The winds were great for this year’s annual Round
Tortola Race when some 22 boats assembled for the all day 35-mile event. Both
Racing and Cruising Classes started in Sir Francis Drake Channel outside of
Nanny Cay Marina and sailed anti-clockwise around Tortola.
The Cruising Class had their finish in West End
while the Racing Class had to complete the entire island with a finish back at
Nanny Cay. With winds clocking 20 knots plus on the northern side of
Tortola there was much excitement in this event. Bill
Bailey’s Hughes 38, Second Nature,
tore his #1 Genoa
and still managed to capture first place in the Cruising Class. The boat I
raced on, a very fast J-120, Shamrock,
tore out the clew on her main going across the start but still managed to
compete due to some fast teamwork in a quick reefing job. The real competition
was between Mistress Quickly and Pipe Dream
who finished second and third
respectively, battling it out during the long down wind leg along the northern
coastline of Tortola.
the boats took long tacks up the Sir Francis Drake Channel heading east on the
first leg. Upon rounding the eastern corner the three top boats in Racing Class
kept close to the shore, rather than sailing out down the backside, with the
rest of the fleet, and made much better time. Helmsmen that I spoke with agreed
that the final leg, tacking east again up the channel to the finish, was the
most difficult stretch of the race.
Awards dinner and prizes were given at Pussers
Landing, Sopers Hole. Congratulations to
carried home the perpetual Pussers Trophy while the
top winners in both classes won Pusser’s Rum ships
decanters, flagons and hip flasks.