Festival in Paradise

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Sailors from all over the world have gathered at Nanny Cay Marina for one of the Caribbean’s most spectacular sailing events. The three-day BVI Sailing Festival is the pre-cursor to the BVI Spring Regatta and offers the international fleet the opportunity of tune-up races for the main event. The Festival courses are designed to showcase the stunning tropical islands and feature fabulous parties in stunning locations.

The weather forecast for the BVI Sailing Festival is promising a delight for the participants. Trade winds are due to veer to the south east giving a gentle start to racing, but should also provide shifty conditions to keep the tacticians on their toes. Racing starts on Tuesday 31st March with the Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup. The Veuve Clicquot Island Invitational is scheduled for Wednesday 1st April and racing at the Festival concludes with the VP Bank Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge on Thursday 2nd April.

“There are so many wonderful places in the BVI and the Sailing Festival is a great opportunity to not only see the islands, but also to visit them,” commented BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival Race Director, Judy Petz. “This year, the Veuve Clicquot Island Invitational will be a pursuit race to Jost Van Dyke, which will be a fantastic experience. The course will pass Sandy Cay, one of the most photographed locations in the Caribbean. After racing, the famous Foxy’s Beach Bar on Jost Van Dyke will be the venue for fun and games with music and a beach barbeque.”

Nanny Cay Cup (Round Tortola Race) 

Tuesday March 31 starts 9:30 local time

Entries for the Round Tortola Race are up on last year, with at least 45 yachts expected to start the circumnavigation off Nanny Cay Marina. In 2013, Peter Corr’s Alia 82, Aiyana set the monohull record for the 37-mile course in 3 hours, 29 minutes and 44 seconds. This year, despite the predicted lighter conditions, Stefan Jentzsch’s German Carkeek 47, Black Pearl has the capability of breaking the monohull record. At least 14 yachts will contest the CSA Racing Division.

Race charter boat, Lancelot II crewed by Team Boston, will be back on the racetrack with experienced British skipper, Chris Jackson at the helm. American Brad Boston and his crew have chartered First 40Lancelot II many times.

Team Boston have been sailing with us on Lancelot II for the last three years. They started with one regatta and now do four a season with us,” says Chris Jackson. “The crew know each other and the boat very well and we love having them on board. The BVI is a beautiful location and this is a well-run regatta with an interesting mix of racing. The Round Tortola Race will give us the opportunity to get all of the sails out the bag and run through lots of different manoeuvres. I was delighted to hear that we will be visiting Jost Van Dyke, it is my favourite place in the BVI and the pursuit format should make the race a lot of fun.”

16 yachts racing in the CSA Bareboat Class are set for the Round Tortola Race and include a trio of Moorings 43.3s raced by sailors from Alabama. Skippered by Jim Proctor, Mike Graham and Dan Gourash, the 14 sailors are all friends and family. Jim Proctor from the Birmingham Sailing Club, is returning after competing in 2011:

“We enjoy the excellent venue and there’s a more relaxed vibe especially at the beach bar parties, but we have come here to win and there will be plenty of rivalry between the three boats. My son James will be racing with me and my brother-in-law will be part of the competition.”

Registration for the BVI Sailing Festival opens at midday on Monday 30th March. The Sailing Festival kicks off with a Welcome Party in the Regatta Village at Nanny Cay Beach. For more information go tohttps://www.bvispringregatta.org/schedule/ or #BVIspringregatta

Warm Water, Hot Racing, Cool Parties

Participants enjoy the BVI Sailing Festival Welcome Party in the Race Village on the beach at Nanny Cay
© Todd vanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival