Final day binned
"It's obviously disappointing," said principal race officer and race committee chairman Bob Phillips, "but we'd rather bite the bullet now and let everyone go off and have some fun for the rest of the day rather than swelter in the sun for three hours and then cancel the racing. We managed to get off 59 races in two days with some of the classes doing five and six races so it was still a respectable number of races."
The decision to abandon proved to be the right one as the wind failed to materialise. By 11am host marina Nanny Cay was deserted as committee boats became ferries and private boats headed out across a glassy Sir Francis Drake Channel to enjoy the charms of such places as the floating bar Willy T at Norman Island. It was such a perfect powerboating day that some even headed to North Sound, Virgin Gorda, for the day. Roy Disney and his Pyewacket crew took the opportunity to visit Peter Island on a Moorings 4500.
Despite the lack of racing, there was still action ashore; the international jury heard two protests. Both were in the one-race Bareboat II division and affected placings from the first and only day of racing. One in which the race committee was protested, resulted in the re-measurement of Marakery, an Oceanis 39. As a result the rating was amended which bumped Marakery up from fourth to second. Then came the second protest.
Winner of the race, The Phantom, a Beneteau 382, skippered by Roger Doyle was protested for a port/starboard incident on the start line. This protest, lodged on Friday, but never heard, resulted in their disqualification, on a basic technicality - they never showed up to put their case. This moved Marakery from second to give BVI skipper Cassian Glasgow first in class and gave the all-girl team from Heineken on board Stardust 373 Something Hot second. Peter Howe's Mickey Mouse was third.
After perfect ESE 10-15 knot conditions kicked off the first day of racing at the 30th annual BVI Spring Regatta winds de-generated to light to nothing for the second day with one class unable to complete its race of the day, and disappeared on the last day - a stalled trough near Puerto Rico and a cold front in the SW N Atlantic with a weaker high pressure ahead of these systems destroyed the wind.
The second day of racing saw the wind swing to the south placing the windward mark for the spinnaker course between Salt and Peter islands, the race committee still managed to get off three races for many of the classes while all had at least two. However, it was a different matter on the non-spinnaker course. The cruising, jib & main, bareboat I and multihull classes managed to get their race under their belts but no boats in bareboat II finished within the allotted time - but that was of little consequence to some as they had already retired.
Pyewacket racing for the first time in the Caribbean continued its dominance of Big Boat Racing with five bullets after the two days of racing while Tom Hill's Titan (2,2,2,3,2) beat Bill Alcott's Equation (3,3,3,2,3) by three points. Spirit of Diana also had a commanding lead in Big Boat Racer/Cruiser with five bullets. Swan 60 Orfeo was second with straight seconds and Whitbread Ocean Race 60 Chica Boba 2000 from Italy was third.
Commenting on their performance, Mr Disney said: "We watched them [ Equation and Titan] pretty close. On the calculations we were doing we were pretty much tied on the weather legs. It was the downwind legs that gave us the boost. Of course we have a boat that was designed to be a downwind boat."
Pyewacket's dominance at the BVI Spring Regatta has cemented its position as the leader of the 2002 Caribbean Big Boat Series (CBBS) after two events. With only Antigua Sailing Week to go in the CBBS he looks unstoppable. "It's great, it's terrific," said Disney on the CBBS. "I didn't really know about it [the CBBS] until we started talking and made this schedule and realized that there was this overall event. It's fun to be in something that's a continuing deal."
In Racing I the top three placers from the first day of racing remained but their positions changed. Martin Fisher's J/145 Strabo (4,1,1,1,1) jumped to the top of the leaderboard after three firsts on the second day while Noonmark VI (2,2,6,3,4) was bumped down to third place after a disqualification in the first race of the day followed by a third and fourth place. Swan 56 Lolita (1,4,3,4,2) was second. Strabo's skipper Martin Fisher put his fourth place on the first day down to a crew shakedown. "Good crew work, good tactics and watching the wind," gave them their firsts and class prize he said.
Victors from other regattas this season, the BVI's Mermaid II (4,4,1,5,1) and Twisted Lizard (9,1,2,3,2) from the USA, saw themselves relegated to second and third respectively by Puerto Rico's Mumm 30 Red Fever (2,2,4,1,4) in Racing II; a disqualification for Twisted Lizard for contact after the start in its first race put paid to its chances after finishing second on corrected time.
Antigua's Jamie Dobbs topped Racing III with his Olson 30 Lost Horizon (4,1,4,2,1) with St Croix's Stanton brothers second on their J/24 Jersey Devil (6,5,1,3,2) and Morgan Dale's Tartan 10 Sorceress was third (5,4,5,1,4). Both the BVI Olson 30s - Willy T (Rushin' Rowlette) and Fastidiots - on the leaderboard after the first day - were sixth and seventh while Magnificent 7, sailed by the USVI's Paul Stoeken jumped to fourth; owner John Foster is sailing a Star in the US in preparation for his Olympic bid.
Efrain "Fraito" Lugo's Orion from Puerto Rico continued its seemingly unassailable dominance of the Melges 24 fleet this year with five firsts. Frits Bus' 2 Contact Carib (2,2,2,3,4) was second while the BVI's Crew Clothing (ex- Airgasm) (3,3,4,4,2) was third.
With six races under their belts Geoff Miles from the USA won the IC/24 class sailing No Expectations (1,2,1,1,1,2) while BVI-led boat HIHO (Old
& Grey) (5,1,2,2,2,1) was second with BVI Olympian Robbie Hirst on the helm. Red Dog (2,6,4,5,6,3) was third.
BVI boat Pipe Dream (1,1,2,1) won racer/cruiser and the Chief Minister's Award for Best BVI Boat, dropping only one race in its four-race class to another BVI boat, J/33 Boomorang, skippered by Pat Nolan. Boomorang (6,3,1,3) was third in class while Tartan 10 Cold Beer 3 (2,2,4,2), also from the BVI, was second. Cold Beer - one of the lower rating boats in its class - was looking strong in the first race of the second day, leading the pack to the windward mark. However, a lapse of concentration with the course sheet saw their lead evaporate as they watched their foes start to round the closer of the two windward marks that they had passed earlier.
John Holmberg from the USVI sailing his Inter20 Red Hook Agencies (3,2,1,1,1) found his feet on the second day and racked up three bullets beating Enrique Figueroa's Suzuki Tornado (1,1,2,3,2) by one point. Terry Jackson's Tornado Century 21 (2,3,3,2,3) was third. HF Mortgage Bankers (1,3,1,2,1), a Hobie 16 sailed by Ibrahim Mustafa, topped non-spinnaker beach cat, Blame It On Rhea (2,1,2,1,2) was second and Scat (3,2,3,3,3) was third.
In cruising class, Ron Noonan's Sabre 402 Wildflower (2,1) was almost knocked from his perch by Barney Crook sailing Jahazi (1,2), a J/120. "His boat is better sub six knots and Jahazi and better over six knots," said Crook following his loss on the second day. A one-time BVI resident and owner of Melges 24 Airgasm (now Crew Clothing), Crook sailed with his old Airgasm crew including Mike Hirst. Gerry Ficks and his Keep It Simple (3,3) team found themselves in the unusual position of being third in class.
Richard Wooldridge's Triple Jack (1,1) found little to worry about from its competiton having beaten its nearest rival on corrected time by half an hour on the first day and just under an hour on the second.
Bareboat I was won by Sam McGee (3,1) skippered by Henrik Vanderlip from Holland. Lofoten (2,2) was second with the BVI's Kenneth Powell at the helm. Woof ((4,3) was third.
It was BVI boats all the way in Jib & Main with Hughes 38 taking two bullets for the class. Tikitas (4,2) skippered by the Royal BVI Yacht Club's commodore, James Bridgewater was second and Carraicou (2,4), a Morgan 34, was third.
Big Boat- Racing
Big Boat - Racer/Cruiser
Spirit of Diana: 1,1-1,1,1
Orfeo: 2, 2-2,2,2
Chica Boba 2000: 4(DNS),4(DNS)-3,3,3
Noonmark VI: 2,2-6,3,4
Red Fever: 2,2 - 4,1,4
Mermaid II: 4,4 - 1,5,1
Twisted Lizard: 9,1 - 2,3,2
Lost Horizon: 4,1 - 4,2,1
Jersey Devil: 6,5-1,3,2
Orion: 1,1 - 1,1,1
2 Contact Carib: 2,2 - 2,3,4
Crew Clothing: 3,3 - 4,4,2
No Expectations: 1,2,1 - 1,1,2
HIHO: 5,1,2 - 2,2,1
Red Dog: 2,6,4-5,6,3
Pipe Dream: 1,1 - 2,1
Cold Beer 3: 2,2 - 4,2
Boomorang: 6,3- 1,3
Keep It Simple: 3-3
Jib & Main
Second Nature: 1-1
Sam McGee: 3-1
Something Hot: 2
Mickey Mouse: 3
Second day - no boat completed race in Time Limit.
Triple Jack: 1-1
Beach Cat Spinnaker
Red Hook Agencies: 3,3-1,1,1
Suzuki Tornado: 1,1-2,3,2
Century 21: 2, 3 - 3,2,3
Beach Cat Non-Spinnaker
HF Mortgage Bankers: 1,3,1,2,1
Blame It On Rhea: 2,1,2,1,2
Scat: 3, 2 - 3,2,3,3,3
Chief Minister's Award For Best BVI Boat: Pipe Dream, Peter Haycraft
Bitter End Award For Spirit & Enthusiasm: Monet, M.C. Manual, Holland
Bamboushay Award For Best Crew Uniforms: Orfeo, Bob Sass, USA
BVI Painters' Trophy for Best Paint Job: Chica Boba 2000, Andreani Paolo, Italy
Caribbean Big Boat Series, Racing: Pyewacket, Roy E Disney, USA
Caribbean Big Boat Series: Racer/Cruiser: Spirit Of Diana, Ross Daniel, UK
Special Mention Award: Chuck Hunter