By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Organizers are expecting just over 110 boats to toe the line on three courses today, for the start of the 45th annual BVI Spring Regatta, which starts just off Nanny Cay at 10 a.m. and runs through Sunday.
Activities began with the BVI Sailing Festival on Tuesday, with the Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup.
“It’s our 45th anniversary and we have been working hard to plan a fantastic event,” BVI Spring Regatta Director Judy Petz said. “I’m so proud to say, we have over 110 boats preregistered coming from 16 countries and that tops records we haven’t seen in a while. The competition is going to be fantastic. Anyone who’s not racing can take a look out on the water on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s gong to be spectacular to have that many boats out on the water in the Sir Francis Drakes Channel.”
Petz said that there are over 50 entries for today’s BVI Sailing Festival kick off, with the Round Tortola Race, as sailors compete for the Nanny Cay Cup.
“This race will literally take sailors literally all around Tortola and the majority of the participants are on charter boats who have come in from all around the world on Moorings and Sunsail boats,” she noted. “They’ll get an opportunity to see and several of the islands, before ending with a party at Nanny Cay where awards will be distributed.”
The Scrub Island Invitational was held on Wednesday as organizers gave sailors and visitors an opportunity to see more of the islands.
Thursday was a lay day for the sailor who headed back to Nanny Cay ahead of final registration that ended at 6:00 p.m. Yesterday was also Maritime Heritage Day. Petz said they are very fortunate to have the historic Tortola Sloops. She said they are helping to do some restoration and fund raising for them.
“What we have now is our 3rd VP Bank Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge—the springtime race that will take place now and in August the Festival Races,” she said. “That will be followed by the BVI Spring Regatta event kick off with the annual Mount Gay welcome party from 5-7 p.m. and MJ Blues will be playing in the evening.”
The 45th BVI Spring Regatta has three courses. The cruising course will be off Norman Island, with bare boats and jib and main. Just off Peter Island, is the racing course which will have a series of varied courses, while off Nanny Cay will be the one design course.
“This year for the first time ever, we have a group of VX One Fleet of 11 boats coming in from Miami and would have competed in the St. Thomas International Regatta,” Petz said. “Then we have our traditional IC24s, which will be racing the one design course. The waters across the whole way will be filled with boats, beautiful colors and spectacular sights for everyone to see.”