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51st BVI Spring Regatta

Competitors racing in the 2024 BVI Spring Regatta experienced a week of mixed conditions which put the best to the test; light for Spring Regatta (April 5-7) and typical windy trades for the Sailing Festival (April 2-3), so those who competed in the full week found the full range for the 51st edition.

A robust turnout of Olympians and world-champion sailors across the diverse fleet included Peter Holmberg, Alec Anderson, Luke Patience, Stu Bithell, Terry McLaughlin, Charlie Enright, Cameron Appleton, Paul Larsen, and Ryan Breymaier.

On the boats, it was a highlight for Spike, helmed by Sam Talbot, who has raced the J/111 many times at BVI Spring Regatta, finally take their first win in class, while Michael and Helen Wilson racing their Cape 31 Shotgunn in the BVI for the first time prevailed against the highly competitive Flying Jenny, another Cape 31.

“This was our first time winning our class and our first year ever beating El Ocaso so we’re pretty excited,” Talbot said. “Our boat speed did it – we were fast. The boat likes light winds and our tactician had everybody moving together on the boat for weight distribution, rolling the boat and really accelerating out of maneuvers with smooth movements and good tactics.”

Todd Slyngstad on his HH66 Nemo took first overall in Performance Multihull, finishing with 6.5 points, ahead of Allegra, the custom catamaran owned by Adrian Keller.

“In these conditions Nemo does really well,” admitted Slyngstad. “It didn’t hurt my feelings if the wind stayed under ten knots because it played into our hand!”

With five bullets over six races, Shotgunn was the clear winner in CSA 2. “Flying Jenny clearly has some good speed against us, they’re an incredible group of people who don’t give up,” noted owner/skipper Michael Wilson. “This week was good to learn how to mode the boat and sail it in light air and that’s due to the incredible team of people who we have this privilege to sail with.”

Lady M, the Beneteau First 40.7 owned and skippered by Joan Rodriquez, took first in Performance Cruising A for the second consecutive year, finishing just two points ahead of Puerto Rico based Paroma, the Salona 44 owned and skippered by Luis Balzac.

“The competition this week was good, light breeze – obviously everyone I think would like a bit more breeze, but we had a chance to race on Sunday whereas not all fleets did,” said Christian Cabral, jib trimmer. “Tactics and consistency worked for us – in the light breeze we were patient with all our maneuvers and had no errors. We’ve absolutely had a great time this week.”

Canadians Steve Denure and Terry McLaughlin, silver medalist in the Flying Dutchman Class at Los Angeles 1984, easily took first in Bareboat 2 on the Sunsail 41, Sul Vento with five bullets over five races. “It’s been good fun, we’ve been sailing with friends,” shared McLaughlin. “I knew it was a charter boat and we ended up making our charter boat go as fast as anyone else with older sails and a bottom I’m not quite used to.”

Distinguished awards were presented to Chris Haycraft, Regatta Chairman and owner/skipper of Ting A Ling II, a Corsair F 31, who took four bullets over five races to win first in class in Sport Multihull and the Best BVI Boat award.

Every year the Regatta presents the Guy Eldridge Spirit of Enthusiasm Award to an individual or individuals who shine in the spirit of the sport and who has stepped out and gone beyond. This year the award was presented to Bad Decisions, the J/30 from St Croix skippered by Fuzzy Stoddard.

Event informationRace detailsResults

Source: BVISR

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