Rathbun’s Tortola Express is best BVI boat in Spring Regatta


BY Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

In an epic IC24 battle that came down to the final two races, Colin Rathbun’s   Tortola Express fended off 16-year old Jason Putley on INTAC, for a five points victory in the 43rd BVI Spring Regatta. Rathbun scored 21 points while Putley amassed 26.

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith presents the Best BVI Boat award to Colin Rathbun

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith presents the Best BVI Boat award to Colin Rathbun

“Jason was on us all the time and he had us worried,” noted Rathbun’s crewmate Paul Exner. “You and never let Jason go and he’s always trying to get in your head. He’s always playing with you on and of the race course, trying to get that extra edge.”

Rathbun said Jason who used to sail with him is just getting better and better. “He has always been a strong helm, from the Optis and Lasers and he knows his stuff, he a young gun ready to fire.”

The regatta ended with two days of sunshine after a stormy Friday.

“This was a Tourist Board kind of day. We had sunshine, plenty of breeze, it was lovely out there, a few white caps and it was scenic,” beamed BVI Spring Regatta Chairman Bob Phillips after Sunday’s final races. “The boats had some really close racing and difference in one class between first and fourth was four seconds.”

Phillips said competitors have been very happy with the event. He said while Friday was challenging, overall they had plenty of breeze throughout the weekend.

“It has been hard racing but we got in a lot of races and what I hear in the village is that everybody is very happy,” he said.

Another BVI triumph came in a closely contested Jib and Main when Keith LiGrreci sailed his Jeanneau 40 Girasoli to a two points victory over Leanne Lord/Jon Charlton’s C&C 41 CB Reba, winning by five seconds after scoring eight points. The BVI’s oldest Olympian, Dr. Robin Tattersall just shy of his 84th birthday, was third in his Modified 30 Square classic, Diva.

The BVI’s Richard Woolridge Trimaran Triple Jack, won the Multihull division with eight points, three better than St. John’s Nels Erickson on his Formula 40 Soma.

Albie Stewart one of the 1972 founding members of the BVI Spring Regatta, said he has seen something better than he expected long ago, especially with the Tortola Sloops coming to life and being part of the regatta. The races, the venue, everything is really good.

“The Spring Regatta has been better with the quality of boats and racing boats and the enthusiasm that goes with it,” he said. “This has really come a long, long way but it has been good.”