The BVI Sailing Festival continued on Wednesday 1st April with the Veuve Clicquot Invitational Pursuit Race to Jost Van Dyke. Spectacular sailing through one of the most scenic routes in the BVI was the order of the day, with the added adrenalin rush of trying to catch the slower yachts that started the race before the high performance racing yachts.
The race started from Nanny Cay and took the fleet through The Cut, the stunning passage between St. John and Great Thatch before turning north to round Sandy Cay before finishing outside Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke. Virtually uninhabited, the BVI’s fourth largest island is a popular retreat for locals and yachting visitors to the British Virgin Islands, especially for the popular snorkelling spots of little Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Cay, Green Cay and the miniature Sandy Spit. Jost Van Dyke is an island concerned with conservation; the JVD Preservation Society serves to protect the history, wildlife, culture and environment of its small archipelago.
To be honest, today’s activities at the BVI Sailing Festival were more about the party at Foxy’s Beach Bar than the racing, but it was a fantastic day on the water. Peter Schofield’s HOD 35, Zarafa won the CSA Racing Class. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster won CSA Performance Cruiser. David Lake’s Hunter 30, Wicked Winch was the winner of CSA Jib & Main with Charles Garrard’s Team Merlin winning in the Bareboat Class. Colin Dykes’ Londonderry Air was the multihull class winner. All of the teams that made the podium were awarded Veuve Clicquot champagne with the winners enjoying magnums of the fine French champagne, that dates back to 1772.
“Only one quality, the finest,” commented Caribbean Cellars Ltd, General Manager, Robert Knock. “We are both proud and excited to sponsor an event that brings such support to the Islands sailing community. We’re sure the sailors of the regatta will enjoy reliving their sailing or winning moments over a glass of champagne. Veuve Clicquot is recognised as one of the most prestigious Champagne Houses, renowned worldwide for the unique quality of its champagnes and its very distinctive Yellow Label. Congratulations to all of the winners, we hope you enjoy your prize with your friends and crew mates and sample more at the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar at the Regatta Village in Nanny Cay.”
Peter Schofield, skipper of Zarafa was literally swept of his feet at the Award Ceremony at Foxy’s Beach Bar, the young crew are all serving in the British Army and many of them are taking a short break from active service.
“The crew of Zarafa are all serving members of the Royal Dragoon Guards, most of whom have little sailing experience but they are used to drills and taking orders, so they have learnt very quickly,” commented Peter Schofield. “Today I was very impressed, especially gybing in 20 knots of wind, which takes even an experienced crew a long time to perfect. It really was a pleasant surprise to come out on top, but apart from that, we had a wonderful sail and at the end of it to enjoy a party at a great location has really made the day.”
Foxy’s Beach Bar was party central for hundreds of participants enjoying a hearty Caribbean barbecue and the odd cold drink or two. The world famous ram shackled beach bar was literally taken over by the BVI Sailing Festival crews, including the dance floor with the house DJ Dean spinning old Hip Hop tunes throughout the afternoon.
The top three yachts in each class were presented with Veuve Clicquot champagne by Judy Petz, Regatta Director for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival.
Racing at the BVI Sailing Festival concludes tomorrow, Thursday 2nd April with the VP Bank Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge. His Excellency, John Duncan OBE, the Governor of the British Virgin Islands will be in attendance and will be racing in the traditional BVI sloops, which date back to the early part of the 20th century. The Mount Gay Welcome Party for the BVI Spring Regatta with music by Final Faze will be held on Nanny Cay Beach.
For more information visit: www.bvispringregatta.org
Warm Water, Hot Racing, Cool Parties
More images can be found on Facebook and on the regatta website: www.bvispringregatta.com