Next year, my plans are for something similar but even better,” he added with grin and a large gulp of Budweiser, sponsor of the event.