Virgin’s Cup and William Thornton Race | Women At The Helm

21 boats entered 2020 Virgin’s Cup and William Thornton Race on Saturday, October 24

Victoria Rowlette at the helm of “Whoop Whoop” defended her title in the 2020 Virgin’s Cup and William Thornton Race on Saturday, October 24.

21 boats entered the race ranging from the Corsair trimarans to 40ft cruising boats and 12 foot dinghies. The Virgin’s Cup, sponsored by the Willy T, is always a popular event, getting women on the helm and encouraging families to get out together on the race course and enjoy the party at the end,

After a week of very light winds Saturday dawned with cracking conditions and sunshine, and even the rain stayed away.

First away was the monohull fleet, their course taking them up the channel to Hog Valley Green, across to Deadchest and then passing Peter Island to starboard. Next around Pelican and the Indians before heading to the finish in the Bight. Linda Phillips on IC24 Latitude 18 nailed the best start and away they went.

A pre-start loss of steering aboard Tranquillo saw them start a little late under emergency tiller but that was not going to stop them! The team went on to finish fourth overall and win the best dressed crew award for showing true commitment with custom made event crew shirts.

Meagan Woodman’s sail training Beneteau 23 were also a little late for the start and opted to sail a ‘modified course’ taking a direct route to the Willy T.

Next up were four trimarans who delivered a spectacle and, after a quick line re-set, the dinghies were sent off on their more direct route, leaving the Indians to port before heading for the finish. First to arrive at the finish line was Colin Rathbun with his UFO and just over a minute behind him, Christian Thompson in the other. Still relatively new to the BVI, it seems the window for ideal foiling conditions is small.

Next in was Samuel Allen who took the Laser Radial win. The Bight is notorious for flukey wind and the first to struggle with the tricky gusts coming into the finish were Charlotte Matthews and Dwayne Palmer with Palmer coming out on top by just 3 seconds. Despite having the best start, Max Reshetiloff closed out the Radial fleet in fourth.

Liz Killeen and Rob Lind also had ‘some fun’ with the finish and only just edged out Stephen Ganga in the RSFevas. 10 year old Darcey Lilleyman sailing with dad Tom finished third in the Feva class to wrap up the dinghy fleets.

It was little surprise to see the bright orange hull of Whoop Whoop taking line honours for the big boats. At 13 years of age, Victoria Rowlette, defended her title from 2019, leading Ting a Ling, helmed by Candice Nichol, by six minutes. Next in was Sarah Ebrill with Airgasm to take third in class and third overall. Rounding out the trimaran fleet was Sam Brown at the helm of The Flying Pig.

The most remarkable finish was delivered by the Firewater team with Dee Bowden at the helm. While not their finest moment, they had still done enough for the Melges 24 to edge out the chasing IC24s. Coming in with just 37 seconds between them, Racing in Paradise and Latitude 18 were a delight to see on the race course again as neither one has raced since the hurricanes of 2017 with hopes that there will be more to come from them. RIP just took the edge with the helm shared between Claire Potter, Katie Westlake and 5 1/2 year old Rosie Wooldridge who also won the youngest competitor award. Linda Phillips and the Latitude 18 team came in third in racing and sixth overall.

First home in the cruising class and far enough ahead to hold off the chasing pack, was Odyssey, another boat where the helming duties were shared. Well done to Lisa Sutherland-Pilch, Claudia Delahoy and Judy Petz. Becky Paull skippering Aira were next home but second went to the Wicked Winch team helmed by Becca Brannigan. Finally, still looking good in their red shirts, was Tranquillo to take fourth.

The Royal BVI Yacht Club and event organising committee thanked Ewan Anderson and all the team at the Willy T for another great race wrap and the prizes. Thanks were also extended to PRO Bob Phillips and Leslie for race committee work and photography and to Julia, John and Mandi for providing safety cover for the dinghy fleet.

Lettsome fifth at US High School Sailing Nationals

Thad Lettsome placed 5th at the 2019 Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) Cressy High School Singlehanded National Championship, Santa Barbara, CA 2019

The 2019 Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) Cressy High School Singlehanded National Championship took place in Santa Barbara, California on 2-3 November. BVI national, Thad Lettsome qualified to compete for Tabor Academy when he won the NESSA Single Handed Championship for the Healy Trophy in October.

The first day of racing saw a slow build in the south south westerly wind ranging from 6 to 12 knots. Nine races were sailed on day one with Lettsome posting consistent finishes across the board.

The best races for Lettsome were in the breezier conditions where the combination of a clean start and excellent boat speed in hiking conditions resulted in posting three second place finishes on his score card. Throughout the day, Lettsome demonstrated excellent boat handling and solid tactical decision making to sit just six points off second place at the close of the day.

On day two, there were four more races which were sailed in light variable conditions. It was a day of mixed fortunes for Lettsome and despite an eighth and another second, an OCS in race 11 and a somewhat complicated protest situation, he slid back to finish sixth overall.

Whilst not the overall result he was hoping for, the regatta was a great opportunity to develop skills worked on at a recent training camp with Canadian Olympian Lee Parkhill. In particular, downwind skills and gybing technique were both areas where he regained positions in Santa Barbara.

Victoria Rowlette Wins & Ladies Celebrate 100 | Willy T Race & Virgins Cup

Victoria Rowlette, driving Whoop Whoop took the multihull class and the overall win in the 29th Willy T Race and Virgin’s Cup. Photo: © RBVIYC / Clair Burke

The 29th Willy T Race and Virgin’s Cup took place on Saturday, October 19 with 14 boats racing from Nanny Cay across to the Willy T.

From a start line set off Nanny Cay, the race took sailors up to Hog Valley Green marker buoy off Road Town and across the channel to pass between Norman and Peter Island, down to Pelican and the Indians and up to finish in the Bight. Four dinghies took a more direct route to round Pelican and the Indians before entering the Bight.

There were two dinghy classes, the Laser 4.7 and RSFeva. Samuel Allen and Max Reshetiloff duked it out in the Laser 4.7 with Allen taking a commanding lead to the Indians. Reshetiloff made a comeback in the final leg to the finish but not quite enough to take the win from Allen.

In the RSFeva class, 9 year old Darcy Lilleyman and her dad Tom showed off the skills she’s learned in the RBVIYC after school program to take the win. Up against them were Julia Campbell and Dave Allen who were forced to retire after taking on water.

There were five entries in the cruising class, all but one with lady helms. Sharon Barber steered Wicked Winch to the overall victory in her class by just over 2.5 minutes on corrected time. In second place was Odyssey, helmed by Lisa Sutherland-Pilch, who had an eventful race including an unexpected dunking for owner, Miles!

Barbara Bailey on Second Nature claimed third ahead of Monica Geppert on Moonshadow in fourth. Flying in for line honors in the class was Bruce Fletcher’s Ginger but they took fifth with an RTD as it’s not quite the done thing to use the engine!

Three boats in the race division had a very close race but the IC24 ElAmanda, helmed by Amanda Plaxton and Leslie Cramer clinched the win, despite a late start. In second place was Dee Bowden with Firewater and Sam Brown at the helm of The Black Pig came in third.

In the multihull division, Lucky 7 with Linda Phillips at the helm got off to a flying start but unfortunately rudder failure half way around the course forced them to retire. This left Victoria Rowlette, driving Whoop Whoop, with a clean shot. A fantastic performance from 12 year old Rowlette saw her take the multihull class and the overall win.

At a colourful prize giving hosted by the Willy T’s very own Ewan Anderson, thanks we’re given to the race committee and local supporters who donated prizes; the Willy T, Captain Mulligans, Village Cay and Nanny Cay Beach Bar.

Special awards were given to the oldest and youngest skippers, Barbara Bailey (91) and Darcy Lilleyman (9), whose combined age reached a whopping 100 years. Flora Lilleyman was also acknowledged for her assistance to the race committee.

Click here for photos on RBVIYC Facebook page.

Click here for high res pictures on RBVIYC Flickr page.

All images: © RBVIYC / Clair Burke

Results
Laser 4.7

  1. Samuel Allen
  2. Max Reshetiloff

RSFeva

  1. Darcy and Tom Lilleyman
  2. Julia Campbell and Dave Allen (RTD)

Cruising

  1. Wicked Winch (Hunter 30.2) – Sharon Barber
  2. Odyssey (Beneteau 44.7) – Lisa Sutherland-Pilch
  3. Second Nature (Hughes38) – Barbara Bailey
  4. Moonshadow (Tayana/V42) – Monica Geppert
  5. Ginger (Morgan46) – Bruce Fletcher (RTD)

Racing

  1. ElAmanda (IC24) – Amanda Plaxton & Leslie Cramer
  2. Firewater (Melges24) – Dee Bowden
  3. Black Pig (Tartan10) – Sam Brown

Multihull

  1. Whoop Whoop (Corsair27) – Victoria Rowlette
  2. Lucky 7 (Corsair750) – Linda Phillips (RTD)

VI sailors make news – Thad Lettsome selected for Lima 2019 PanAm Games

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome. Source:All at Sea

2019 PanAm Games
Thad Lettsome will be representing the Virgin Islands (UK) in the Men’s Laser event at this year’s Pan American Games in Peru. The territory’s #1 Laser sailor has been awarded a Universality Place by the organizing committee and will be traveling to the prestigious event in July this year.

The BVI has not been represented in the sailing events at the PanAm Games since the 1990s.

RWU Hall of Fame
BVI Sailor, Alec Anderson, has been inducted into the Roger Williams University Hall of Fame. Anderson was a four-year member of the RWU Sailing team, ending his career as one of the most accomplished sailors in program history. He was a three-time ICSA All-American Coed Skipper and a three-time All-NEISA First Team Skipper. Congratulations Alec!

Charleston Race Week
Colin Rathbun, Christian Thompson, Ted Reshetiloff and Max Reshetiloff representing the BVI raced in the Flying Tiger 7.5 class with Andrew Kerr at the 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week. The Team finished 1st overall with four wins in the 9 race series and never finishing lower than third in any race. Congratulations Team BVI!

VI sailor Thad Lettsome competes at Hempel World Cup Series 2019

By RBVIYC

BVI’s Thad Lettsome placed 88th at the Hempel World Cup Series 2019, Miami, USA Jan 27 – Feb 3. Photo copyright: Sailing energy/World Sailing

Thad Lettsome from the Virgin Islands placed 88th in the Laser class at the Hempel World Cup Series 2019 in Miami, USA  (January 27 – February 3). The top three places went to Hermann Tomasgaard (Norway) 1st, Sam Meech (New Zealand) 2nd, and Tom Burton (Australia) 3rd.

Competing at his first elite regatta at just 16 years of age, Lettsome raced in a fleet of 101 Lasers (the equipment used at the Olympic Games) including Olympic medalists and world champions.  Conditions were tricky throughout the regatta with storms whipping through the course areas and dramatic wind shifts providing challenges to all.

The qualifying series consisted of four races over two days before the fleet was divided into gold and silver fleets.  In light shifty conditions, Lettsome posted consistent results with his best finish in 39th position.  Assigned to the silver fleet, he went on to impress with outstanding scores in races 8 and 9 when he claimed 7th and 5th place.

With an excellent overall position of 88th, Lettsome takes home some valuable experience from his first elite senior regatta. Upcoming challenges for Lettsome will include the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships in Poland in July.

The Hempel World Cup Series is the annual series of Olympic sailing events for elite and professional sailors.  The multi-class regattas attract the best of the best with this year’s Miami event listing 101 Laser entries including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tom Burton, and bronze medalist Sam Meech.

Fifth Place for Thad Lettsome at ISSA Nationals

By RBVIYC
 

Thad Lettsome placed 5th at the Inter Scholastic Sailing Association National Championships. Photo: Elle Bruce

Thad Lettsome represented Tabor Academy at the US Inter Scholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) National Championships sailing the Laser during the weekend of weekend of 27-28 October.
Lettsome finished in fifth place overall with two first place scores in his series.
 
It was a cool weekend with light, shifty winds for the most part until the last two races when a shift to the west provided a solid 12-15knts of breeze to end the regatta.
The regatta was hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club on Lake Michigan.
Click to read the full report

Lettsome Finishes On a High at 2018 Youth Worlds

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome finished in 14th place at the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas. Photo: Jen Edney/World Sailing

Thad Lettsome finished the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships in 14th place. Racing in the 58 strong Boy’s Laser Radial event Lettsome pulled out all the stops on the final day of racing to clinched a 5th place and raise himself one place up the leaderboard.

Racing took place from 16-20 July with two races per day until the final day when one race was sailed. Lettsome sprang out of the blocks on day one with a 13th and a 6th and continued to punch out all but two top 20 finishes. Proving that consistency is key and ending the regatta with his best result is a terrific boost.

“It was an epic day today, I had to battle really hard with the Spanish sailor to get ahead of him overall,” said Lettsome. “We worked on a plan and I believe I executed it the best I could.”

“There were just four points separating 11th to 14th,” commented coach Chris Watters. “On a normal day a fifth would have moved him up all those spots but all the other competitors in that range put out their best race as well! It was really great to see them all step up.”

There were 382 competitors from 66 nations at this year’s event racing in nine events – this is the best of the best. In December, Lettsome travelled to China for his first Youth Worlds and finished a very creditable 33th place.

“I am very proud of Thad and his performance this year, he has accomplished a huge amount in the last six months,” said Coach Watters.

At 16 years of age, Lettsome has another two years of eligibility to compete at this championship which in 2019 will be hosted by Gdynia, Poland.

Earlier in July, Lettsome finished in 10th place at the US Laser Radial Nationals which he used a training event for the Worlds. Next up will be CORK regatta in Kingston, Canada from 13-17 August. He also represents the Tabor Academy racing Club 420s in the high school circuit.

The Royal BVI Yacht Club thanks World Sailing for the support from the ENP and for putting on another great event, coach Chris Watters and everyone who supports the Youth Sailing Programme in the BVI.

Click for results
Click for photos

ENP Scholarship
Lettsome was awarded a scholarship by World Sailing to join their Emerging Nations Programme (ENP) which included a coaching clinic in the days leading up to the Championships. “The clinic is a great opportunity for the sailors to get used to the area before the competition starts, fine tune and prepare for sailing with a big fleet of boats.” said Lettsome.

About the Youth Sailing World Championships
The Youth Sailing World Championships is the premiere event on the youth racing calendar. With just one entry per nation per event it is the ultimate achievement to gain the opportunity to represent your country.

First contested in 1971 a long list of sailing greats have won medals at this event as they emerged onto the international stage.

20 youth sailors compete in 2018 BVI Dinghy Championships

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

The BVI Team – Samuel Allen (champ fleet) plus green fleet sailors Ethan George, Jayde Fanord, Matthew & Benedict Grayson and Victoria Rowlette with Commodore Giles Wood and Tamsin Rand Photo: RBVIYC / Clair Burke

The 2018 BVI Dinghy Championships welcomed 20 competitors representing the BVI, St Thomas and Puerto Rico.  Racing on May 19 and 20, Tanner Krygsveld from St Thomas Yacht Club was the overall Optimist winner with Paul Johnson taking the Laser 4.7 title.

Out on the championship course, sailors were treated to 20+ knots of wind and waves, peppered by squalls adding even more wind and rain to the mix.  The skill of these sailors is so impressive, on days when most would decide to stay ashore, they were eager to get out there and thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of the conditions.

Tanner Krygsveld (STYC), last year’s white fleet winner, was a force to be reckoned with this weekend, finishing first in five of the 11 races.  In second place, five points adrift on 26, was Andy Yu, also from St Thomas, with a consistent series including two race wins.  Third overall and first in the red fleet was Winn Majette.  The BVI’s Samuel Allen had a challening weekend, finishing in ninth place.

The Optimist Green fleet completed all but one of their 18 races in the inner marina, where (since Irma removed the docks and boats) there is an excellent arena for small boat racing providing a treat for spectators to watch the action right on their doorsteps..literally!

On Sunday morning, they bravely joined the championship fleet race course for their first race of the day.

“Congratulations to all the sailors for taking on the challenge, it was a major achievement for all of them to race in those conditions.  Well done to Coby Fagan who finished in first place, Victoria Rowlette second and Matthew Grayson third,” said Tamsin Rand, RBVIYC manager.

The fleet then returned to the inner marina for a further six races. Overall it was Coby Fagan from St Thomas Yacht Club who dominated the fleet, finishing in first place in 13 of the races.  Other race winners were Victoria Rowlette, second overall; Amanda Plaxton, third overall; Matthew Grayson, fourth overall.

Four Laser sailors, wisely selecting the 4.7 rig, took to the race course on Saturday with Paul Johnson coming away as the clear winner.  All the Laser sailors, Paul, Rory, Tom and Charlie, provided great entertainment to the spectators who look forward to regular Laser racing in the near future.

The trophies this year were handmade from recycled materials damaged by Hurricane Irma.  Presented on Sunday at the Youth Sailing base in Nanny Cay, the Opti and Laser replicas were made from a shutter from Government House and pieces of the Royal BVI Yacht Club deck.

The RBVIYC thanked event hosts Nanny Cay, as well as Doyle Sails and all the competitors, parents, support teams and  volunteers on and off the water who made the championships possible.

Results:

Optimist Championship Fleet
Red Fleet
1. Winn Majette – 38 pts (3rd overall)
2. Caroline Sibilly – 44 pts
3. Katherine Majette – 58 pts

Blue Fleet
1. Tanner Krygsveld  – 21 pts (1st overall)
2. Andy Yu – 26 pts (2nd overall)
3. Alejo di Blasi – 55 pts

Opti Green Fleet
1. Coby Fagan
2. Victoria Rowlette
3. Amanda Plaxton

Laser 4.7
1. Paul Johnson
2. Rory Lynch
3. Tom Lilleyman
4. Charlie Peschardt

Click here for full results.

Click here for high res photos.

Thad Lettsome in China for 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships

Source: Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome and coach Chris Watters in Sanya, China for the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships Dec 6-9. Photo: Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome will be representing the Virgin Islands at the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championship in Sanya, China, December 6 – 9 when he sails in the Laser Radial Class against 51 other competitors.

Nearly 400 competitors will race across nine classes and with just one spot available to each country in each class, competition even to get selected is fierce.

The Youth Worlds is the pinnacle event in the youth racing calendar and, over the years, a long list of sailing legends such as Sir Ben Ainslie and Russell Coutts have won medals.

2017 BVI Dinghy champions crowned

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Winners of the 2017 BVI Dinghy Championships. Photo: © Royal BVI Yacht Club / Clair Burke

The 2017 BVI Dinghy Champions were crowned this weekend with 53 boats racing across four fleets. Hosted at Nanny Cay, visitors were welcomed from Antigua, St Croix, St Thomas and Puerto Rico and treated to two days of spectacular BVI sailing.

Optimist Championship Fleet
29 boats in the Championship fleet sailed twelve races out in the Sir Francis Drake Channel and it was Rayne Duff (IVB911) who took the overall win. Not once did Duff finish a race outside the top four and he finished the regatta with seventeen points, a whopping fourteen points ahead of second place finisher Mia Nicolosi (ISV624).

After receiving a Black Flag penalty in race two, Nicolosi took three straight bullets but could not find the consistency of Duff over the weekend. A reversal of fortunes from 2016, Duff was delighted to take the title as this will be his last Dinghy Championships racing in the Optimist class.

In third was Caroline Sibilly, from St Thomas Yacht Club and this also gave her the win in the blue fleet in which Nathan Haycraft took second and Winn Majette third, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

In the white fleet, Tanner Krygsveld from St Thomas was the winner, finishing an impressive twelfth place overall. Robert Richards also from St Thomas was second and the BVI’s Kael Chalwell third.

Also racing for the BVI were Ryan Lettsome who finished in 20th place, Samuel Allen who finished 24th and Antonio Cisneros. Competing in just his second regatta in the Championship fleet, Cisneros rounded out the weekend with an exceptional sixth place finish in the final race.

Optimist Green
Twelve green fleet sailors had a fantastic weekend, completing a total of 16 races. For some of these sailors it was their first ever regatta and they all did an outstanding job, returning to the beach with lots of smiles and asking for more racing!

Sebastian Medina from Puerto Rico was first overall with Gian Marco Piovanetti taking second and Ben Thill from St Thomas third.

Top BVI boat was Amanda Plaxton who claimed her first ever regatta race win and finished just three points behind Thill in fourth. Next up for the BVI was Victoria Rowlette in sixth, Wil Seddon in seventh and De’Sani Thomas in eighth.

Racing for the first time were Aidan Catterall, Jayde Fanord and the youngest competitor in the event, Xavier Johnston.

Laser Radial
Six competitors raced in the Laser Radial fleet and it was an intense duel for first and second place throughout the weekend. Daniel Smit from Antigua and Mateo di Blasi from St Thomas exchanged first and second place in every race but it was eventually Smit who prevailed and took the overall win by just one point.

Stephon Ganga finished in third overall to take the BVI title and he was followed by Alex Rambarose, Jerome Parkins and Noah George.

The RBVIYC thanks its partners and host for the weekend Nanny Cay Hotel and Marina, West End Yacht Club, Sol, Clearwater, CBN and the BVI Tourist Board. and acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the club’s volunteers..

The next BVI Dinghy Champioships will take place  May 18-20, 2018.

Results (Top Three)
Red Fleet (age 13 and over)
1. Rayne Duff (IVB911) – 1st overall
2. Mia Nicolosi (ISV 642) – 2nd overall
3. Jose Arturo Diaz (PUR 1207) – 4th overall

Blue Fleet (age 11 and 12)
1. Caroline Sibilly (ISV715) – 3rd overall
2. Nathan Haycraft (IVB864) – 6th overall
3. Winn Majette (ISV94) – 7th overall

White Fleet (age 10 and under)
1. Tanner Krygsveld (ISV 1955) – 12th overall
2. Robert Richards (ISV 14) – 16th overall
3. Kael Chalwell (IVB 91) – 21st overall

Green Fleet
1. Sebastian Medina (PUR 1404)
2. Gian Marco Piovanetti (PUR 1408)
3. Ben Thill (ISV 8008)

Laser Radial
1. Daniel Smit (ANT 165456)
2. Mateo di Blasi (ISV 199123)
3. Stephon Ganga (IVB 183771)

IC24
1. RIP, Richard Wooldridge (IVB 37)
2. Latitude 18, Colin Rathbun (IVB 35)
3. INTAC, Graeme Maccallum (IVB 39)

Click here for full results.

VIODA Triple Crown

The 2017 VIODA Triple Crown also wrapped up this weekend with the results added to those from the Crucian Open in February and the VIODA regatta in April.

Leading going into the weekend was Caroline Sibilly and she kept control of the leaderboard to take the title with 93 points from the three regattas. In second place was Jose Arturo Diaz from Puerto Rico and third place was Katherine Majette from St Thomas.

With 31 races sailed, the scores from each race are added together and a discard applied after every six races so they don’t count their worst scores.

Top BVI finisheres were: Rayne Duff in fifth, Nathan Haycraft in seventh and Samuel Allen in 18th place.