While holidaymakers on Tortola rushed to take cover from unseasonal rainstorms, BVI Spring Regatta competitors revelled in it

Thunder and lightning, torrential rain that continued throughout the day, and poor visibility did little to dampen the spirits of most of the 139 entries competing in the second day’s racing at the BVI Spring Regatta in Tortola today. The only teams who did suffer however, were the three boats struck by lightning. Fortunately no one was seriously injured but instrument failure was the main problem.

Instead of today’s planned racing classes round the island race which was decided against due to the forecast strong wind, the racing followed a similar format as yesterday with the racing classes completing three races on windward/leeward courses to the east of Nanny Cay Marina and the cruising classes completing just one to the west in Drake’s Channel.

In Racing A fleet Sotto Voce the Judel Vrojlik 66 gave indication to Equation the Andrews 68 and the Swan 70 Chippewa that she’s going to be a difficult one to beat in the regatta and in the overall Caribbean Big Boat Series. In all three races she nosed ahead, found clear air and, with some superb teamwork on board, did enough to finish ahead on corrected time which now puts her ahead overall but just three points ahead of Chippewa.

Celerity, the British Swan 48 owned and helmed by Stuart Robinson that went in today’s Racer/Cruiser A race with an overnight lead, continued her form and notched up another three straight wins putting her in a strong position going in to tomorrow’s final showdown. Not so fortunate in the same class was the German Nissen 55, Peter von Danzig. Having notched up some poor results yesterday they were determined to go out today and make an impact but as luck would have it, on approaching the first leeward mark, their mast broke just above the hounds, leaving the ill-fated team to limp home and drown their sorrows.

Although Lolita continues to lead the Racing B class she didn’t have it all her own way today with Carlo Falcone’s Vallicelli 44, Caccia ala Volpe, taking two firsts and a second which means she trails Lolita by just three points.

Having been holed yesterday Lost Horizon’s was back on the water today fully repair in fighting form. After an 11th in the first race of the day she then went on to clock two first places leaving her in an overall position of second overall going in to the last day’s racing tomorrow.

Mention should be made of possibly one of the most famous boats here at the regatta, Diva, the 73-year-old, 30sq metre owned and helmed by Robin Tattersall of the same age. This beautiful 39ft wood classic, which
Tattersall has completely restored, has not only been holding her own against her younger and more racy opponents in the Racer/Cruiser B fleet but has a prestigious racing history which includes winning the 1996 singlehanded TransPac Race with her previous owner Bruce Schwab when she was known then as Rumbleseat. She’s currently lying in 10th place one place behind the Swan 39, Mareva.

Cornix III, Roger Raven’s Jeanneau Sun Fast 37 from the UK has had a mixed bag of results including a fifth in the first race and two sevenths today. Although the results are not as good as the team expected, they do realise that the boat is a cruiser/racer with what they believe is a fairly harsh handicap.
Andrew McIrvine who helmed the boat in today’s races describes the conditions: “It’s been a fantastic week, a great learning experience and we’ve all really enjoyed it here at the Spring Regatta. However, today was more like Holland or England on a bad day rather than the Caribbean! It was blowing about 15kts as we left the harbour then the rain started, we had thunder, bolts of lightning, driving rain and the wind was up to 25kts and down to 10kts and shifting through about 40-50 degrees. I only hope the weather improves over the next few days before we set of for St Lucia.”

The weather here looks fairly unstable for the next couple of days so tomorrow’s racing should see more fresh winds making it an exciting finale to this three-day regatta.

For full results log on to: http://www.bvispringregatta.org/bviframes_racer.html