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Round Tortola Race - Record smashing start for Aiyana

by Louay Habib on 27 Mar 2013
Aiyana broke the monohull record in the Round Tortola Race - 2013 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival © Todd Van Sickle
In today's Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, Peter Corr's Alia 82, Aiyana smashed the monohull record by almost half an hour. Setting a new record of 3 hours, 29 minutes and 44 seconds for the 37-mile run around Tortola.

Aiyana is the largest yacht competing at the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival and the crew let out a big 'cheer' dockside as the news came through they had broken the course monohull record. However, at the start of the race it didn't go according to plan as Aiyana's owner, Peter Corr explains:

'At the start, we only had about eight knots of wind and we had to do a restart, so we didn't think the record was on, but the breeze built to about 12 knots and with the wind just south of east, it was a great direction for the race. As we went up the east side of Tortola, the breeze built and we were getting lifted all the time and managed to hoist an A-sail just around Beef Island. Things were really looking up as we peeled to our symmetrical kite at Scrub Island.'

'On the Atlantic coast of Tortola we were back on the A-Sail and stayed way out as we were worried about getting trapped with no wind under the island. We had some great boat speed on a tight reach but we knew that the most difficult part of the course lay ahead; getting through the narrow high sided gap between Tortola and St.John. Just off Soper's Hole, we kept getting headed causing enough tacks to blister my thumbs, but we held it together and then we knew that the record was pretty much broken.'

Dockside, Peter Corr was delighted to hear that Nanny Cay Resort and Marina had put up a fabulous prize as new winners of the Nanny Cay Challenge for a record run: Dinner for 15 people and a Jeroboam of Champagne.

'Fantastic! We have 15 on board and they cost a small fortune to feed,' joked Peter. 'I would like to say a big 'thank you' to Nanny Cay and I have to say that I have sailed all over the world but I love coming back to the BVI, the scenery is just beautiful. This is my third trip to the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival and it definitely won't be the last.'


In the Cruising Class, Aiyana took overall line honours, however, after time correction, two yachts beat the 82' sloop on handicap. Matthew Barker's stunning 1930s sloop, Blue Peter was a magnificent sight, leaping to windward and utterly flamboyant under a huge spinnaker downwind, the timeless classic was to claim second in class but Swan 51, Northern Child skippered by Lucy Reynolds took the class win.

Winner in the Bareboat Class was Dundee, skippered by Dutch racing expert Radboud Crul who has competed in 25 North Sea Races. No doubt the crew will have enjoyed the warm tropical waters of the British Virgin Islands as the current sea temperature back home is close to freezing! Dundee got a great start to the race at the pin end and led from start to finish, but the competition in the class is unbelievable. In a race lasting about five hours, Dundee won by just 21 seconds from SAIL magazine Editor, Peter Neilson's skipper of Merlin. The race for third was even closer, after time correction, John Pinheiro's The Whalers (Tatjana) and Justin Barton's Justice could not be separated and a tie for third place was the conclusion.

In the Racing Class, Marcus Cholerton-Brown's First 47.7, EH01 developed an engine problem before the start but they needn't have worried, their boats speed under sail was exceptional and the British charter boat romped home to take the class win by over 12 minutes from Italian Swan 53, Meri Balletti, skippered by Jonathan Taylor. Canadian First 36.7 Hammertime II, skippered by Pasquale Leone was third.

Tonight, Peg Legs beach bar at Nanny Cay Marina will be buzzing, the Nanny Cay Cup Prize Giving will be followed by a Caribbean Buffet on the Beach with live music supplied by The Razor Blades and The Fungi band. Racing continues tomorrow with the Caribbean Insurers Island Invitational Race to Norman Island.


BVI Spring Regatta website

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