The BVI Spring Regatta got off to a good start today with a record 139 entries

In contrast to yesterday’s stormy conditions for the last day of the BVI Spring Regatta Sailing Festival, the weather couldn’t have been better for the opening day’s racing at BVI Spring Regatta today.

Fresh conditions topping 20kts wind with bright sunshine were the perfect ingredients for the 139 Entries – the biggest turnout ever seen at this regatta. With two separate courses for the cruisers (non spinnaker) and racing yachts set in Drake Channel on the south side of Tortola, the event got off to a good start. The racing classes completed four races on windward/leeward courses while the catamarans had three, and the cruisers completed just one race.

In Racing A fleet the battle commenced in this, the penultimate event in the Caribbean Big Boat Series between Equation the Andrews 68, Sotto Voce the Judel Vrojlik 66 and Chippewa the Swan 70. But for Equation, the boat that won the first race in the BVI Festival on Monday, it was not a good day. A disqualification in the first race for a start line incident was followed by three thirds, despite leading the fleet across the finish line in all races. For Sotto Voce and Chippewa the results couldn’t be much closer with two wins and a second each leaving them with equal six points. Lolita, the Swan 56 was the star of the show in Racing B notching up four straight wins. And although Flirt the British Corby-designed 50 footer owned by Richard Matthews showed some good form taking line honours in all four races, she was unable to match Lolita’s speed. Another consistent performer was Riot the Farr 40 owned and helmed by Marc Ewing who took two seconds and a third and could be one to watch out for tomorrow.

With all to play for in Racing C with the final outcome of the Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (CORT) resting on this event, this fleet is the largest with a total of 21 entries. John Foster’s J/27 Magnificent Seven stole the show with two firsts and a second but 2 Contact Carib the Melges 24 came close with two firsts and fourth.

One of the unluckiest boats on the racecourse today was Lost Horizon the Olson 30 which, having entered the regatta in pole position for CORT and notched up a fifth and a fourth in the first two races, was involved in a collision which 13-year-old Ryan Bareuther from St Thomas described: “We were heading up towards the mark on starboard and as we were coming up I suddenly heard an loud bang. I looked over to the other side
of the boat to where we were sitting and there I saw Uncle Sam T-boned right on us. Once the boat was free from us we all heeled the boat over to prevent water seeping in and then we sailed the boat home. The good thing about it is that it will be repaired by tomorrow morning ready for racing.”

The other unlucky competitors were the Budget Marine team aboard Slam the Melges 24 that suffered a broken mast – apparently the third in the last two years.

Celerity, the British Swan 48 owned and helmed by Stuart Robinson was one of the stars of the show in the Racer/Cruiser A class. With a top rated crew including Russell Peters, Gary Wiseman from North Sails, Bill Pearson from 3DL, Tony Harris and a full compliment of their sailing friends, the team notched up a respectable set of results which included two firsts and a second. Robinson commented on today’s racing: “We had some great racing with plenty of breeze. The first race we were a bit rusty and had the wrong headsail up finishing and finished sixth but it all got better from there on. Overall it has been a good first day which I put down to excellent crew teamwork.”

For full results see: