14 Nations for BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival

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PRESS RELEASE: 20 March 2015


A magnificent fleet of yachts from Europe, North America and the Caribbean will be racing at the 44th BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival where a thousand sailors, family and friends are expected from at least 14 different nations.

The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival is one of the most popular regattas in the Caribbean, well known for superb sailing conditions and a friendly atmosphere. Competitors enjoy racing around a stunning array of beautiful islands with a fun atmosphere ashore. Hosted at Nanny Cay, Resort & Marina, recognised as one of the Caribbean’s finest marine facilities, the marina becomes party central every night with celebrations suitable for all.

Who’s out on the race track?
Racing in CSA 1, there are the mouth-watering hi-tech yachts from America and Germany, competing against each other for the first time. Steve & Heidi Benjamin’s Carkeek HP 40, Spookie from Connecticut USA and Stefan Jentzsch’s Carkeek 47, Black Pearl from Hamburg, Germany are both well sailed carbon-fibre hi-speed flyers on the course for the  first time. Multiple World Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Steve Benjamin will be at the helm of Spookie, with a highly competitive American team. Stefan Jentzsch’s Black Pearl, which counts America’s Cup tactician, Marc Lagesse amongst the professional crew, will be a great match. A number of customised flyers with skippers returning to the regatta, will also be racing in CSA 1. Bernie Evan-Wong’s Antiguan RP37 Taz, Peter Peake’s Trinidadian Ker 11.3, Dingo and Ben Jellic’s St.Maarten team on Wild Devil. TP52Varg/Conviction, skippered by Bajan, Clint Brooks makes its debut, as does New Yorker Gosia Rojek’s Swan 42, Better Than with America’s Cup helmsman, Andy Green calling tactics.


Five Melges 32s from Puerto Rico, USA and St.Maarten will battle it out on a mixture of tight windward leeward courses and point-to-point varieties. Sergio Sagramoso’s Lazy Dog was just a point ahead of Luis Juarbe’s Soca at this month’s St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and Jaime Torres’ Smile and Wavemakes up a hot Puerto Rican trio at the BVI Spring Regatta. Commodore of St.Maarten YC, Ian Hope-Ross, racing Kick ’em Jenny 2 and Tom Elsen’s Big Trouble, from Chicago Illinois, make up a fine class of one design rockets set up for some electric racing.

In the IC 24 One Design Class, eight teams will be pumped up for some rock and roll action on a tight windward leeward course. A high-octane programme of at least 12 races in just three days is scheduled. Colin Rathbun’s Tortola Express was a runaway train last year, winning 8 out of 12 races. Rathbun’s team is back, but teenage Tortola protégé, Jason Putley, at the helm of CYM/INTAC, will be looking to go one better than runner up last year. Team Island Water World, skippered by Fritz Bus also returns having come third in 2014. Tyler Rice, racing Bambooshay, may be one to watch; the youngster from St.Thomas was 8th in the 2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship.


CSA 2 features a number of well sailed yachts of similar design, which should provide highly competitive racing. British sailor, Tony Mack has been racing for 50 years and has taken part in numerous European and World Championship regattas. Last year, Tony’s team was victorious in CSA 2, racing Grand Soleil 43, Quokka. This year Team McFly is back to defend the CSA 2 title, racing a different race charter yacht, J/122 El Ocaso.

“This will be my fifth BVI Spring Regatta and we love coming here,” smiled Tony. “The team are all friends and we have raced together back in the UK for a number of years. In the past, we have raced in the Spring Series in Hamble but it takes me two hours to get to the racing and to be honest, it is freezing cold and at my age I like to warm up! We come out to the BVI and enjoy fabulous weather and eight or nine competitive races, so it is a fairly easy decision really. I have

always chartered at the regatta because it is so much easier than bringing your own boat. These days there is a lot of competitive, well maintained, race charter yachts to choose from and I have also chartered bareboats. It can be as much fun to race in that class because there is always another crew that will give you a great battle on the water.”Nanny Cay is a perfect host for the regatta with a great atmosphere, good food and a lively bar as well as a great beach and excellent water sports. Last year, our French bowman Cecil brought his kite surfing gear and entertained the crowd, performing acrobatics right off the beach – he will be doing the same this year. Winning is the goal, but it is impossible not to have fun. It really is a super regatta.”

 1bc8d0c6-a1fe-4580-848a-f62d7ef616a2The Jib and Main Class is ideal for competitive racing non-spinnaker. Two teams from the Royal BVI Yacht Club will be amongst the favourites for class honours. Bob Beltrano’s Swan 53, Nai’a returns after coming runner-up last year in Jib and Main 1, losing out on victory in the very last race by the narrowest of margins. However, with straight bullets in the recent Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean, the team will have their sights firmly set on a win this year. Keith LiGreci’s Jeanneau 40, Girasoli will also return to defend last year’s victory in Jib and Main 2.

Jim Hoelter and his wife Denny from Sonoma, California will be competing with their brand new boat, a Beneteau Oceanis 38, aptly named Denny’s Delight.  Having previously raced in the three editions with another boat, Jim and Denny are hoping to up their 2013 third place result in the Jib and Main class. Antonio Sanpere’s U.S. Virgin Islands Paralympic Sailing Team are more akin to be racing Sonars in one design fleets, but the sailors from Christiansted will be racing the new Catalina 30, Nauticayenne in a change of competitive style.

The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival offers a huge variety of competitors a choice of a week or just a weekend of racing. Ashore, Nanny Cay Resort & Marina has it all, including activities for non-sailors and folk who just want to join in the fun! Whether you race, cruise, practice or just come to party, the regatta is designed to suit everyone and is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful British Virgin Islands.


BVI Sailing Festival March 30 – April 01

The party gets started on Monday 30th March with registration and the Welcome Party for the Sailing Festival at  Nanny Cay Resort & Marina. Racing kicks off on Tuesday 31st March with the scenic Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup and concludes the following day with the Veuve Clicquot Island Invitational in Great Harbour, Jost van Dyke for an afternoon of fun, games and live music from the legend, Foxy himself.

BVI Spring Regatta April 02-05

On Lay day, Thursday 2 April, registration starts at noon for the BVI Spring Regatta and the Mount Gay Rum  Welcome Party kicks off the 2015 Regatta in style. A celebration of the maritime heritage of the BVI, with the VP Bank Tortola Sloop Challenge also takes place during the day.
Three days of world-class racing follow, with action on three separate race areas, custom designed for the 16 classes of yachts racing. The regatta also features the International Yacht Club Challenge where sailors from around the world compete on Sunsail charter boats, with a chance to win a week charter from Sunsail. After a great day on the race course, all of the sailors gather at Nanny Cay Marina to enjoy the beach, bar and restaurants, with live bands and entertainment in the race village every night.

The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival starts on March 30 to April 05. All the latest news, images and video can be found on the BVI Spring Regatta web site.

Warm Water, Hot Racing, Cool Parties

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