Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival - Countdown to action underway

by Trish Jenkins on 7 Mar 2013
Beneteau First 42, Molto Bene enjoys some ’hot racing’ during the 2012 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival © Todd Van Sickle
There are less than three weeks to go until the start of the 42nd BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival and a truly international cast is preparing to take centre stage in the beautiful sailing grounds off Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival has always attracted sailors from around the world to take part and this year is no exception. Entries from at least twelve different nations will compete and include: Australia, Germany, USA, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Luxembourg, Canada, Russia, Switzerland, British Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands.

The allure of racing in some of the most scenic, varied and challenging waters on the planet is the reason that most competitors return each year. Uniquely, the BVI Spring Regatta race course takes place in the Atlantic Ocean, the Sir Francis Drake Channel and the Caribbean Sea.

Having competed in 2011, David Sampson's Alia 82, Aiyana (Mona Vale, AUS) will be back again with the largest boat in the fleet. Built in 2010, it will be hard to miss the 82 foot blue hull with its very sleek low profile lines:

'The courses are good and the sailing in and around the BVI is fantastic! We look forward to the nice weather, steady breeze and competitive racing with similar types of yachts. Because Aiyana is really a cruising yacht, we prefer to try and race against similar types of boats and that is why we target the super yacht events and the BVI Spring Regatta. Last time we raced a Swan 60 and a few other larger cruising boats with similar ratings, it was good fun. There is always a great atmosphere at Nanny Cay and the islands in general, so it's always enjoyable. The BVI are one of the best places I've been to for sailing and I have sailed professionally for 18 years,' says Sampson.

Richard Wesslund's J120, El Ocaso from Miami Florida (USA) had one of their best Caribbean racing seasons ever in 2012 and are hoping to repeat their class win at this year's BVI Spring regatta. Their highly competitive team get to vote on which regattas they attend each year and are looking forward to coming back to compete at the BVI Spring Regatta once more.


Puerto Rican champion and BVI fan, Jaime Torres has replaced his winning First 40 with a high performance Melges 32 and is looking forward to some top competition in the regatta with Smile and Wave, which includes a non-sanction event in the inaugural Virgin Islands Sailing Series for Melges 32s: 'I can't wait to sail against the world's best sailors in the world's best waters,' says Torres.

He'll be up against some tough competition in the form of BVI-based James Mark Plaxton's, Team INTAC. The highly successful team, led by USVI sailing legend and America's Cup champion, Peter Holmberg has a lot of silverware on their mantelpiece, including the current Budget Marine Match Racing Cup and top prize at the Heineken Regatta, The St. Maarten Cup for Most Worthy Performance Overall.

Jim Hoelter's Alerion Express 33, Nymph from Piedmont, near San Francisco, CA (USA) will compete as Penn's Landing Racing Team. The boat has competed three times in the regatta and all the crew (from USA, Germany and Denmark) raced together in the 2012 edition: 'We are hoping for a podium position this year. The BVI Spring Regatta is very well organised, great fun and the BVI is a great sailing venue,' says Hoelter.

Phil Lotz's Swan 42, Arethusa (Newport, RI, USA) will be one to watch. From the New York Yacht Club, the team will first compete in the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean, Virgin Gorda from 11-15 March before heading down to Tortola and the Spring Regatta. At Quantum Key West earlier this year, the team achieved a place on the podium for third in class and in 2012 were runners-up in the Swan 42 US Nationals and in the previous year, won the Swan Caribbean Challenge and best American yacht in Antigua Sailing Week following their impressive Class 3 win.

Like Toronto-based Pasquale Leone racing a Beneteau First 36.7, Hammertime II, many competitors are looking forward to leaving behind a freezing cold winter and heading for the 'Warm Water, Hot Racing' promises of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival.

Alice Martin's Painkiller Racing Team usually race a Sydney 38, complete with a huge flamingo mascot on the spinnaker, under the Chicago Yacht Club and Columbia Yacht Club. For the BVI Spring Regatta they will compete in the bareboat class racing a Beneteau 50.5:

'During the winter we seek warmer racing venues than Lake Michigan! We've heard the BVI Spring Regatta is challenging yet fun and are really looking forward to the week,' says Martin.

The team hope to top their third overall position achieved at last year's Heineken Regatta and already have a number of races under their belt in different boats, including Key West Race Week, Antigua Sailing Week, 2011 ORC World Championship, Croatia and the 2010 Newport-Bermuda Race:

'The Flamingo is our mascot and on our spinnakers in Chicago; the Painkiller our preferred drink! I became acquainted with the Painkiller cocktail when I cruised the BVI many years ago and it was when I was looking for a name for my third boat, a J-30 that it became Painkiller!' continues Martin.

From Dresden, Germany, Nikolaus Hartmann's Beneteau 50, Apollonia will compete in the regatta for the first time and signed up after deciding that they needed more of a challenge than just a cruising vacation:

Hartmann comments: 'We are a crew ranging from 50-70s in age and looking forward to competing in the regatta for the first time,' says Hartmann. 'Some of the crew haven't sailed before and others, such as owner, Gerhard Schmidt have sailed around the world, completing a three year circumnavigation in 2000. I have gained experience in racing over 30 years, crewing a Flying Dutchman in national and international competitions and I have skippered charter boats in the Med in around 10 races and not performing too badly! We know we can't win, but we are sure that we will be the most relaxed and the funniest crew in the fleet! We just hope we are not the last in our group! Let’s see what happens.'

The week long sailfest runs from 25-31 March and includes a newly formatted 3-day Sailing Festival (March 25-28), followed by the three-day BVI Spring Regatta starting on Friday 29th March. The Regatta includes the International Yacht Club Challenge and culminates in the awards ceremony for the overall prize winners on Easter, Sunday 31st March.
BVI Spring Regatta

North Technology - Southern SparsWildwind 2016 660x82InSunSport - International

Related Articles

Wild Day 2 at Sperry Charleston Race Week
For a second day, Charleston Harbor and open ocean just offshore provided near-perfect conditions for over 200 teams For a second straight day, Charleston Harbor and the open ocean just offshore provided near-perfect conditions for over 200 competing teams at Sperry Charleston Race Week 2017. Boats across all six courses faced brisk southerly winds of 15-20 knots, while the offshore boats saw five-foot waves and big gusts on the second day of the biggest multiclass keelboat regatta in the Americas.
Posted today at 3:21 am
The Vendée Globe skippers hosted at the Elysée Palace
The Elysée Palace yesterday hosted a grand ceremony where the Head of State honoured the heroes of offshore racing. The Elysée Palace yesterday hosted a grand ceremony where the Head of State honoured the heroes of offshore racing. Twenty-three of the twenty-nine Vendée Globe skippers attended the event, gathering around winner Armel Le Cléac’h, appointed Knight of the Legion of Honour.
Posted on 22 Apr
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018 to celebrate superyacht regatta’s tenth anniversary Boat International Media, the global authority on superyachts and the luxury lifestyle that goes with them, has today announced that it will be partnering with the NZ Millennium Cup superyacht regatta, to be held in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands in January 2018.
Posted on 22 Apr
48th anniversary of Sir Robin’s Golden Globe victory
Robin Knox-Johnston set off for Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, striving to be the first person to sail single handed In 1968, when 29 year-old Robin Knox-Johnston set off for the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, striving to be the first person to sail single handed, nonstop around the world was not the only challenge he had to overcome.
Posted on 22 Apr
Golden Globe Race Plymouth start confirmed
The 2018 Golden Globe Race will start from Plymouth on Saturday June 30, 2018. The 2018 Golden Globe Race will start from Plymouth on Saturday June 30, 2018. The Race marks the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s victory in the Sunday Times Golden Globe solo non-stop round the world Race back in 1968/9.
Posted on 22 Apr
Just a perfect Day 1 of Melges 24 European Sailing Series
The Race Committee under the supervision of PRO Bojan Gale managed to execute three great races for the first event Just a perfect day! What else can you say about the day where all matches: wonderful weather with blue skies and sunshine, nice sea breeze up to 13 knots from South-West and happy Melges 24 sailors enjoying all of it at the first regatta
Posted on 21 Apr
World Cup Series Hyères – Returning to action
There will be a Riou partnering Besson, but this time it will be in the shape of former Laser Radial competitor, Amélie. Besson, along with partner Marie Riou, won all four Nacra 17 World Championship titles in the Rio 2016 quadrennial but failed to capitalise on that dominance as a back injury hampered any Olympic medal ambitions the pair harboured.
Posted on 21 Apr
Bella Mente Racing revving up for a challenging European Race Circuit
With rigorous Caribbean circuit in the rearview mirror, Bella Mente Racing looks ahead to even more challenging battles At Les Voiles de St. Barth, there is no option for a premature starter to return to the line and restart; instead, a 10% penalty is added to the boat’s final time upon finishing the race. Bella Mente continued to sail a fantastic race, taking first place on corrected time, but due to the penalty fell to sixth, which ultimately hurt the team’s overall ranking.
Posted on 21 Apr
It's time for Qingdao and China round of the Extreme Sailing Series
The countdown is on as the teams prepare to take to the water for the second Act in China's Olympic Sailing City Following an epic season opener in Muscat in March, the racing reconvenes over China's May Labour Day holiday weekend, with open water racing on day one followed by Stadium Racing in Fushan Bay, a venue notorious for its temperamental weather that has previously seen multiple capsizes caused by its unexpected gusts.
Posted on 21 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr