This year's British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta will be assisted by two top-notch race officers
The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, presented by Nanny Cay Marina starts next Monday (31 March). The event which runs until 6 April is the last leg of Cape Air CORT (Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle) which also includes the St Croix International Regatta and the Puerto Rico International Regatta.
The event will be assisted by two top-notch race officers, Peter Reggio and David Brennan. Reggio will be running the spinnaker course and Brennan will be at the helm for the non-spinnaker course. Billed as “two great events in one” the event kicks off with a welcome party at regatta host Nanny Cay Marina. Three days of destination cruising and racing throughout the BVI with the Sailing Festival leadimg up to the main three-day regatta starting on Friday, 4 April.
Reggio, who grew up in Oyster Bay, Long Island but has lived in Essex, Connecticut for the past 30 years, has just returned from New Zealand where he was Principal Race Officer (PRO) for the Louis Vuitton Cup (the America’s Cup challenger’s elimination series). He was involved in the 1995 America’s Cup in San Diego and worked as assistant PRO during the 2000 America’s Cup in Auckland.
In keeping with the BVI Spring Regatta’s philosophy of open and helpful race management, Reggio is part of the new wave of race management and keeps the lanes of communication open between sailors and the committee.
Innovation and competitor satisfaction have been the watchwords for the BVI Spring Regatta over the last few years as it endeavours to keep ahead of the Caribbean regatta pack. To improve the racing, the BVI Spring Regatta was the first to split its courses for spinnaker and non-spinnaker boats.
In 2001, in a world first, the regatta introduced a new spinnaker course structure developed by regatta chairman and ISAF international race officer, Bob Phillips. The spinnaker yachts race on a windward/leeward course with separate start and finish lines and no set starting sequences.
With the separate finish line half a nautical mile downwind, the race committee is able to send different classes on different length courses and restart individual classes, instead of the need for every boat in the fleet to finish before the next race starts.
On the evening of Wednesday, 2 April, “Lay Day” for the Sailing Festival, Reggio (better known amongst racing sailors as “Luigi”) will be presenting his multi-media take on the recently completed America’s Cup. He had a “Fly-Bridge-Eye-View” of what made Alinghi faster and smarter than her competitors. He’ll also offer some insight into the next Cup series in Europe. The presentation will be held at the Bitter End Yacht Club’s Almond Walk at 7.00pm. Hotel guests, BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival participants and visiting boaters are all welcome. Admission is free.
David Brennan was born in Providence, Rhode Island but at the age of two, moved with his family to Miami. With his father, he built a sailing dinghy in the back yard and it is with that boat that he learned to sail. By the early 60s he was crewing on a Jet 14 and won the Junior National Championship in 1965. It was around that time that Brennan moved into bigger boats and bigger seas sailing MORC (Midget Ocean Racing Class) boats. In 1969, he sailed in the first of 16 SORCs. “That was the heyday of ocean racing around the world and I had it in my back yard,” said Brennan.
After enjoying several decades on the racecourse, Brennan said: “I decided it would be a good to give something back to sailing and started by running a mark boat for some of local regattas and soon found myself organizing and running races.”
One thing led to another, and his race management resume now includes being part of the race committee in Savannah for the Olympics in 1996, Field of Play manager for the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta for six years, race committee chairman at Coral Reef Yacht Club for four years, Regatta Chairman at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club for two years, principle race officer for division 3 at Key West Race Week.