Light Air Challenges 2017 Spring Regatta Fleet
Leaders in Bareboat fleet consolidate positions
April 1, 2017, Tortola, British Virgin Islands – Racing started at 1000 in an 8-10 knot easterly on Day 2 of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta. Race one treated the 28-strong CSA Bareboat fleet to a spectacular course starting off the west end of Peter Island, up through the Sir Francis Drake Channel between Peter and Norman Islands, around Peter to finish off Pelican Island.
The large bareboat fleet is split in three divisions based on rating and LOA. Division winners today were Subversive-JogFund (6 points), skippered by Warwick Dunnett (USA) in Bareboat 1; Team NAIA-Pinel (4 points) skippered by Bob Beltrano (USA) in Bareboat 2; and Team Merlin-Sohcahtoa (6 points) in Bareboat 3 skippered by Alec Torrie (USA). In Jib and Main, Avanti, the Hanse 43 owned and skippered by Jeremi Jablonski, took two bullets ending the day in first with 7 points.
“It’s great to have such a large bareboat fleet here at Spring Regatta to enjoy our great BVI racing,” Judy Petz, Regatta Director said. “Walking down the dock this morning I felt like I was in 10 different countries at once, listening to the chatter of the teams in multiple languages preparing their boats, loading gear and greeting other sailors as they passed by. This is one of my favorite parts of the Regatta as it reminds that we are truly an international event. We promote Spring Regatta all year-round to Europe, the UK, Canada and the US during their racing season to let sailors know they can bring a boat, or charter a great racing boat right here in the BVI.”
Enjoying their first BVI Spring Regatta with a second place in CSA Bareboat 1, Team BYRA is racing on La Bella Vita, a Sunsail 51. The team of 9 sailing friends from Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, took a second and first to end the day with 12 points, in equal standing with third place Team Crude Yachties on Beer Chaser, a Moorings 51.4. Team BYRA normally race J-24s so are finding their BVI ride quite a step up.
“This boat does not react like a J-24!” John Fourqueen said of Team BYRA. “We’re really just a bunch of misfits and are definitely the worst dressed crew on the race course, but we’re sharing the fun and changing out skippers for each race so we had two different helmsmen today.” Fourqueen noted that they’re keeping a wary eye out for rocks around the islands but otherwise their biggest issue was that the store ran out of beer in cans this morning.
Team Crude Yachties, who all work for the local Moorings base on Tortola, are racing their second consecutive BVI Spring Regatta and are hoping to pull out all they have tomorrow to match their win in division last year. Skipper Mike Hill said the team had an appalling first start but picked their game up in race 2 to take a second. “Local knowledge does help as we know how close we can get to islands and rocks, but I have to add that both the boats ahead of us are sailing really well. We’re enjoying playing in the sun and to be able to do this Regatta is fantastic!”
Team Merlin took two line honors today, correcting out as two second places. From Marblehead, Mass., the friends usually sail together in beer can races on a J 105 and are enjoying their 4th BVI Spring Regatta. “We love it here!” skipper Alec Torrie said. “The first race was a great tactical battle between two islands on a nice beat, then around Norman Island. We lost the start so it was a battle two thirds of the way around when we were able to cross and hold off a couple of very competitive challenges boat for boat. The second race was pretty unique with a downwind start, we got off the line ok but one of our competitors got a great start so we tangled with them all way around the course which was tough in a dying breeze.”
In the Jib and Main class, Keith LiGreci (BVI), owner skipper of Girasoli, the Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey is in second with 10 points. “We had great racing, starting with plenty of breeze of up to 12 knots in race one, dying to 6-8,” LiGreci said. “We focused on keeping the boat moving and staying clear of all the other boats heading up the channel between Peter and Norman Islands where we got into a very fun tacking duel with Sam of Hamble all the way up. We pretty much sailed our own course, staying to the east side of Peter and hugging the island all the way up to Cay Cay to White Bay. Rounding the west of end of Norman we played the fluky breeze all the way to Pelican on a downwind reach to the finish – the guys really worked their tails off!”
Sunday is the final day of racing for the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta fleet, with the first gun at 1000. The Spring Regatta Awards Ceremony is at 1730, and festivities will continue well into the night with Chef Al & the Hot Sauce Band, sponsored by Absolut.