April 8, 2006
Over 150 boats took part in the BVI Spring Regatta 2006. RSSS was well represented with 3 boats entered.
An unbeatable event, Perfect racing and post racing venues contribute to this event with all of the facets for a fantastic regatta experience: learning- racing by doing (like all of our courses, instructors do not drive), camaraderie, meeting fellow students and crew members from other boats from all over the world, strolling through the village's evening festivities here at Nanny Cay Resort ranks this event a favorite for instructional course offerings and an overall memorable week of sailing.
The weeklong format starts Monday with students and instructor sailing their boat around the Sir Francis Drake Channel, fine tuning their skills and shaking down the boats. Monday evening the Regatta "Village" opens for race registration, food and drink tents and live music on Nanny Cay's new stage on the beach.
Tuesday's race had the fleet tacking up the channel in light conditions. Soon the breeze filled in nicely and the boats experienced some rather non BVI type conditions: a 25 minute squall with white conditions and 30 knots of breeze. The boats punched through this nicely and finished off at the Bitter End (North Sound, Virgin Gorda). Third place was awarded to Swain.
Wednesday most of the competitors spent a lay day at the Bitter End; this being a combined Live Aboard Cruising (LAC)/Racing week, Swain students set off for Anegada for a day of navigation and the afternoon snorkeling off the beach at Loblolly Bay.
An early start put us back at BE for a 1000 gun. Reversing our course back to NC allowed us to tweak the boats from a reaching perspective. We crossed the finish line third off NC in our Jeanneau 45, "Soulmate". Driving and crewing were Amy and her husband Scott with their three children from 12 to eighteen years old. Hearty congratulations to them especially since they appealed to the race committee to be transferred to the bareboat division, were granted the change only to find that the boat was given a DNF. Race committee placed us back in the more competitive class without alerting us so we raced the "wrong" course. Taking this news very well, they were just happy to be out there competing well in the event.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday racing took the boats around the various islands bordering the Sir Francis Drake Channel. It became apparent early on that our chartered Beneteau 52 "Team Swain" was the boat to beat. Sailed almost flawlessly fast by her crew with Tom teaching tactics, this yacht jumped to the forefront. At the end of Sunday's races this boat took first place in this competitive class, besting even a boat whose driver was a double gold medalist. We are very proud of these gentlemen and more importantly happy for them to have done so well. Nanny Cay was abuzz with the question who was the Swain team? Congratulations Kaj, Walter, Matt and Russ.
"Soulmate" did not fare as well do in large part to her class assignment. Race instructor Peter Doyle said that he was very happy with their position in the regatta - to compete at this level and maintain their composure through it all is very impressive. Many thanks to all those aboard Soulmate.
Our third entry in the BVISR, our very own IC 24. Competition in this fleet was furious, with time between first and last per race never more than one minute. When you pit 12 of the same boats on a standard windward leeward race course with two gates and an offset mark, there are bound to be words and crashes... There were both. The IC's did five races per day sharing the course with Lasers and Beach Cats. The former with youthful skippers as young as 9. The Swain crew battled hard but came up short; it was still great fun.
Almost as fun as the racing was sailing back to the dock, getting a drink, jumping into the pool, swapping lies with fellow competitors, and cleaning up for the nightly entertainment. Which included five tremendous musical acts of Quito and Foxy, and the terrific ex pat bands Cruise Control and the Nasty Frogs. They also brought in Maxx Cabello from SF, the NY Times quoted him, "Better than Hendrix", they're right.