The first day of the BVI Spring Regatta 2013, hosted by Nanny Cay Marina in the popular Caribbean yacht charter destination – Tortola, was marked by 10-12 knots of easterly pressure, offering ideal conditions for the fleet at the beginning of the day. The Race Committee decided to use the string of fabulous 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 bring shifty conditions as well as tactical competing. Later in the day, a heavy rainsquall caused an early end to proceedings due to unstable wind conditions.
In Spinnaker Racing 1&2 Sergio Sagramoso’s Puerto Rican J/122 sailing yacht Lazy Dog dominated the first two races winning both in fine style. Lazy Dog lead the class after three races, but only on count back from Debbie Clasen’s Tartan 10, Windemon. Last year, Richard Wesslund’s J/120 El Ocaso was unbeatable scoring seven straight bullets, but the team from Florida will have to settle for third after the first day of racing. However Lazy Dog, Windemon and El Ocaso have all scored the same number of points, so there is all to play for tomorrow.
“El Ocaso are great competition for us,” said Sergio Sagramoso. “It is always a great tussle with them on the water, it’s great competition. The J/122 is a new boat for us but we are all friends from way back, maybe 20 years or more. Unfortunately, we put the spinnaker into the water on the last race, which cost us a lot, we will be back out there tomorrow and try not to make the same mistake.”
The tension before the start of the battle of the Melges proved too much for three yachts that were called back for jumping the gun, including local favourite James Plaxton at the helm of Melges 32 yacht INTAC. However INTAC, with Canadian Richard Clarke calling the shots, recovered to win the first race of the day and score two second places to lead the class. Morgan Dale’s Melges 24 yacht Boogaloo won the second race to move into second place and Russian Valentine Zavadnikov’s Synergy GT with Tommaso Chieffi on tactics, finished the day in style with a win to take third place.
Hamnett Hill’s Marten 49 sailing yacht Defiance from Montreal, Canada was too fast for the rest of the fleet in Performance Cruiser 1, hanging onto Peter Corr’s Alia 82 charter yacht Aiyana for most of the first race to win after time correction. Defiance went on to win Race 2 to lead the class. Lucy & Christian Reynolds’ Swan 51 yacht Northern Child had a consistent day to claim second place. Aiyana is third and looking forward to stronger breeze tomorrow.
Stanford Joines has a very young crew racing J/36 yacht Paladin. Including the skipper’s six year old son Jeremiah, the average age is just 14. The team from St. Croix’s had an excellent day on the water scoring two wins and a second. “We would have loved to take three wins today but we let it slip in the last race,” said Stanford Joines dockside at Nanny Cay Marina. “But the guys did a good job today, especially Victor Ozoria on the bow.”
Harold Keating’s J/95 yacht Shamrock VII won the last race of the day to claim second after two races and Sophie Olivaud’s J/109 yacht Albacor IV racing two-handed is third.
Chuck Pessler’s Team Island Water World Racing from St. Thomas and Sint Maarten had a great day in the IC 24 Class, scoring a second and three bullets to dominate the one design class by seven points. Paul Davis’ All In is in second place, just a point ahead of Michael Finley’s Grey Goose.
In Jib & Main 1, Stephen Schmidt’s Santa Cruz 70 yacht Hotel California Too took line honours, however Robert Beltrano’s Swan 53 Nai’a corrected out to win the only race of the day by nearly four minutes with Dennis Edwards’ Australian C&C 48 Custom yacht Patriot in third.
In Jib & Main 2, Charlton & Bonanni’s C&C 41, Red Stripe Reba romped home to take line honours and the corrected time win by a big margin from Jim Hoelter’s Alerion Express 33 yacht Nymph. Sandy Mair’s Antiguan Beneteau First 35 yacht Cricket was third.
Rene Van Dop’s Dutch Team Aquaholics was the clear winner today in Bareboat 1, whilst in Bareboat 2, Radboud Crul’s all Dutch team on Dundee took line honours but after time correction the win went to USA’s Peter Nielson at the helm of Merlin Kief.
Tonight, the Regatta Village at Nanny Cay Marina will be in full swing, with a large array of food vendors from local restaurants in Tortola and the beach bar offering food and refreshments. Texan JitterbugaBilly band, Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats will be playing live and is sure to get the crowd bopping.