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BVI Spring Regatta 2017: Tight Racing, Light Airs

Island Water World Racing, Frits Bus and Chuck Pessler won the IC24 One Design class. Photo: BVISR/www.ingridabery.com

Competitors in the 46th edition of the BVI Spring Regatta were only too happy to call it quits after one final race on the last day when extremely light air made for very shifty and challenging conditions. Little breeze translated to a very hot day so a swim and a cold beer was the perfect race substitute for most of the 86-strong fleet. Final results in several classes came down to the wire in the last race: In CSA Racing 2, Chris Haycraft (BVI) racing on Pipedream took first in class by half a point, beating Tony Mack (GBR) on Team McFly who has won the division for the past four years. In the IC 24 class, Frits Bus and Chuck Pessler racing on Island Water World Racing prevailed in a tie breaker with Aeropost.com skippered by Colin Rathbun.

Peter Corr took first in CSA Racing 1 on his new boat Blitz, a King 40. “Today was super light air with the breeze shifting dramatically at the start and throughout racing,” Corr said. “We saw two knots at one point then as much as eight or nine. The competition here this week has been really high level. I love racing here, it’s just magical!”

Haycraft, Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club said, “The beauty of this regatta is that you are racing against boats you don’t know, so you don’t know how they are going to perform which makes it all the more interesting. It’s also been enjoyable to see more of our local ex-pats visiting the event village to see what it is all about.”

After three days of racing, Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club, Chris Haycraft’s Sirena 38, Pipedream won Racing 2. Photo: BVISR/www.ingridabery.com
After three days of racing, Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club, Chris Haycraft’s Sirena 38, Pipedream won Racing 2. Photo: BVISR/www.ingridabery.com

Pipedream is a 32-year old boat so Haycraft is only too happy that it is still holding together and able to win races, especially on the last day in which they took line honors in CSA Racing 2. “Not bad for the slowest and probably the oldest boat in the fleet,” Haycraft joked. His crew did mention that five of them had to go below to sit on the keel for a while to manage weight … which was like sitting in a sauna. The things people do for a win …

Julian Mann’s Don’t Panic, took first place in the small but very competitive C&C 30 one design class. “After last weekend in St Thomas (St. Thomas International Regatta), I feel like we came into Spring Regatta as the underdog,” Mann said. “We knew we were in a controlling and potentially winning positions in St Thomas in virtually every race, but it seemed like we were racing ourselves. This week we’ve really put a lot of time and effort into fixing that and there are certainly more things to work on, but our improvement shows in the results, which we’re really happy with.”

Avanti, the Hanse 43 skippered by Jeremi Jablonksi (USA), racing with crew from their own Cedar Point YC on Long Island, took first in Jib “We sailed in a pretty large division with great sailors and super friendly competition,” Jablonski said. He added that they were excited to have two new people on board and to be able to introduce them to yacht racing.

Six bullets and a 2nd place in the last race rewarded Peter Corr’s team on Blitz with an overall win in CSA Racing 1. Photo: BVISR/www.ingridabery.com
Six bullets and a 2nd place in the last race rewarded Peter Corr’s team on Blitz with an overall win in CSA Racing 1. Photo: BVISR/www.ingridabery.com

In Bareboat 1, Subversive-JogFund, skippered by Warwick Dunnett (USA) took first. “An experienced San Francisco crew, stronger breeze, and some good tactical decisions picking the favored side of the course, earlier in the series, suited us and led to a very satisfying win,” Dunnett said.

Bob Beltrano has done BVI Spring Regatta eight times. He previously raced on his former Swan 53 Naia, but this year chartered the Sunsail 44i Pinel and went on to win CSA Bareboat 2. “Racing was fantastic, we had a lot of good starts and our local knowledge helped us,” Beltrano said. He added “I also enjoyed racing on a charter boat with insurance as my team likes to get into tight places, so this year they didn’t have to worry about the paint!”

In CSA Bareboat 3, Team Horizon, racing their first Spring Regatta on Jitterbug, a Bavaria 37, took first in class. Skippered by Frank Rowsell from Devon, UK, they raced with different guests on board each day.

Piglet, the Teegall 2300 owned and skippered by St. Croix’s Joe San Martin, took first in CSA Multihull division. The Offshore Trimaran division was won by local BVI team on Triple Jack, skippered by Richard Wooldridge. In the Offshore Multihull Division, the Gunboat 62 owned by Jason Carroll (USA) took first.

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