Smiles on the Docks: Antigua Sailing Week – Final Day

Winner: CSA 4, Quokka 8, Grand Soleil 43, Philippe Falle of Deep Blue Racing, (GBR)

You could almost feel the tension on the dock as the international fleet sailed out to the combat area. With many class winners yet to be decided, the pressure was heightened by tricky conditions. The breeze was rarely more than 10 knots and there were huge wind holes appearing all over the racing area. However, the Race Committee did an excellent job getting in a fair race for all classes. Starts are always important, especially in light airs and several yachts could not control their urgency enough, resulting in several individual recalls and two general recalls. The last day of racing at Antigua Sailing Week was not for the faint hearted. [Read more…]

BVI Spring Regatta winners decided at Nanny Cay

The large expanse of the North Atlantic lies just to the North of The British Virgin Islands and on this morning, the BVI Spring Regatta competitors got a real taste of it. The sea state kicked up to 2 metres and the wind speed for the first start was 20 plus knots when a vicious squall darkened the horizon in The Sir Francis Drake Channel. Blinding rain colder than the sea spray reduced visibility to just a few feet and had sailors scurrying for foul weather gear.

With wet sails, slippery decks and the big easterly breeze blowing squalls in off the Atlantic, the last day of racing at the BVI Spring Regatta got under way. However, conditions improved during the day with the squalls diminishing to allow the competitors to dry out in the fresh 15-20 knots of warm breeze and glimpse of sunshine through the broken cloud. [Read more…]

Day one of BVI Spring Regatta a tense, tactical teaser

It was a day for watching the weather on the first day of the BVI Spring Regatta hosted by Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola. 10-12 knots of easterly pressure provided perfect conditions for the fleet at the start of the day and the Race Committee chose to use the string of beautiful islands on the south side of the Sir Francis Drake Channel as turning marks for the first race. The wind speed and direction oscillated somewhat to deliver shifty conditions and tactical racing. Later in the day, a heavy rainsquall caused an early end to proceedings due to unstable wind conditions. [Read more…]

In pursuit of happiness at BVI Spring Regatta

Day Two of the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival was blessed with ideal conditions for the Caribbean Insurers Island Invitational Race to Norman Island.  Bright sunshine and a gentle breeze provided sublime conditions for the pursuit race with faster boats chasing down earlier starters in a game of cat and mouse around the beautiful islands, south of Tortola.

In the Classic Class, the beautiful vintage sloop, The Blue Peter, skippered by Briton, Mathew Barker was the victor and took the honour of first boat to finish in Norman Island, a tremendous effort from a yacht that is over 80 years old. [Read more…]

Champagne start for Aiyana in BVI Spring Regatta’s Sailing Festival

In today’s Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, Peter Corr’s Alia 82, Aiyana smashed the monohull record by nearly 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 & 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 8 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.” [Read more…]