Registration for the 50th BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival is underway and outstanding conditions are forecasted for three days of racing in the Spring Regatta March 31 through April 2.
“Conditions for Friday and through the weekend are going to be perfect,” Bob Phillips, Regatta Chairman said. “We are expecting winds in the mid to high teens with temperatures in the mid-eighties and sunny skies. Different classes will sail different courses and the race committee is expecting to use some of the outer islands like Cooper, Salt, and Dead Chest for turning points – competitors will see the outside of some of spectacular islands they may not have seen previously.”
With 71 boats registered this year, the Regatta has traditionally attracted a diverse fleet of boats in addition to a strong bareboat fleet. This year is no exception, with eleven classes and great competition lining up in CSA 1, 2 and 3.
In CSA 1, The Lombard 46 Pata Negra chartered and skippered by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, won class in the Scrub Island Invitational, and has all the talent on board to do well in Spring Regatta. Lining up in CSA 2 is a fleet of long-time Spring Regatta competitors who have all raced against each other many times: Blitz – the Summit 40 owned and skippered by Peter Corr/USA, Team McFly on the J/122 El Ocaso, chartered and skippered by Tony Mack (UK), Spike – the J/111 owned and skippered by local Tortola sailor Sam Talbot who will be able to pace it up with another J/111 – Summer Storm, skippered by Andrew Berdon (USA), and Taz, the RP 37 owned and helmed by Bernie Evan-Wong (Antigua).
Tony Mack, who had a nice warm up to Spring Regatta cruising with his family in the BVI last week, is back for his 14th Spring Regatta. He and his UK-based crew won class in the Scrub Island Invitational this week and will keep on doing what they do well – sail well and consistently.
“This is our favorite regatta really, we love coming here and never like to leave!” Mack smiled. “The breeze is looking good and we’re looking forward to competitive racing.”
In CSA 3, all sights will be on the fabulous new addition to Spring Regatta this year, the three Cape 31 sport boats who will be very fast in the forecasted conditions: Adrenalin (Ireland) Flying Jenny (USA), M2 (USA). Flying Jenny has been tuning up and practicing most days after winning class at the St Thomas International Regatta last week. Adrenalin and M2 are relatively new to the Cape 31 fleet and will have their work cut out for them.
“We’re going to have a great week racing on M2, the racing here is spectacular, and the wind machine is on!” Tony Rey, crew on M2, said. “The plan with Flying Jenny is to follow right behind them right until the finish, which is when they give the prizes out, not at the start. If we do get ahead early, no problem, they give the prizes at the finish. Let’s go get ‘em!”
The Sport Multihull division will also be fast and fun, with five competitive boats from the BVI and one from St Maarten completing the fleet. Will it be a father-son show-down between Ting-A-Ling 2, the Corsair F31R owned and skippered by Chris Haycraft who won class in the Round Tortola race earlier in the week, and Ting-A-Ling, the Corsair F27 skippered this week by Haycraft’s son Nathan? All the cards are on the table.
Sparring began earlier this week in the Bareboat Fleet with Team Merlin (USA) on the Moorings 45 Sea’s the Daze taking first in class in the Scrub Invitational and also in the Round Tortola Race when they were followed closely by Rumba Fish Racing Team (USA).
It’s fantastic to watch the bigger boats in the fleet – the Offshore Multihulls – racing in the beautiful BVI waters – check out the images @bvispringregatta.com. The regatta is thrilled to have so many of these boats returning year after year including Mach Schnell, the Gunboat 62 owned by Kent Haeger (USA) Thirst, the Gunboat 55 owned by Seamus Hourihan (USA), Nemo, the HH66 owned by Todd Slyngstad(USA), and Coco de Mer, the Gunboat 66 owned by Angus Ball (UK).
It’s time to go racing – see you on the water! – Michelle Slade