Disappointing end

Alaistair Abrehart reports from the BVI Spring Regatta

Monday April 7th 2003, Author: Alaistair Abrehart, Location: Caribbean
The forecast, early morning breeze, and spotters on the top of Tortola, said it looked good but the reality was different on the last day of racing for the BVI Spring Regatta. A decision to send both the fleets round the islands ended in cancellations for most of the classes but four classes managed to finish ­ spinnaker and non-spinnaker beach cats, racing A and racing B. The IC/24s were not sent round the islands and squeezed in one more race.

"Wind was evaporating on the south side and we had spotters on the hill telling us there was wind on the north side," said Bob Phillips, regatta chairman. "We knew that we would be abandoning racing on the south side soon after the 10 o¹clock start and so decided to give it a shot. We had boats standing by to give tows to the smaller boats and in fact I was reading 12 knots between Guana and Camanoe islands just before we

There was wind throughout the first part of course but it was hard to find, light and holey. As Sotto Voce, Equation and Chippewa sailed west along the north side Tortola towards Sandy Cay, and a mark off Great Harbour, a variety of sail combinations were seen; this mark eventually became the finish line after the race committee shortened the course.

Arien van Vende's Sotto Voce finished the course in three hours, 14 minutes and 33 seconds and racked up its sixth win out of eight races and class prize. Bill Alcott's Equation was second over the line and second on corrected. Clay Deutsch¹s Chippewa valiantly completed the course crossing the line an hour and fifteen minutes after Equation giving her an elapsed time of four hours and 45 minutes.

In racing B, Farr 40 Riot was first over the line after four hours and 43 minutes on the water but final victory went to Carlo Falcone's Caccia Alla Volpe, her third win of the regatta. Frank Savage's Lolita was third while Flirt and Noa 3 did not start. Lolita won the class overall with 16 points to Caccia's 17 and Riot's 18.

The fleet of non-spinnaker beach cats took over five hours to finish and only one of the four starters DNF'd. LoLo Too won with HF Mortgage second and USS Enterpoop third. Enrique Figueroa topped the spinnaker beach cats with a more civilized elapsed time of three hours and 26 minutes. Pease and Jay Glaser were second on Team Tropical Shipping and Bug Bite was third. Despite Enrique's win today, Terry Jackson's Century 21 topped the class overall.

On the IC/24 course close to the south shore of Tortola, Taylor Canfield's Boat Drinks sailed a good race in shifty conditions to take line honours while Crowley Shipping suffered their worst result of the regatta, an eighth place. However, having notched up a string of first places over the three-day regatta, Robby Hirst's Crowley Shipping had done more than enough to secure first overall.

Because of the lack of racing today, yesterday's standings from Cape Air CORT became final. So after three regattas and 22 races Lost Horizon II, the Olson 30 from Antigua, took overall in Racing class from the J/27, Magnificent 7. In the Melges 24 fleet St Maarten's 2 Contact Carib took an overall win. Cold Beer, John Schultheiss' Tartan 10, won a close-fought battle with the Sirena 38, Pipe Dream in the Racer/Cruiser Class.

Sotto Voce continues to lead the racing class in the Caribbean Big Boat Series with Antigua Sailing Week to go.

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