Sun. Warm. Cocktails. Beach. Sailing. If any part of this sounds good, get yourself to the Caribbean for the 49th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival.
2020 promises to be another great event with a format that has proven a winner: Race week schedule will include the traditional Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, followed by Scrub Island Invitational on day two of racing in the Sailing Festival. Three great days of racing follow for the 49th BVI Spring Regatta.
A week-long racing adventure in the stunning islands of the British Virgin Islands is one not to be quickly forgotten, as is borne out by the numerous competitors who return annually to soak up the sun and enjoy the joy of trade wind racing. BVI Spring Regatta competitors join the friendly competition from all corners of the world, some racing their own boats with long-time crew and others who choose to bareboat charter from the event’s long-time partners Sunsail and The Moorings, or charter race-ready boats from companies like Global Yacht Racing, LV Yachting Limited, and Caribbean Races.
The Moorings and Sunsail, with their home base in Tortola, have provided excellent racing bareboats and the use of custom-designed catamarans as committee boats for the event.
“Sunsail has added new boats to their fleet which is a bonus for sailors looking to charter bareboats – in 2019, five Sunsail 41′ s made up Bareboat 3 division so expect to see that class grow,” said Ian Pedersen, marketing manager. The winner of the Sunsail Bareboat fleet also wins the International Yacht Club Challenge prize – a free Sunsail charter.
Sailing on courses between the islands, on the Caribbean Sea and Sir Francis Drake Channel keep the competitive bareboat fleet in the BVI Spring Regatta on their toes – Papillon far right – photo © Ingrid Abery
Andy Friedman (S/V Papillon) from Bensalem, PA, is back for his third BVI Spring Regatta – the great racing keeps bringing him back. “One would think sailing bareboats would be somewhat sedate. Nothing is further from the truth. Some of the crews are experienced and the starts can be quite intense, the racing very exciting, and the competition is great. I can’t say enough about the event. It really is a first-class regatta – the race committee is fantastic in coordinating the starts and setting great courses. The regatta village has been wonderful with all the food vendors and a great place to meet all the other crews.”
As Friedman pointed out, bareboat racing with just main and jib is a perfect way for crews who are not that experienced to get involved – it also means that teams don’t need a very large crew. Just charter a boat and come on down!
Following a successful debut in 2019 with an 8-strong fleet, the Hanse class will be back this year and expecting even a bigger turnout of Hanse owners and chartered Hanse yachts competing, including Juan Teixidor from Puerto Rico who took five bullets and first in class last year on his Hanse 455 PortoMar.
PortoMar, Juan Teixidor’s Puerto Rican Hanse 455 is back to defend his class win and will compete in a bigger Hanse fleet in this year’s BVI Spring Regatta – photo © Ingrid Abery
For sailing teams who are looking for BVI action this spring, LV Yachting Limited keeps a fleet of race-ready performance charter boats in the Caribbean. Co-owner Lucy Jackson said, “It’s not too late, we still have some great racing yachts available to charter so if you want some warm water pre-season training, there isn’t a better option than the BVI Spring Regatta.”
Andy Middleton of Global Yacht Racing, a pay-to-play charter operation, will also be back with a team racing on the Grand Soleil 43 Jua Kali. “We enter teams of individuals in major regattas around the world, often with podium results. We believe that as far as yacht racing goes; ‘anyone can do it,’ and our ethos is one of inclusiveness. We provide great training for the crew, so everyone is a valuable team member and gets involved.”
Spring Regatta regulars already signed up include Peter Corr/Blitz (King 40 – USA/USVI), Pamela Baldwin/Liquid (J122 – ANU), Rob Butler/Touch2PlayRacing (Reflex 38 – CAN), and Sam Talbot/Spike (J111-USA), as well as locals Eddie Brockbank/Lucky 7 (Corsair Spring 750 – BVI), Chris Haycraft/Pinger (Corsair F27 – BVI) and Joseph San Martin/Piglet (Newick Tee Gull 23 – USVI). Back to play in the Offshore Multihull fleet is Fujin, the Biecker 53 catamaran as well as competitors from the Gunboat fleet including Coco de Mer, Flow and Mach Schnell.
“For anyone interested in having a great week sailing and partying with sailors from around the world this is the place,” Friedman added. “To meet and sail against crews from around the Caribbean, US and Europe is really fun and something I don’t get to experience sailing in local club races at home. Beautiful scenery and great sailing in relatively protected waters; it’s a sailors paradise and very special having islands as marks!”
“Our host Nanny Cay, and our Village and Race Committee crew, is set to provide another stellar BVI Spring Regatta for the 49th edition of this fabulous regatta,” Judy Petz, Regatta Director said. “We are thrilled that so many sailors from around the world continue to put the BVI Spring Regatta on their annual calendar and we hope those who have yet to experience this special sailing event make it to our beautiful islands in 2020.”
un. Warm. Cocktails. Beach. Sailing. If any part of this sounds good, get yourself to the Caribbean for the 49th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival – 30 March – 5 April 2020 – photo © Alastair Abrehart
For further information please go to: bvispringregatta.org.
The eurrent list of 2020 entries can be found here.
by Michelle Slade