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Countdown just five weeks to 2016 BVI Spring Regatta…


Rick Wessland’s J122 El Ocaso in the 2015 BVI Spring Regatta © Todd VanSickle/BVISR

“This is a fantastic event, with lots of variety in the racing, great race management and wonderful shore-side activities – get involved and enjoy!” – is the sage advice from Rick Wessland, veteran BVI Spring Regatta competitor. Wessland, owner/skipper of the J122 El Ocaso should know as 2016 marks his 9th entry in the competition.

El Ocaso is just one of 80 boats already signed up to race the 45th edition of this iconic Caribbean racing event. Entries are coming in fast and furious from all corners: the US, Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Canada, Ireland, Argentina, Germany and of course local sailors from right here in the British Virgin Islands.

Chris Haycraft, from Road Town, Tortola, will be racing his Sirena 28 Pipedream and considers he has a leg up over the competition in at least one regard, “We locals know where the after parties are! And, most importantly we know where to get the good coffee in the morning.”

Registration for this year’s event kicks off at noon on Monday March 28, with the Opening Party at 6pm sure to bring together old friends and racing foe. Tuesday March 29th brings on the Nanny Cay Challenge, a 31-nautical mile jaunt around Tortola for the Nanny Cay Cup and challenge for the fastest mono and catamaran record around the island, setting the stage for a competitive and challenging week of racing in the spectacular waters of the BVI.

Spring Regatta is fortunate to have so many past competitors return year after year simply because the event is so much fun, a must-do on every racer’s sailing calendar. Steve and Heidi Benjamin owners of the TP52 Spookie, from Norwalk, CT, are excited to be back again with a new boat. They’ve upgraded from a Carkeek 40 to the TP52 and as such have expanded their usual crew to 15 with the addition of four grinders who they’ll be counting on to get them around the race course in quick time.


Hoping to retain the Nanny Cup – 2015 winners, Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s TP52 Spookie, © Todd VanSickle/BVISR

“It’s a good idea to arrive early and really enjoy the entire Sailing Festival,” Benjamin said. “It’s some of the most fun racing around beautiful islands, and helps your team practice for the main event.”

Sam Talbot, from Centerpoint, New York and owner/skipper of the J111 Spike, also likes to start the party early at BVI Spring Regatta, “We are always sailing with different crew so we have become pretty efficient at crash courses for various areas of the boat. We plan to put a solid day of practice in before the Nanny Cay Cup race so everybody can get familiar with their position.”
Arriving in good time for the BVI Sailing Festival and Nanny Cay Cup is recommended by Sam Talbot, owner of J111 Spike © Todd VanSickle/BVISR

Arriving in good time for the BVI Sailing Festival and Nanny Cay Cup is recommended by Sam Talbot, owner of J111 Spike
© Todd VanSickle/BVISR

This year Talbot’s upgraded his sail inventory from North 3DLs to 3DIs, and is looking forward to more control with the new sails across a bigger wind range. Nonetheless, equipment aside, he advises newcomers to the event not to take anything too seriously at Spring Regatta, “The banter out on the water is what makes it so much fun!”
With a different race course every day and guaranteed no-two-days-of-racing-the-same sets BVI Spring Regatta apart from other yacht racing events. Fabulous beach parties every evening are the only way to end a perfect day of warm-water Caribbean racing. With a long-time “home” base at Nanny Cay where families can also enjoy all that Tortola and the surrounding islands offer, the event offers something for everyone.
“There is so much to like – the incredible scenery, reliably strong winds, challenging courses, and of course the parties at Nanny Cay!” Benjamin commented.


The BVI Spring Regatta is the one Caribbean Regatta that has something for everyone who attends. Whether you race, cruise, practice or just come to party, we have it all! Race & Cruise your way through the BVI.  The weeklong BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival takes you throughout the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Starting at Nanny Cay, the Sailing Festival is two days of warm up racing.  Then the BVI Spring Regatta kicks off three days of some of the best racing in the Caribbean. Only the best survive to take home the Gold and the Glory, along with great stories and experiences that keep sailors coming back year after year. You can participate in all five races of the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, be it part or all of the Festival, or the three-day Regatta. With a huge choice of shore side accommodations and activities there’s no need to leave your loved ones at home.


To enter the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival and for full information, go to:

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Warm Water, Hot Racing, Cool Parties