Sunday, April 1, 2012

BVI Spring Regatta Preview

BVI Spring Regatta, Tortola (Tortola, British Virgin Islands)- The BVI Regatta & Sailing Festival is famed for gorgeous sailing conditions, hot racing and a friendly atmosphere which attracts a large number of competitors with impressive sailing backgrounds. Nanny Cay Marina, home of the regatta is a heavenly setting; a stunning sheltered bay surrounded by awe-inspiring terrain. Sage Mountain National Park encompasses the highest point overlooking the Regatta Village. The dramatic mountain ridge runs along the spine of Tortola, rising to 1,716 feet at its highest point and locals have a nickname for the steep road running up to this sensational vantage point - ‘The Elevator’ is not for the faint hearted but the vista offered from the top of Tortola is absolutely breathtaking.

The British Virgin Islands are renowned for crystal blue waters and heavenly weather and the stunning archipelago of islands offers one of the most picturesque settings anywhere in the Caribbean.  The stunning race area for the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival encompasses 22 awe-inspiring islands. The most eastern extreme of the race area is Richard Branson's fabulous Necker Island and the most westward being Jost van Dyke. Six days of hot racing start on Tuesday 27th March with the Bitter End Cup Race from Nanny Cay to Virgin Gorda and back.

Nanny Cay Marina will be buzzing with excitement; Wednesday and Thursday 28-29 March, Nanny Cay plays host to the GILL BVI International Match Racing Championships. Two days of exciting duels between IC-24's on tight windward leeward courses. Eight international teams will battle it out in an ISAF sanctioned Grade 3 match racing event.

"The BVI" certainly has strong appeal to J sailors around the globe.  Like former J/44 owner Bill Alcott sailing his latest EQUATION who's come back to the islands repeatedly for dozens of years, other big fans of the BVI are included in this roster of J/Teams below.  In Class 2 Racing we'll see the return of the J/125 AUNT JESSIE sailed by Jordan Mindich, they love the courses and like their stablemates, when the J/125 "lights up" on the offwind legs in long planes down enormous swells in the 15-25 kt trade winds, AUNT JESSIE is a sight to behold.

The Class 3 Racing group has two J/105s that are incredibly well-sailed, one just having won the prestigious Rolex Cup Regatta in St Thomas.  Leading the 105s will undoubtedly be DARK STAR skippered by Jonathan Lipuscek, the latest addition to the Rolex Submariner "win-de-watch-mon" club holders.  Don't discount the ABRACADABRA SAILING TEAM lead by Carlos Camacho.  Of course, no one can deny the fact that another Rolex Submariner winning veteran will be Rick Wesslund's crackerjack team on the J/120 EL OCASO (Rick, does each crew member have a Rolex by now??).

Over in Class 5 Racing, the range of talent and unpredictability makes it tough to call a winner anywhere.  However, several veteran BVI racing teams are competing from Puerto Rico, including the fast J/27 MAG 7 sailed by Paul Davis, the two J/80s (SUNBUM 2 sailed by Angel Ayala and OTRAKOSA skippered by Kike Gonzalez) and the J/33 BOOMERANG sailed by Patrick Nolan.

The Class 7 Non-Spinnaker class of big fast cruising sailboats will have to contend with two "classics" in the J/Cruising family, the J/160 AVATAR sailed by Alan Fougere and the J/46 JENT sailed by Henry van Melle.

Finally, if any one of the classes above think they have some good competition, the Class 8 Non-spinnaker of smaller cruisers has all kinds of cowboys shooting for the top of the podium.  Always a factor will be the J/36 CAYENNITA GRANDE sailed by Steve Joines and Antonio Sanpere from Christiansted, St. Croix and keeping them honest will be the J/95 SHAMROCK VII  sailed  by Tom Mullen from New Hampshire.  For more BVI Spring Regatta sailing information