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Latest News and Information from Swain Sailing School

October 4, 2017- Post Irma

We can't even begin to express our gratitude to all who have called and emailed with heartwarming messages of concern and support for our staff and for all of the BVI community in the wake of hurricane Irma. Thank you!

The media has shown the devastation to the Caribbean Islands. There is no individual or business in the BVI that was not impacted by Irma. Nearly one month since Irma wreaked havoc on the BVI, we want to celebrate the resilience of the BVI community and take this opportunity to show the determination of the BVIslanders and local businesses as they rebuild. We encourage the many loyal BVI tourists who return year after year, as well as those who have been planning their first trip to the BVI, to keep your plans to visit the BVI this season -or schedule a previously  unplanned trip. There are many ways to help the BVI community rebuild. The generosity shown through donations to the many organized relief funds has been amazing. Swain will be assisting in the rebuild and relief efforts by donating 5% of tuitions confirmed during the month of October to the most critical situations.  Our yachts being delivered down from Newport to the BVI will be made available to transport necessary supplies.  For those joining Swain in a training course or charter over the next few months who would like to stay on for a few days to assist the community in relief projects, we will offer accommodations at no charge onboard our boats based on availability.

The Good News:

The following reports have been shared with us:

The cruising grounds and mooring balls were not impacted and popular snorkel sites such as the Baths, the Indians, Monkey point, the Caves are reported to be in good shape.  Reports from the ARK-BVI are that the dive sites inspected were nearly completely untouched, such as the Wreck of the Rhone.

https://www.facebook.com/ARKBVI/

The ferries are running daily from St. Thomas. EIS airport commercial service has resumed.

VIrgin Islands Port Authority

Native Son Ferry

Road Town Fast Ferry

Nanny Cay is in the process of repairing damage to some of their buildings. New docks for the in the inner marina have been ordered. Their new outer marina is in good shape. They have fuel, water, food, wife, electricity powered by generators at the moment, but full current should be restored in the next month or so.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/nannycay/posts/

View "Little Snippets of Daily Progress after Irma" posted on Nanny Cay's Facebook page.

There are establishments for food and drinks throughout the BVI. Some that experienced more severe damage are aiming to open in November- early December. Some may have makeshift restaurants in the interim:

Foxys is open.

Myetts is planning to reopen around Thanksgiving.

Other local establishments are open for food, drinks and wifi:

http://www.bvibeacon.com/1/index.php/news-articles-2/1547-featured-articles/10613-a-beer-and-a-burger-no-problem .

April 8, 2006 Swain Student Racers Take Top Prize in BVISR 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.

October 5th, 2014 Swain Sailing School and Charters to open its New England Campus June 2009

Swain Sailing School and Charters announces the opening of its New England campus in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Swain will offer beginner through advanced sailing courses from its new Rhode Island location beginning June 12th.

Swain Sailing School and Charters' New England campus is located in Brewer's Sakonnet Marina on Aquidneck Island. This full service marina, offers a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, and just 40 minutes from the Providence, Rhode Island Airport (PVD) and one hour drive from Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS).

Swain will offer its two and three day Basic Keelboat training on J22s. A popular boat amongst smaller keelboat sailors, the J22 is tiller driven, safe, responsive and fun to sail; an ideal training boat and day sailor.

For cruising courses, Swain will offer Live Aboard Cruising (US Sailing Bareboat Cruising certification) training on a Swan 48 and Lagoon 440 catamaran. A popular yacht for sailing the waters of New England Nautor’s Swan 48 exemplifies superior craftsmanship, elegance and unsurpassed sailing characteristics. Also available for Live Aboard and Catamaran Cruising courses will be the Lagoon 440 catamaran 4 cabins, 4 heads with flybridge. A rarity in New England, book the Lagoon 440 early to secure your preferred dates.

Group and private courses will be available as well non instructional, skippered charters, day sails and corporate sailing opportunities. Courses and charter will run through mid October. US Sailing certification programs offered for Basic Keelboat through Coastal Passage Making. To receive more information on our courses and charters, please call 401 293-0438 or 1 800 948-7245 (SAIL) or by email sail@swainsailing.com.

October 5th, 2014 Swain Sailing School takes 1st in Nanny Cay Cup and 3rd in Spring Regatta

 

Swain enjoyed another fantastic BVI Festival and Spring Regatta this year. With students and Swain Instructor's Toddy and Rory aboard Perelandra, Swain's Beneteau 36 sailed up to North Sound Virgin Gorda to take part in the Sailing Festival leading up to the weekend of the regatta proper. They spent three days up in North Sound competing in the Bareboat class while scoping out their competition for the weekends sailing. The winds stayed light till the last day when Perelandra came home to Nanny Cay victorious, winning the Nanny Cay Cup, a race from Bitter End Yacht Club back to Nanny Cay Marina.

Friday kicked off the Regatta racing and almost on cue the wind picked up to a steady 15-20 knot breeze. Overpowered during Day One's racing the RSSS team decided to employ the aid of some Swain graduates to help on the rails in the challenging conditions. This tactic resulted in a huge difference in performance. Team Swain sailed brilliantly over the next two days to make up for a disappointing first day and salvaged a very respectable third place overall in their classes standings. All were very disappointed to be going home but looking forward to some well deserved R & R after an impressive effort and fantastic week of racing. BVI Spring Regatta 2013 can't come quick enough.

October 4th, 2014 Swain Sailing School's Student Team take 2nd in Bareboat Class in the 2014 BVI Spring Regatta

 

Swain Sailing School entered the Flagship Regatta of the BVI -and arguably of the Caribbean- with its student team, hoping to once again be a competitive force in the Bareboat class. Their boat "Pretty Girl" a Beneteau 39 was sailed this year by three students, Keanna Rink, Sandy Gray and Derrick Penn, along with Rory Greenan serving as instructor and tactician. All students having trained from scratch with RSSS and since gaining varying degrees of racing experience, signed up for the RSSS racing clinic with a goal of gaining some international regatta experience and instruction in performance sailing.

Expectations for the event were modest at the start of the event, with the main goal of the week being to raise everybody's skill and knowledge level in the racing arena. The week kicked of on Monday March 31st as the crew began to prep the boat for the week of racing. The bimini, stack pack, reef lines, BBQ and all other unnecessary cruising items were removed in the hope of lightening Pretty Girl and cutting down drag. Hindsight would prove these steps important towards shaving off valuable seconds later in the week.

The next day the "Sailing Festival" (the warm up races for the regatta proper) began with a test of the crew's light wind racing skills with a slog around Ginger island before returning to Nanny Cay via Deadman's Chest. The crew blew out any sailing cobwebs and sailed the boat excellently and finished with a very respectable 3rd place.

Wednesday the crew's sparred under the hot sun in very light wind with a fun race over to the opening of the new Pirates restaurant on Norman Island followed by a pleasant sail back to base. Pretty Girl placed second securing 2nd place overall for the Festival.

For the Regatta the Bareboat 2 (up to 45 ft) fleet climbed in numbers to a fleet of 9 strong, with some very serious looking teams strutting around the marina in matching shirts and Reservoir Dog-esque walks. With a lot of new boats Team RSSS were unsure of how they would compete.

Friday was the most challenging day of sailing all weekend with constant squalls and 25+kt gusts but Team RSSS sailed very well securing a 2nd and 3rd. Pretty Girl was confident it could compete for a place on the podium.

Saturday tested the fleet once again with even stronger winds, minus the rainy squalls. But the crew again sailed 2 exemplary races, finishing again with a second and a third. First place was all but sewn up, as "The Whalers", a boat of seasoned regatta sailors including a professional sailor posted another day of two firsts. But the competition for 2nd place was really beginning to heat up with Pretty Girl sitting in second but only by 1 point. "Ka Wai Ola" had beaten them in the festival and the Pretty Girl crew were keen to hold onto second place for the regatta but knew this would be a stern test against this very competitive crew.

Team RSSS came into Sunday with high hopes and a steely resolve to sail Pretty Girl with everything they could but disaster struck on the first start as Pretty Girl experienced her first significant gear failure of the weekend, losing the use of her jib for over a minute. The crew battled hard to fix the problem and quickly got the boat sailing properly again. Although everybody was relieved to have the problem solved, it seemed all was lost as they finished fifth and dropped to a point behind there nearest competitor into third place. Although the crew would have said at the start of the week that they would have been delighted with 3rd the crew was now a little dejected having been sitting second overnight. All they could do was sail their best in the final race- and that's what they did. With Keanna at the helm and Sandy going to battle with the main in again challenging conditions, the boat was sailed to near perfection, finished in second, a mere 30 seconds ahead of Ka Wai Ola, leaving the boats on tied points. The crew were unsure what this meant until they were greeted with congratulations as the entered the marina with news that they had secured a second place overall finish as they held more 2nd place finishes than their rivals. Team RSSS was nothing short of ecstatic, some getting to celebrate a 2nd place in only their first regatta, international or otherwise.

There was no shortage of words or praise from their instructor and followers. Everyone was extremely proud to see how well they sailed the boat through an assortment of challenges and conditions. Everybody had a great week, both on and off the water, but especially on the stage Sunday evening collecting their well deserved trophy!

October 5th, 2013 Swain Sailing School's Cool Girl wins Nanny Cay Cup and takes 3rd in BVI Spring Regatta

The 2009 BVI Spring Sailing Festival and Regatta took place from 30 March through 5 April in the waters of the British Virgin Islands. The Sailing Festival is the first part of the series and consists of three distance races. The second part, the BVI Spring Regatta, is three days of short course racing. With winds from 10-15 knots throughout the week, stunning blue skies - just terrific conditions overall and 121 entries with many top notch competitors, many praised the 2009 Regatta as one of best and most memorable Regattas in the event's history.

Swain Sailing School's Beneteau Cyclades 43.3, COOL GIRL, with a crew of racing students – all new to racing cruising yachts- competed in two of the Festival distance races winning the Nanny Cay Cup with a first place finish in the Bareboat Division. Team Swain competed in all the Regatta races, finishing third in class. Well done, sailing school students and graduates!

Typically, teams of sailors plan months, if not years, in advance to participate in the racing. The crew of COOL GIRL were assembled from a group of racing course students supported by sailing school graduates. With Instructor, Norman Martin serving as tactician, students rotated through the various sailing jobs on a racing boat. The graduates were encouraging in their spirit and helpful for their contribution as rail weight. COOL GIRL's finishes are a testimony to the serious work of her crew. Congratulations to Debora Bartlett, Derek Penn and their crew on their fantastic achievement.

Next year,  Swain Sailing School will be offering an expanded program of racing in the Caribbean. We know that COOL GIRL is quick and fun to sail. Plans are afoot to make her quicker! She'll be available for racing in 2010. Now is the time to plan to join Swain for the March and April of 2010 Regattas in Culebra, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, USVI, and the beautiful BVI.

July 13th 2015 Know-it-all Sailor

Contact Information

To confirm availability for your preferred dates please contact us at sail@swainsailing.com.