Caribbean circuit shifts to BVI
Published on March 26th, 2017
Tortola, BVI (March 26, 2017) – Racing for the 46th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 gets underway on Tuesday (Mar. 28) with the Round Tortola Race, a 31-nautical mile race around the beautiful island of Tortola for the Nanny Cay Cup – a challenge for the fastest mono and catamaran record around the island.
Another opportunity for crews to warm up before the weekend’s racing comes on Wednesday with the Scrub Island Invitational Race starting from Nanny Cay, hosts of the BVI Spring Regatta since 2002. Racing for the BVI Spring Regatta is on March 31-April 2.
New this year will be the C&C 30 fleet which includes Don’t Panic, skippered by Julian Mann (San Francisco, CA); Flying Jenny, skippered by Sandra Askew (Cottonwood Heights, UT); Nemesis, skippered by Geoff Ewenson (Annapolis, MD); and Themis, skippered by Walt Thirion (Annapolis, MD).
Mann is sailing a new boat with a crew relatively new to the boat. He’s using the BVI Spring Regatta and this season’s Caribbean regattas as a chance to train for the US summer C&C 30 class events. “We’re focusing on the Caribbean regattas for skill building,” explained Mann. “At this point we’re pretty confident in our modes in mid to heavy air, but if we happen to have light breeze at the regatta, we’ll use it as a good opportunity to do some more light air training in which we’re not as experienced.”
Also new is the Gunboat fleet which will start with the CSA – Multihull division and includes Arethusa, skippered by Phil Lotz (Fort Lauderdale, FL); Elvis, skippered by Jason Carroll (New York, NY); Extreme H20, skippered by Pat Benz (Santa Barbara, CA); Flow, skippered by Stephen Cucchiaro (Boston, MA); and Moementum, skippered by Fredrik Moe (Montego Bay, Jamaica).
“It’s our second season of doing Caribbean regattas and the BVI Spring Regatta attracted us as being a good event to take part in alongside other Caribbean events,” Cucciaro said. Cucciaro, a former member of the US Olympic yacht racing team in the 470, became a national class champion in 1978 and won gold at the 1979 Pan American Games.
Boats and crews from 17+ countries make BVI Spring Regatta a colorful international event, including entries from neighboring Caribbean islands – Antigua, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Maarten and St Thomas.
The smallest multihull of the event, the 23-foot Newick trimaran Piglet is a long-time Regatta favorite, having raced the event since 2001. 75-year old owner and outgoing St Croix yacht club commodore, Joe San Martin has been sailing trimarans in the Caribbean since 1987, ever since he was first introduced to multihulls by his wife.
With a truly international crew from New Zealand, the US, the USVI, Australia, and the UK, Peter Corr returns to this year’s event with the King 40, Blitz. Corr competed in as the Corrs Light Racing team in 2016, having competed each year since 2013 when they first raced on Corr’s Alia 82, smashing the monohull record that year by nearly half an hour in the Round Tortola Race winning the Nanny Cay Cup.
Blitz boat captain David Sampson said, “We’re hoping to better our 2nd place in CSA-Racing 2 from last year. We have the same crew as in previous years and will be trying hard! This is just a great event.”
Background: The weeklong BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival on March 27 to April 2 takes racers throughout the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Starting at Nanny Cay, the Sailing Festival is two days of warm up racing: The Nanny Cay Round Tortola Race, and the Scrub Island Invitational. Next up, the BVI Spring Regatta kicks off three solid days of some of the best racing the Caribbean has to offer.
Source: BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival