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

Laser 4.7

  1. Samuel Allen
  2. Max Reshetiloff


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


  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)


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


  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


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


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.


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)

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.

Spike wins 2017 Governor’s Cup Race

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Spike, owned by Brian Nixon and skippered by Sam Talbot won the 2017 Governor’s Cup Race retaining their title from 2016. Photo: RBVIYC / Clair Burke

Spike, owned by Brian Nixon and skippered by Sam Talbot won the 2017 Governor’s Cup Race on April 22, retaining their title from 2016.

Seven boats contested the race on a brilliant BVI race day over a 17 mile course starting at Nanny Cay, rounding Little Thatch to port, rounding the eastern most Rhone anchor dive buoy in Peter Islands’ Great Harbour to port and returning to the finish off Nanny Cay.

First away at 11:05 was the Cruising Class with His Excellency Governor John Duncan OBE taking the helm on Keith Li Greci’s Girasoli through some of the race. David Lake’s Wicked Winch put up a valiant fight but were not able to snatch the class win from Girasoli.

Starting at 11:35, The downwind start gave competitors something different to think about with their start line tactics but all five took off with kites hoisted for the first mark, around Little Thatch to port. First around was J111 Spike, with Pipe Dream hot on their heels.

Mark Sanders, skipper of the Soling Sanderling had a close call when crew Russell Willings took an unexpected dip as they gybed to pass Frenchman’s Cay. Fortunately, Sanders was able to haul his crew-mate back on board without losing control of the spinnaker and the pair quickly got back on course.

The beat up to the Rhone Anchor marker was tactically challenging and a long hard slog. Spike and Pipe Dream continued their tit for tat racing with the former giving their all to throw off Haycraft’s Sirena 38. Spike crossed the finish line after 2 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds of racing and with Pipe Dream nearly 20 minutes later they had done enough to take the win on corrected time by 3 minutes and 42 seconds.

Rounding Little Thatch last, the Black Pearl took the hitch straight across to the shore of St John and managed to claw back ahead of Black Pig and Sanderling and held on to round the windward mark less than a boat length ahead of the Pig. It was kites up for the final reach back to the finish line with the fleet all finishing within an hour of Spike.

RBVIYC thanks HE Governor John Duncan for donating the prizes, Nanny Cay for hosting the race and donating prizes to the class winners, to top race committee Pam Fuller and John Hayes, photographer Clair Burke and all the competitors who enjoyed a great day on the water.

Position. Boat name. Skipper. – corrected time
1. Spike – Sam Talbot – 2:35:43
2. Pipe Dream – Chris Haycraft – 2:39:25
3. Black Pearl – Eddie Brockbank 2:46:50
4. Girasoli –  Keith LiGreci (1st Cruising) – 2:49:11
5. Sanderling – Mark Sanders – 2:52:51
6. The Black Pig – Gilbo Simpson – 2:56:39
7. Wicked Winch – David Lake (2nd Cruising) – 3:17:39

White Gold For Team BVI at VIODA

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

The BVI was represented by five sailors at the 2017 VIODA regatta in St Thomas. Photo: RBVIYC

The BVI was represented by five sailors at the 2017 VIODA regatta in St Thomas. Photo: RBVIYC

The BVI was represented by five sailors at the Virgin Islands Optimist Dinghy Association (VIODA) regatta in St Thomas during the weekend of April 8 – 9.

Samuel Allen came home first in the white fleet (age 10 and younger) and Rayne Duff was third in the red fleet.

Ten races were sailed in Great Bay with a pleasant 10 to 12 knots on Saturday, decreasing on Sunday to 7-8 knots.

Samuel Allen topped the podium in the white fleet, with steady results that included his first ever bullet in the Championship fleet in race three. Finishing tenth overall is an excellent achievement since graduating from the green fleet in January this year.

Rayne Duff finished in fourth place overall and 3rd in the red fleet for sailors aged 13 and over. With two bullets and three second place finishes it was a mixed event for Duff who has won his division at the past two editions of this event.

Ryan Lettsome had a challenging weekend at his first regatta racing in the blue fleet. Lettsome finished in 18th overall with three top ten finishes. Just two places behind was Kael Chalwell at only his second regatta in the Championship fleet, his best finish a ninth in race eight.

Antonio Cisneros finished 23rd, racing in the Championship fleet for the first time and continues to make great improvements at every regatta he competes at.

VIODA is the second of the three regattas in the Triple Crown – the winners will be decided at the BVI Dinghy Championships on 20-21 May.

The RBVIYC thanks the organizers and hosts, St Thomas Yacht Club, The Moorings for the team mother-ship, and all the parents who helped with loading, unloading and meals as well as John Puig and Taylor Penwell for looking after the team for the weekend.

4. Rayne Duff (3rd red fleet)
10. Samuel Allen (1st white fleet)
18. Ryan Lettsome
20. Kael Chalwell
23. Antonio Cisneros