Torrential rain fails to dampen the spirits of the competitors at the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 29/3/07

The British Virgin Island Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival – which is this year celebrates its 36th anniversary – kicked off on Tuesday in overcast, rainy conditions. However, the wind held up and the 45-strong fleet enjoyed close racing from Nanny Cay Marina round to the Bitter End Yacht Club in a building 15kt breeze

In the racing division, British sailors David Aisher (Yeoman XXXII) and Nick Haigh (Dark and Steamy) had the luxury of sailing the last leg of race as a fetch. After their finishes, the wind shifted 40 degrees to the right and the rest of the fleet had to beat to the finish in North Sound.

US sailor Mark Palermo and Team Paul Mitchell were the overall winners finishing with a corrected time that was more than four minutes ahead of second-placed, Dark and Steamy. Dark and Steamy was only 47 second ahead of third place Yeoman XXXII, who was only eighteen seconds corrected ahead of fourth place El Ocaso..

Yesterday’s layday with torrential rain could have been a disaster but fortunately it did little to dampen competitors’ spirits. Held at Bitter End Yacht Club competitors enjoy a fun but rather wet regatta racing for the Nations Challenge Cup or dinghy racing.

A total of six teams, three from Great Britain, one each from the US, Canada and France, competed in Hunter 216s for the Nations Challenge Cup. With three races in the morning and two in the afternoon, the Steamy team from Manchester, England and proved themselves by collecting just eight points to win overall.

In the dinghy sailing event Jake Jefferis took top honours in the Laser fleet finishing second in the mornings racing and first in the afternoon session. Alec Sched finished first in the Lasers before lunch and Jayce Huff was third. In the afternoon, Zane Yoder was second followed by Basiena.

Today the yacht fleet will race back from Bitter End Yacht Club to the Nanny Cay Marina, for the Nanny Cay Cup. And in true Caribbean style, after the finish there’ll be a Mount Gay-sponsored cocktail party.