40th Anniversary BVI Spring Regatta - With the long time history of sailing as a primary economic and social activity in the British Virgin Islands, it is only fitting that the territory is known as 'The Sailing Capital of the World.' With that in mind, the BVI Spring Regatta, co-sponsored by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, as remembered by the Honourable Ralph T O'Neil, Premier of the Virgin Islands and Minister of Tourism and Finance, has contributed to the economic development of the BVI since their inception.
As a tribute to the positive impact on the community and a thank you to the thousands of hours, and thousands of people who have made each year a special experience for all those who participate, the 40th Anniversary commemorative stamp collection was unveiled on Tuesday, 1 March 2011, at a special ceremony at Peg Legs Restaurant located at Nanny Cay Marina and Resort, the host and presenting sponsor of the regatta.
Speakers at the unveiling ceremony included not only Mr O'Neal, but also Mr Boyd McCleary, Governor and Patron of the Royal BVI Yacht Club, Mr Kevin Smith Postmaster General, Ms Lorna Choucoutouv Acting Supervisor of the BVI Post Philatelic Bureau, Dr Birney Harrigan, Chairman of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, Mr Robert Phillips, Chairman of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival and Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club and Mrs Judy Petz-LiGreci, Director of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival.
Although speakers kept their remarks short, all referred to the importance of the BVI Spring Regatta in bringing tourists to the island, stimulating the economy, and bringing the community together. Mr Kevin Smith explained the reason behind issuing the commemorative stamps, 'We wanted to make sure that the archives reflect the significance of the BVI Spring Regatta to the territory.'
Four stamps, with denominations ranging from fifteen cents to two dollars, were issued and each depict a different decade in the history of the regatta.
• The 70's are remembered with a photo of the original boathouse that was used as the BVI Yacht Club house in 1972.
• The 80’s stamp highlights the addition of the bareboat fleet to the regatta and the fact that the charter industry put Tortola on the map during that decade.
• With a photo of 'Pipedream', the 90‘s are depicted by spinnakers on the water vying for position. 'Pipedream' was chosen as its owner is Peter Haycraft, one of the regatta's founders and a 40 year BVI Spring Regatta racing veteran.
• The addition of a racecourse specifically for one designs is remembered in the most recent decade stamp. This stamp features the IC24 fleet, modified J-24’s, as this class was designed in the Caribbean and now attracts some of the most talented local sailors.
• For the first issue cover, the Nanny Cay Marina and Resort is featured as it has been home to the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival for many years. Nanny Cay, as presenting sponsor, provides a spectacular natural venue, with complete facilities for the yachts and the yachties.
The stamps and the issue cover were made available immediately following the unveiling and can be bought at the BVI Post Office. Additionally, they will also be available in the Regatta Village during the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, March 28 - April 3, 2011. BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival website