Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

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

upffront 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82T Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

Last call! Counting down to a good time! - Register today
We are a week away from the start of the inaugural Camden Classics Cup and busy confirming numbers with our caterers We are a week away from the start of the inaugural Camden Classics Cup and busy confirming numbers with our caterers and libation suppliers. Meanwhile, the race committee is finalizing courses for a variety of possible conditions and making offerings to the weather deities. It is going to be a great time.
Posted today at 10:41 am
Governor's Cup – Tough fight on Day 3
Racing began at noon with lighter winds and warmer weather with temperatures in the high 80’s. 2016 Governor's Cup - Racing began at noon with lighter winds and warmer weather with temperatures in the high 80’s. As the day went on, there were big swells. There was a warning that life guards were tracking a ten foot Great White Shark in the vicinity of the weather mark. However, it was not seen again throughout the day.
Posted today at 5:34 am
Teams gather for Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing in this the 13th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.
Posted today at 5:02 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes Class40 win
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes the Class40 win in Saint-Malo While it started on July 10 resembling a friendly Sunday regatta on the St. Lawrence River, the fleet racing in close contact, this ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis is drawing to a more dramatic close today as competition in the lead-up to the finish line remains fierce after many of the racers spent the night in the English Channel
Posted today at 4:33 am
Balboa Yacht Club’s 50th Gov Cup Finale will be held on Saturday
The highly anticipated four final flights of the second round robin began at noon on Friday with about five knots of win 2016 Governor's Cup - The highly anticipated four final flights of the second round robin began at noon on Friday with about five knots of wind and continued temperatures in the high 80’s. It did increase to about nine knots but by four o’clock that afternoon, the wind died so the teams were sent back to prepare for the reception at the club that evening.
Posted today at 12:55 am
One day left to decide medal winners at ORC World Championship 2016
The high pressure system that has brought warm sunny conditions to Denmark this week did the same again today The high pressure system that has brought warm sunny conditions to Denmark this week did the same again today, but this time so effectively that it was doubtful any wind would be sufficiently strong and stable enough to race.
Posted on 22 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series – Pushing for speed in Portsmouth
Oracle Team USA finished practice on Friday looking to find more speed before racing starts to count on the weekend. Oracle Team USA finished official practice in Portsmouth on Friday looking to find more speed before racing starts to count on the weekend. It was a day of mixed results on a practice day that had skipper Jimmy Spithill wanting more when he pushed the pedal down.
Posted on 22 Jul
Entries now open for Transpac Los Angeles-Honolulu Race 2017
This iconic ocean racing will have its first race start for the Aloha class of heavy traditional cruising-type yachts The Transpacific YC is pleased to announce the entry process is open and the Notice of Race published for the 49th edition of next year's race.
Posted on 22 Jul
52 Super Series – Making the last day count
Consistency across the first racing days is a crucial component of winning on the highly charged, evenly matched series Consistency across the first racing days is a fundamental component of winning on the highly charged, very evenly matched series, but this season has seen several different teams blow their chances of a podium finish with a miserable finale. It seems that delivering solid results amidst the pressure cooker environment of the last races is telling.
Posted on 22 Jul
Who can replace the Vendée Globe skippers?
What happens if one of the candidates for the upcoming event injures himself or falls ill prior to the start? What happens if one of the candidates for the upcoming event injures himself or falls ill prior to the start, to the extent that his participation in the event proves impossible? Such a scenario has never come up before, though the procedure in such an eventuality is set out in the Sailing Instructions. Explanations from Guillaume Evrard, Assistant Race Director.
Posted on 22 Jul