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BVI Sailing Festival preview – Exciting changes for 2013

by Trish Jenkins on 18 Sep 2012
BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2013 .
The BVI Sailing Regatta and Sailing Festival is hosted annually by Nanny Cay. The event organisers have announced exciting changes to the format of the popular three-day prelude to the BVI Spring Regatta in 2013.

The programme includes a race around the island of Tortola for the Nanny Cay Cup, a race to neighbouring Norman Island for some beach-time fun at Pirates Bar in The Bight and then a chance to discover Tortola from a different perspective - on, off and under the water - on the final day of the Festival. The Sailing Festival offers competitors the opportunity to discover the magic of some of the 60+ islands that make up the British Virgin Islands whilst taking part in the Regatta.

Hosted by Nanny Cay Resort and Marina on the island of Tortola, the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival has moved the date of the 2013 event to March 25th-31st to allow sailors to compete in several different regattas in a packed Caribbean racing calendar.

Bob Phillips, chairman of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival outlines plans for a revitalized three-day BVI Sailing Festival: 'We felt it was time for something new, to keep the event fresh and interesting, particularly for our regular competitors. After 10 successful years of racing to the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda and back, it was time to offer something different. We are known as an innovative and forwarding thinking regatta and enjoy making improvements to keep it appealing, fun and interesting for the sailors and visitors.'

'Few regattas offer the opportunity to race on really exciting and varied courses each day in multi-challenging waters, which include the Atlantic Ocean, Sir Francis Drake's Channel and the Caribbean Sea. The new format for the Sailing Festival will ensure a pleasurable build-up to the BVI Spring Regatta and competitive racing on some of the best race courses in the world. We might even see a new record for the Nanny Cay Challenge in the Round Tortola Race. We are planning a Race-Beach Day and an opportunity for visitors to really see what Tortola has to offer when not sailing. We look forward to welcoming everyone to a really memorable 42nd BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival.'

Nanny Cay's General Manager, Miles Sutherland-Pilch is looking forward to hosting competitors from all over the world during the course of the week:

'Nanny Cay has been hosting the BVI Spring Regatta for over 10 years and we are happy to support the new Sailing Festival format which will give more families and friends an opportunity to come and enjoy the week, see more of Tortola and Nanny Cay. We'll have a BBQ on the beach, live music and of course a full bar each night of the Festival.'

'The new Nanny Cay Cup, which will now race around Tortola, will give all competitors a different view of the island. Adding in our Nanny Cay Challenge for the fastest record around the island is really exciting. I was on the crew of Soma which holds the fastest multihull record, so I personally welcome a new challenger to take the title; plus the chance of winning a jeroboam of champagne should never be passed up!'

The new format for the BVI Sailing Festival at Nanny Cay will run from Monday 25th through to Thursday 28th March 2013, when registration for the main BVI Spring Regatta will take place with the traditional Mount Gay Rum Welcome Party. Starting on Friday 29th, the three-day BVI Spring Regatta includes the International Yacht Club Challenge and culminates in the awards ceremony for the overall prize winners on Sunday 31st March.

The Festival starts with a challenging 31 nautical mile race around Tortola for the Nanny Cay Cup and seven class awards. If the forecast looks good, there's a chance for entrants to throw down the gauntlet in the hope of smashing the existing record for the Nanny Cay Challenge by setting a new elapsed time as they race round Tortola, starting and finishing at Nanny Cay.

The current records to beat are: Monohull record (4hrs 15mins 05secs) set in 2009 by Jurakan, Dave West's Melges 32 and the Multihull record (2hrs 50mins 15secs) set in July 2012 by Formula 40, Soma owned by Nils Erickson and Meredith Pridgen.

For these challengers, a jeroboam of champagne, dinner for 15 crew at Peg Legs Restaurant and considerable bragging rights are up for grabs. Nanny Cay will also donate $250 to a local charity if the record is broken.


Starting from Nanny Cay, competitors will race across to Pirates Beach Bar on the uninhabited Norman Island for a really fun day on and off the water. With a live band, beach games on the white sands, SUP racing in the clear blue BVI waters of The Bight as well as transport for family and friends who are not racing over to the island, everyone can join in the fun. A true BVI Beach day on an island perhaps most famous for being the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, Treasure Island, with a rich history of acting as a hiding spot for pirate booty! A chance to explore another beautiful BVI Island.


The final day of the BVI Sailing Festival is Island Day. An opportunity for visitors to really see what Tortola has to offer when not sailing: Snorkelling, diving and dolphin discovery trips, island tours and back at Nanny Cay Resort, Island Sloop racing for a maritime heritage display as well as the young sailors in the RBVIYC Youth Programme out racing Lasers and Optimist dinghies. There will be kiteboarding/SUP lessons and a bar open throughout the day as well as local food vendors serving lunch/dinner on the beach. Registration starts at noon for the BVI Spring Regatta with live music and the Mount Gay Rum Welcome Party to kick off the 2013 Regatta in style.

The Notice of Race for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival will be available at the end of September.




BVI Spring Regatta website

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