J/111 Summer Storm Navigates Highly Competitive CSA Racing 2 at BVI Spring Regatta

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In 2016, Andy Berdon flew down from Newport, RI, to race the BVI Spring Regatta for the first time and left with a boat; between races, he found a Martin 49 for sale in the yard at Nanny Cay and bought it. The boat was called Defiance and he sailed her from Nanny Cay back to Newport that same year.

“I refit the boat and campaigned her for for five years as Summer Storm,” Borden, who resides in Newport, RI, commented. “We sailed back down for Spring Regatta in 2017 – it was really good to have a boat that could cover more than 200 miles a day and that’s kind of the dividing line for doing that kind of delivery, I think.”

The second Summer Storm appeared on the scene for Borden just last year after he sold the Martin 49. When he was looking to buy another boat fifteen months ago, there was not a lot to choose from in the Northeast at the time. Two J/111s became available so Borden made a quick decision to go that direction.

“The boat was ten years old; it was called Velocity in its last incarnation,” he said. “I refit her from the ground up, and love that the boat is quick.”

His boat captain Alec Snyder, his partner Katrina, and one other sailed the J/111 from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean to participate in the winter regattas Borden wanted to compete in this year, a long and not-so-pleasant trip on a 36’ race boat, Borden noted. Summer Storm raced the RORC 600 before BVI Spring Regatta, placing in the top five or in class, he said.

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“What we are learning about Caribbean racing is that the rating – CSA – is not as advantageous as we had hoped. But it is a quick little boat that will get up on a plane and we’re enjoying it.”

Earlier this week, Summer Storm took second in class for the Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, a great effort in a competitive division. On day 1 of Spring Regatta and sailing with his crew from home, Borden and his team scored two fourths and a third place in CSA 2, a spirited class against boats which have been racing against each other around the Caribbean for years.

“We’re up against Spike, which is our sister ship, El Ocaso is a very well sailed boat – Tony Mack is a great sailor, and Blitz is also very well sailed,” Borden commented. “Taz and I have been chasing each other on the racecourse all winter – Bernie is great for the sport, he comes out with a competitive program year after year, and he is obviously a great sailor also. The high level of competition is why I am here.”

Borden’s been a visitor and sailor to the BVI for years, since the seventies, and plans on coming back.

“I absolutely adore it. Obviously, Irma reset so much but so much of the rebuild particularly in the North Sound has been done so nicely. I can’t wait for Bitter End Yacht Club to be fully back. I love the BVI, and I think the essence of the BVI has stayed the same over all these years.” – Michelle Slade