How pursuit racing is supposed to be

Published on April 2nd, 2014

(April 2, 2014) – The Caribbean Insurance Ltd Island Invitational highlighted the second day of racing at the 2014 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Departing from Nanny Cay, the 24-boat fleet started the pursuit race to Norman Island for the finish and the opening day festivities for the new Pirates Bight Bar.

The racing class sailed around Dead Chest and Peter Island before finishing on Norman Island. The cruising class hit the western tip of Peter Island, sailed around Norman Island and finished in front of the cove leading to Pirates. Winds remained at 7-10 knots around the courses.

The J/29 Sweetness captured line honors and won the cruising class: “It was a miracle,” joked Sweetness crew member, Eric Ball. “We’ve always wanted a J/29 – they were great boats in their day. We wanted something we could win in and if you don’t have the boat, you can’t win or be as good as you want to be. It feels pretty good today.”

“The boat went in the water two weeks ago after we found it in St. Thomas. We bought it for a very respectable price,” said Peter Clatworthy, one of six crew above age 60. He laughed and added, “It’s ‘J’ for geriatric.”

Dorade, the S&S 52, won the racing class, while Ka Wai Ola, Jeanneau 44i won among bare boats and Malisi, Outremer 64 Light captured the multihull class.

The pursuit race format kept racing interesting for much of the fleet including Steve McManus and his J/120 Sunset Child.

“Our finish was a little exciting,” McManus said. “We actually caught up with Dorade and we had Parma pinned out. But then a big cat stalled and they tried to get to the finish and we couldn’t get to windward, so we went from first to third. But it was a great day and a great course, and that’s how pursuit racing is supposed to be.”

Onboard the Swan 61, Apsara, 9-year-old Jayden Shephard took the helm during the windward leg and 11-year-old Carter Zimmerman served as crew for the yacht’s fourth-place finish in the cruising class. The Strongsville, Ohio-based duo is spending their spring break from school sailing with family on a boat a bit larger than they’re used to.

“It was a lot bigger and you had to turn harder,” said Shephard, who sails J/37s out of his home yacht club on Lake Erie near Cleveland.

Wednesday marked opening day for Pirates Bight Bar after the restaurant was destroyed by fire on Oct. 1, 2013.

Thursday is a layday before the BVI Spring Regatta commences April 4-6.

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