Conch Charters of the BVI won this year's Quantum IC24 International sailing regatta organised by the Royal BVI Yacht Club 25/26 June. Conch Charters was skippered by Andrew Waters.
Unlike last year's event which was interrupted with frequent squalls, weather conditions were perfect in the Sir Francis Drake channel for sailing this year. Nevertheless, this did not prevent a serious collision in the first leg of the first race. Fortunately no-one was hurt, but Latitude 18 (BVI) and skipper Chris Haycraft had to retire their boat. Grey Ghost (BVI), skippered by George Lane, were at fault for the collision, and behaved with excellent sportsmanship. They immediately retired from the race and offered their boat to Mr Haycraft for the remainder of the event. Fortunately this was not necessary, since Mr Haycraft was able to muster another boat, and returned in time for the third race.
Frits Bus (St Maarten) and Chuck Pessler (St Thomas) were racing on Desperado, and took an early lead with two wins in the first three races. However, the ultra-competitive nature of IC-24 one-design racing saw wins for four different boats during the course of the first morning. After lunch, a series of four wins in a row allowed Conch Charters to open up a 14 point lead by the end of day one.
On day two, Conch Charters continued their winning streak, and secured their well-deserved victory and a prize of $1,000. Desperado were second, with Latitude 18 securing third place with a victory in the final race of the event. Winning skipper Andrew Waters commented that he and his team have been working hard on improving their sailing, and this has paid off with their first victory in an IC-24 regatta.
The special award of the "IC-24 misadventure shield" went to Grey Ghost and George Lane. The shield is constructed from part of the hull of the original Latitude 18. This fun award simply underlined the good-natured yet competitive nature of the event.
Race organiser from the Royal BVI Yacht Club, Guy Phoenix commented: "We were delighted with the excitement and competitiveness of the regatta. We're hoping that next year we can build on the success of this year's events and see even more countries represented for this IC24 class."
The Royal BVI Yacht Club would like to give special thanks to the event sponsors, Quantum Sails and Kevin Wrigley, for the generous prizes and donation to the RBVIYC youth sailing fund. Thanks also go to Nanny Cay for hosting the event and for laying on food and live music – A Type of Toad. Finally, RBVIYC would like to thank the race organisation volunteers Dave Clasen, Dick Schoonover, Eddie Brockbank and Bob Phillips for helping to make the event such a success.
1st: Conch Charters, Andrew Waters
2nd: Desperado, Frits Bus / Chuck Pessler
3rd: Latitude 18, Chris Haycraft
4th: Racing in Paradise, Richard Wooldridge
5th: Lime, Ant Wighting
6th: Grey Ghost, George Lane