Great Racing At BVI Spring Regatta Sets Stage for Final Day

Tonnerre de Breskens – Credit: Todd vanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta

Blue skies and strong breeze welcomed racers to the course on Day 2 of the 2014 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival in Tortola. Winds were up between 14-20 knots throughout the day, creating great racing conditions for the fleet on all three courses.

“Yesterday, the driving was more difficult and racing overall was more challenging. Today, you couldn’t ask for more perfect racing conditions,” said Jamie Torres, skipper of the Melges 32, Smile and Wave. “So, the challenge was to stay focused on the target, which was to beat Lazy Dog – our competition. It was about consistency and steady driving. It wasn’t shifty, so it was all a matter of boat speed and boat handling. And, we did exceptionally well.”

Smile and Wave, one of three Melges 32s from Puerto Rico racing on the One Design Course, led the fleet across the line in three of the day’s four races. Lazy Dog holds the second slot, six points back. Smile and Wave hit a top speed of 20.7 knots on Saturday and the yacht posted her record of 24.7 knots at last year’s BVI Spring Regatta.

Also on the One Design Course, the IC 24 division is tied. Friday’s leader INTAC, and Tortola Express, skippered by Colin Rathburn, each hold 16 points. Tortola Express recorded three, first-place finishes in four races.

On the Norman Island Course, the Jeanneau 40, Girasoli had another successful day, finishing first in both of the Jib & Main 2 division races. But, the Tortola-based crew wasn’t quite sure where they stood until returning to the dock.

“There were big seas going around Peter Island, and I think we topped off at about 24 on wind speed. We did alright today,” said Keith LiGreci, skipper of Girasoli. “Our fleet is so close, it could be anybody’s race. You just wait until you see the results board. It makes it really interesting because you finish and there’s this anticipation to find out how you did.”

In the Jib & Main 1 division, Hotel California Too (Cruising Santa Cruz 70) holds a two-point edge on the Swan 53 Nai’a, which recorded two bullets Saturday. Also on the Norman course, FerryTale / Mary Jewell (Sunsail 515) continued to control the top slot in the Bareboat 1 division, adding another pair of race wins to the two secured yesterday. The Whalers / Tortola Moon (Sunsail 4153) did the same in the Bareboat 2 division.

A great day for Keith LiGreci’s Jeanneau 40, Girasoli – Credit: Todd vanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta

For Morgan Dale, skipper of the Melges 32 Boogaloo, bouncing back from mistakes and holding strong on a two-hour run kept them in the hunt against division leader Windemon (Tartan 10) on the SOL Course.

“We had three races today,” Dale said, whose St. Croix crew is two points off the lead in Racing 3. “The first race was a buoy race, got first, we felt strong and like we didn’t make many mistakes. For the second race, velocities were up a knot or two, and we ended up making several mistakes – we had two knock downs – and finished second by 20 seconds. The last race was a long one – about a 2-hour race to Little Thatch. It’s tough to hike that hard and stay focused for so long! For a bunch of amateur guys racing on a windy Saturday, it all went fairly well.”

Tonnerre de Breskens 3 (Ker 46) from The Netherlands, won another three races Saturday to hold the top slot in the Racing 1 division over Highland Fling XII (RP 52). Team McFly / Quokka’s Grand Soleil 43 remains in the lead in the Racing 2 fleet.

In the Performance Cruising 1 division on the SOL Course, Spirit of Venus (Beneteau First 40.7) won both of the day’s races. The J/95 Shamrock VII also one twice in the Performance Cruising 2 division to move ahead of Sparti Vento (X-382).

Soma’s (Formula 40) ongoing friendly rivalry with Triple Jack (Trimaran) is extending to the race course this weekend. Soma notched two bullets between two races in the Multihull 2 division, which included a short, 35-minute course and a second, 90-minute route.

“It was a steady, strong wind on two great courses today,” said skipper Nils Erickson. “It all comes down to tomorrow’s race against Triple Jack, and they’re always our nemesis. Every time we race it’s a battle.”

Boss Lady II (Moorings 4600) leads the Multihull 1 division with bullets in all four of the weekend’s races.

Today is the final day of racing at this year’s regatta. Overall winners will be unveiled at 5:30 pm at the BVI Spring Regatta Awards Ceremony, held on the main stage in the Regatta Village in Nanny Cay.

Also in the Regatta Village on Sunday, bar and food vendors open at 1 pm. The Moko Jumbies will entertain the crowd at 4 pm, and evening festivities will be capped off with a performance by the Showtime Band presented by Heineken at 8pm.