Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

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

Kilwell - 3NaiadZhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

Azzurra is in third place at Audi Settimana delle Bocche
On the fourth day of racing in Costa Smeralda winds were light, never over ten knots. On the fourth day of racing in Costa Smeralda winds were light, never over ten knots.
Posted on 1 Jul
Quantum Racing stages a big comeback at Audi Settimana delle Bocche
It was a difficult day of racing. The light SE’ly breeze was uneven up the course. After poking their bow over the start line too early Quantum Racing restarted smartly and fought back from their tenth at the top mark to fourth and so maintain a two points lead going into Saturday’s finale.
Posted on 1 Jul
2016 52 Super Series – Action shots from Day 4 by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day four. Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day four.
Posted on 1 Jul
François Gabart to attempt the North Atlantic record in under 5 days
As the standby period approached, a weather window looked possible early in the week and was confirmed this Wednesday. As the standby period approached (2 July), a weather window looked possible early in the week and was confirmed this Wednesday. The skipper and his team arrived in New York on Thursday morning. The departure procedure was stepped up to level four this Friday, confirming the departure window.
Posted on 1 Jul
2016 TP52 Super Series – Images from races six and seven by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races six and seven of Audi Settimana delle Bocche Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races six and seven of Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted on 1 Jul
A jam-packed, fun filled stopover awaits the Clipper Race fleet
Seven teams have completed the Ocean Sprint in the LegenDerry Finale, in a bid to get the final bonus points on offer. At 0900 UTC, Daniel’s team holds a one nautical mile lead overClipperTelemed+ which has chosen a more northerly route, and has stretched to 14NM over third placed LMAX Exchange, whose Skipper Olivier Cardin is looking forward to big surf off the west coast of Ireland.
Posted on 1 Jul
Entries open for Invited Classes at Sailing World Cup Final
Racing for the 14 classes begin on 8th December, except for the 2.4mR non-classified class who will begin on Tuesday six This year, event organisers have catered for sailors who would usually compete in the Laser Standard, Laser Radial and 49er FX Olympic Classes but were unable to make a top 20 position. These sailors will have an opportunity to be part of the Sailing World Cup scene and compete in close proximity to the highest rated sailors in their class.
Posted on 1 Jul
BoatUS asks boaters to say “no” to more ethanol in 2017
EPA is asking for comments on proposal to increase amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline supply for 2017 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for comments on a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply for 2017. If adopted, these proposed levels will require the use of a record amount of ethanol, forcing higher-level ethanol fuel blends (including E15 or 15% ethanol) into gas pumps and at more gas stations.
Posted on 1 Jul
Two ways to buff up on boating hurricane preparedness
Of the 26 “major” hurricanes (Category three or greater) over the last decade, remarkably none have struck the US. Of the 26 “major” hurricanes (Category three or greater) over the last decade, remarkably none have struck the US. However, with Tropical Storm Colin — the earliest third storm on record when it struck Florida June 5 — BoatUS recommends taking time now to develop a plan for the boat to weather the next storm.
Posted on 1 Jul
18ft skiffs - Yamaha victorious at Mark Foy Worlds in Fiji
The trade winds arrived just in time for the final day of racing at the Mark Foy Worlds in Fiji. The trade winds arrived just in time for the final day of racing at the Mark Foy Worlds in Fiji. With 20knots on the course the fleet finally got to unpack their little rigs for a day of thrills and spills.
Posted on 1 Jul