Photos: Todd vanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival

New monohull round Tortola course record

Peter Corr's Alia 82 Aiyana claims honours

Tuesday March 26th 2013, Author: Louay Habib, Location: Virgin Islands

In today's Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, Peter Corr's Alia 82 Aiyana smashed the monohull record by nearly half an hour, setting a new record of 3 hours, 29 minutes and 44 seconds for the 37-mile run around Tortola.

Aiyana is the largest yacht competing at the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, however the start of the race it didn't go according to plan as Aiyana's owner, Peter Corr explained: "At the start, we only had about 8 knots of wind and we had to do a restart, so we didn't think the record was on, but the breeze built to about 12 knots and with the wind just south of east, it was a great direction for the race. As we went up the east side of Tortola, the breeze built and we were getting lifted all the time and managed to hoist an A-sail just around Beef Island. Things were really looking up as we peeled to our symmetrical kite at Scrub Island.

"On the Atlantic coast of Tortola we were back on the A-Sail and stayed way out as we were worried about getting trapped with no wind under the island. We had some great boat speed on a tight reach but we knew that the most difficult part of the course lay ahead; getting through the narrow high sided gap between Tortola and St.John. Just off Soper's Hole, we kept getting headed causing enough tacks to blister my thumbs, but we held it together and then we knew that the record was pretty much broken."

In the Cruising Class, Aiyana took line honours, after time correction, two yachts beat the 82ft sloop on handicap. Matthew Barker's 1930s sloop Blue Peter was a magnificent sight, leaping to windward and flying a huge spinnaker downwind. She claimed second in class but it was the Swan 51 Northern Child, skippered by Lucy Reynolds, that took the class win.

In the Racing Class, Marcus Cholerton-Brown's First 47.7 EH01 developed an engine problem before the start, but they needn't have worried, as their boat's speed under sail was exceptional and the British charter boat romped home to take the class win by over 12 minutes from Italian Swan 53 Meri Balletti, skippered by Jonathan Taylor. Canadian First 36.7 Hammertime II, skippered by Pasquale Leone was third.

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