Royal BVI Yacht Club elects new board at 44th AGM. James Gibson Joins Instructor Team


Photo: Royal BVI Yacht Club

Photo: Royal BVI Yacht Club

The 44th Royal BVI Yacht Club AGM took place on Tuesday 21 February 2017.

Attendees heard reports on the activities of the Club over the past year and thanks were given to all of the corporate partners, sponsors, members and volunteers who have supported the Club and the Youth Sailing Programme.

Commodore Todd Patterson, retiring after two years in the role, handed over the reins to Chris Haycraft. Giles Wood was elected as Vice-Commodore, with Clair Burke, Eddie Brockbank, Ron Gurney and Lisa Penn-Lettsome re-elected for another term.

Elected to the board for the first time was Tamara Allen who will take on the role of Social Captain. Tamara brings a wealth of experience and will be tasked with rejuvenating the Club’s social scene and reinvigorating the membership, old and new.

Commodore: Chris Haycraft
Vice-Commodore: Giles Wood
Treasurer: Clair Burke
Captain of Sailing: Edward Brockbank
Captain of Infrastructure: Ron Gurney
Social Captain: Tamara Allen
Member at Large: Lisa Penn-Lettsome
Secretary: Tamsin Rand

James Gibson joins instructor team
Originally from Queensland, Australia, James has a real passion for teaching. He has been working professionally as an instructor for over five years in roles that varied from beginner classes to advanced catamaran techniques.

Growing up on a farm, he was introduced to sailing at the age of 11 and was instantly hooked. He learned to sail on a Hobie 16 and raced competitively in Hobie 16, Taipan 4.9s and Hobie Tigers so brings a new multihull skill set to the team.

In recent years, he has worked in Greece, for the Royal Brunei Yacht Club in Borneo and in Melbourne, Australia.

James brings a really fun and positive approach to the program and is already teaching the kids some new sailing lingo… Not only is he excited to be teaching sailing, his goal is also to enable the kids to gain confidence and essential experience in, on and around the water.

He loves kitesurfing, AFL, roast pork and Vegemite but wouldn’t be seen out with coriander!

James will be the lead instructor for all beginner and intermediate classes, FunSail sessions, holiday camps and KATS.

To find out more about our current schedule or discuss opportunities please send an email to the RBVIYC or call the office on 494-3286.

Top Three Finishes In St Croix for Team BVI Optimist Sailors

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

L to R:  Ryan Lettsome, Samuel Allen, Kael Chalwell, Nathan Haycraft, Antonio Cisneros, Kyle Roose and front Wil Seddon Photo: RBVIYC / Taylor Penwell

L to R: Ryan Lettsome, Samuel Allen, Kael Chalwell, Nathan Haycraft, Antonio Cisneros, Kyle Roose and front Wil Seddon
Photo: RBVIYC / Taylor Penwell

Seven Team BVI Optimist sailors from the Royal BVI Yacht Club traveled this weekend to compete in the 2017 Crucian Open at the St Croix Yacht Club.  Nathan Haycraft, Samuel Allen and Kael Chalwell all came home with trophies in their respective divisions.

Racing outside the reef at Teague Bay, the two day event saw light winds from 8-10 knots on Saturday, increasing slightly on Sunday to 10-12 knots.

27 sailors competed in the Championship Fleet. Nathan Haycraft picked himself up after a mixed first day to post top three finishes in the last three races and climb to third overall, albeit tied on points with second place finisher Caroline Sibilly from St Thomas. Haycraft also claimed second place in the Blue Fleet (age 11 & 12).

Next up was Kyle Roose in 18th place and steady mid-teen finishes to take 10th in the Red Fleet (age 13 to 15).  Our newest Championship Fleet sailor, Samuel Allen sailed consistently through the weekend with a fantastic sixth place finish in race three to finish third in the White fleet (age 10 and under) and 21st overall.

Ryan Lettsome came in 26th overall after finding himself with an OCS and then a black flag he had to count in the overall score. Starting technique is one of the most crucial elements of race strategy and perfecting the moment of hitting the start line just as the gun goes is one that all sailors work hard to achieve so it’s only natural to get it wrong a few times along the way.

In the Green Fleet, Kael Chalwell faced stiff competition from local St Croix YC sailor, Moorehead and it ultimately came down to the very last race.  Tied on points, the two sailors went head to head for the overall win but Moorehead just clinched it finishing the race second to Chalwell’s third.

Antonio Cisneros, at only his second overseas regatta raced an excellent series with his best result of 4th in race eight and an overall finish position of 8th.  Wil Seddon, the youngest team member finished in 14th.

The St Croix Yacht Club once again put on an excellent weekend of racing and friendship, they even managed to organize on water entertainment from some curious dolphins or maybe they had come along to watch the racing … who knows!

The RBVIYC thanks the Moorings for their support, Chris, Coach Taylor, all the parents who helped with meals, loading and unloading and everyone at St Croix Yacht Club.

Optimist Championship fleet (27)
3. Nathan Haycraft (2nd Blue fleet)
18. Kyle Roose (10 red fleet)
21. Samuel Allen (3rd White fleet)
26. Ryan Lettsome (6th White fleet)

Optimist Green fleet (22)
2. Kael Chalwell
8. Antonio Cisneros
14. Wil Seddon

Click for full results

Team BVI Challenged at Pan Pepin Regatta

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Jerome Parkins finishing third in the Laser Radial Class in the 2017 Pan Pepin Regatta, Puerto Rico. Photo: Provided

Jerome Parkins finishing third in the Laser Radial Class in the 2017 Pan Pepin Regatta, Puerto Rico. Photo: Provided

Ten Team BVI sailors raced in the 2017 Pan Pepin Regatta hosted by Club Nautico San Juan this past weekend.

Over 90 boats competed in the regatta in the Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420, Sunfish, Optimist Green Fleet and Optimist Championship Fleet.

The BVI Team was represented in the Optimist Championship, Optimist Green and Laser Radial fleets and were joined by three additional sailors from the US, St. Croix and Curacao. Darius Berenos from Curacao sailed with Team BVI in the Laser 4.7 class along with Milo Miller and Zach Carvahal competing in the Optimist Championship Fleet from St. Croix and the US respectively.

Winds were medium to heavy with speeds from 13-20 knots and the San Juan harbor was challenging to track the wind shifts but everyone worked hard to master the conditions. Unfortunately for a number of the team, problems with gear failure forced them to sit out some races and count some painful letter scores.

Top BVI Sailors included Kael Chalwell placing sixth in the Optimist Green Fleet, Nathan Haycraft placing fifth in the Optimist Championship Fleet and Jerome Parkins finishing third in the Laser Radial Class.

Darius Berenos finished first in the Laser 4.7 class after a dramatic winner takes all final race in which he beat St. Thomas’ Mateo Di Blasi to win the tie break.

Opti Championships (30)
5. Nathan Haycraft (1st blue fleet)
18. Ryan Lettsome (3rd white fleet)
29. Samuel Allen (7th white fleet)

Opti Green (24)
6. Kael Chalwell
19. Amanda Plaxton
23. Victoria Rowlette

Laser Radial (6)
3. Jerome Parkins
4. Alex Rambarose
5. Stephon Ganga
6. Noah George

Click for full results

Royals Win Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy

Source: Royal BVI Yacht Club

 Royals win 2017 Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy. Photo: Provided

Royals win 2017 Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy. Photo: Provided

16 boats raced for the 2017 Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy on Saturday with club honours at stake as well as the race win. Ultimately, it is the Royal BVI Yacht Club who retain the Statue of Liberty Trophy for another year, with three of the team taking the top four places.

Returning for their second year to challenge the BVI clubs, the Manhattan Yacht Club fielded eight boats and the Royal BVI Yacht Club and West End Yacht Clubs four apiece.

The pursuit race started off Nanny Cat at 09:35 with the course taking the fleet up to Deadchest, leaving Peter Island and Flanigan to starboard, Pelican and the Indians to port before returning to the finish off Nanny Cay. A sparkling day on the water with a steady breeze made for some exciting racing with the first boat taking three and a half hours to complete the course.

First overall was the RBVIYC IC24 Black Pearl who reeled in the boats which started before them as they rounded Deadchest and proved to be impossible to catch for the faster boats chasing hard behind them. In second place was Girasoli finishing just 4 minutes behind the Pearl.

Next up was Nanny Cay KATS skippered by the Commodore of the Manhattan Yacht Club, Michael Fortenbaugh. Pulling together a scratch crew, including KATS sailor De’Sani Thomas, they put in an impressive performance to hold off the rapidly approaching J111, Spike which had started almost an hour behind them!

First home for the West End Yacht Club was The Black Pig, sneaking just over a minute ahead of teammates Wicked Winch. Seventh across the line was RBVIYC Commodore with Dances with Whales, also doubling as official photo boat.

Five of the MYC boats sailed an impromptu shortened course with Flag Shipping XV crossing the line first.

Back at the RBVIYC clubhouse, Governor John Duncan was on hand to present the prizes and the MYC presented medals of appreciation including a personal thank you from Commodore Fortenbaugh, awarding all those skippers who finished behind him with a medal.

The RBVIYC acknowledged all the sailors from all three clubs for their participation, Pam Fuller for running the race committee assisted by James Gibson, and Clair Burke for the photography. Thanks also were given to Pussers and Caribbean Cellars for the skippers’ bags and prizes.

The race was also the penultimate one in the Pussers Painkiller Series and, with Black Pearl taking their third win of the series ahead of Girasoli, it’s looking like an exciting finish for the Dark and Stormy.

1. Black Pearl – Eddie Brockbank (RBVIYC)
2. Girasoli – Keith Li Greci (RBVIYC)
3. Nanny Cay KATS – Michael Fortenbaugh (MYC)
4. Spike – Sam Talbot (RBVIYC)
5. Black Pig – Gilbo Simpson (WEYC)
6. Wicked Winch – David Lake (WEYC)
7. Dances with Whales – Todd Patterson (RBVIYC)
8. Reverie – Don Pietrykowski (WEYC)
9. Wildfire – John Hayes (WEYC)
10. Foxys – (MYC)
11. Curious Cat – (MYC)

RTD – Millenium Falcon, Black Pearl (Cat 4800), Flag Shipping XV, Mercedes V, Painkiller

Chalwell, Duff & Morrell head clean sweep for Team BVI in St Thomas

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Team BVI at the 2017 MLK Regatta in St Thomas. Photo: Provided

Team BVI at the 2017 MLK Regatta in St Thomas. Photo: Provided

Ten Team BVI Sailors raced in St Thomas at the 2017 MLK Regatta, January 14 – 15. It was a tough two days for all the sailors with the chill northerly wind gusting up to 30 knots across the race courses. Kael Chalwell, Rayne Duff and Sam Morrell all topped their classes, Opti Green, Opti Championship and Club 420 respectively.

Optimist Championship Fleet
Back with a vengeance after some time away from competition in the Optimist Championship fleet was Rayne Duff. Thriving in the windy conditions he was on form throughout the weekend. With nine races sailed, Duff took the bullet in seven, posting six consecutive race wins and finished on top of the podium ahead of arch rival Mia Nicolosi.

It was a less successful weekend for the other Championship fleet sailors… Nathan Haycraft finishing in sixth and Kyle Roose in ninth to give them second and fifth in the blue fleet.

Haycraft, forced to skip the first race after breaking his mast step, was luckily able to switch to a spare boat and get back into the action for the remaining four races of the day. A better second day saw him climb back up the leaderboard but not quite clicking into his recent top form. Roose posted consistent middle fleet results with his best finish of sixth coming in race six.

White fleet sailors Ryan Lettsome and Samuel Allen finished 17th and 18th overall respectively, both sailors challenged by the strong winds. Allen, the newest sailor to the championship fleet, could not quite match his excellent first day when he showed outstanding downwind speed in the breezy conditions. Just two points ahead was team mate Lettsome who secured fifth in the white fleet but like many of the lighter sailors found the conditions a major challenge.

Club 420
The BVI’s Sam Morrell, currently at school in St Thomas, was dominant in the five boat Club 420 fleet with crew Caroline Teare. Finishing first in five of the nine races he racked up a six point lead to take the overall win from Teddy Nicolosi of St Thomas. Morrell is looking ahead to a busy high school racing season, so we will be hearing more from him soon.

Optimist Green Fleet
The Green Fleet were wisely held ashore on Saturday but completed six races on Sunday under the watchful eye of Guest Coach Danny Petrovic. Kael Chalwell took the fleet by storm, finishing first in four of the six races by comfortable margins to secure an emphatic win.

Racing at his first overseas regatta was Antonio Cisneros. After not finishing the first race he went on to post confident results, including two 7th place finishes and rounded out the weekend in ninth overall.

Just two points behind in tenth place was Amanda Plaxton who stormed out of the blocks to finish fifth in the first race and went on to post consistent results through the remaining races. The youngest (and smallest) sailor in the team, Wil Seddon, struggled with the strong winds and after solid finishes in the first two races sat out the rest of the weekend.

The RBVIYC thanks the organizers for putting on a great weekend, the Moorings for the mothership, all of the parents who helped load / unload, prepare meals or chaperone the team, skipper Chris, Coach Taylor, guest coach, Danny Petrovic and all the sponsors and supporters of the BVI Youth Sailing Team.

Click here for full results

Youth sailors wrap up 2016 in Orange Bowl Regatta, Miami

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome in action in Miami Photo: Matias Capizzano

Thad Lettsome in action in Miami Photo: Matias Capizzano

Three Team BVI Sailors wrapped up 2016 with a trip to Miami to race in the 2016 Orange Bowl Regatta, December 26-30, 2016.

The first two days of racing saw light winds from 5-10 knots. The third day of racing was cancelled but the final day of racing had stronger winds from 14-18 knots to close out the regatta.

Thad Lettsome raced in the Laser Radial class with ten races sailed. With 84 boats registered the competition was fierce but Thad was on consistent form throughout, posting top 10 finishes in 6 races in the series. Comfortably qualifying for the gold fleet, he went on to finish in sixth place overall.

Thad’s younger brother, Ryan Lettsome was racing in the Optimist fleet along with team mate, Nathan Haycraft.

Racing in an enormous fleet of 255 boats split into four flights proved to be a challenging experience for both sailors and they both found themselves with black flag starting penalties on day one. Ten races were sailed in the series but competitors were only able to discard their worst score so a starting penalty really hurts and more than one is almost impossible to recover from.

Ryan received a black flag in the first two races but managed to steady himself and complete the regatta without further mishap and finished 94th in the silver fleet.

Things did not go so well for Nathan Haycraft who, despite some top 20 race finishes received further penalties and finished the regatta in 125th place in the silver fleet

Girasoli Wins 2016 Commodore’s Race


 Keith LiGreci and Girasoli won the 2016 Commodore's Cup. Photo: RBVIYC / Clair Burke

Keith LiGreci and Girasoli won the 2016 Commodore’s Cup. Photo: RBVIYC/Clair Burke

Eight boats entered the 2016 Commodore’s Race and enjoyed a blustery day’s sailing with Keith Li Greci on Girasoli taking the title.

The fleet was treated to a range of conditions with a beautiful BVI sailing day of big seas and big breeze giving way to intense squalls reportedly hitting the 40 knot mark and descending like a fog to obliterate all vision.

The course took the fleet from the start line in Road Harbour up to Hog Valley Green, across the channel to round Dead Chest before heading West to pass Pelican and Flanigan to Starboard, giving the crews a choice of heading out into the feisty conditions around the back of Peter Island or taking the inshore route. It was then back up to the Rhone Anchor dive buoy off Peter Island and then retunring across to finish between the Royal BVI Yacht and Lark Bank.

Keith LiGreci’s Girasoli took comfortable line honours after racing for just over three hours which proved to also be enough to take the overall win.

Second to finish was John Hayes on Wildfire with Aaron Gardner’s Bravissimo crossing the line exactly five minutes later. On corrected time, this gave Bravissimo second overall but Wildfire had to settle for fifth after another fine performance from David Lake on Wicked Winch.

Todd Patterson’s Dances with Whales fired off the start line and powered around the course in just over four hours. Opting to take the outer route around the back of Peter Island, the regulars from Pipe Dream found much value in the more comfortable ‘facilities’ of Dances, not least the ability to shelter from the rain!.

Don Pietrykowski skippered Reverie to sixth place. Two boats, Sapphire Breeze and Cheeky Monkey (STX), elected to retire and not risk damage to themselves or equipment.

The RBVIYC thanked sponsors O’Neal & Mundy, and Eddie Brockbank and Pam Fuller for running the Race Committee.

1. Girasoli – Keitih LiGreci
2. Bravissimo – Aaron Gardner (1st Racing)
3. Wicked Winch – David Lake
4. Wildfire – John Hayes
5. Dances with Whales – Todd Patterson
6. Reverie – Don Pietrykowski
RTD Sapphire Breeze – Stephen St Leger Moore
RTD Cheeky Monkey – Craig Hassey (STX)

The Commodore’s Race is part of the Pusser’s Painkiller Series – for results updates visit the West End Yacht Club Facebook page.

Boomorang Wins 47th Peg Legs Round Tortola Race

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Peg Legs Round Tortola Race 2016. Photo: Nanny Cay

Peg Legs Round Tortola Race 2016. Photo: Nanny Cay

Sixteen boats took part in the 47th annual Peg Legs Round Tortola Race on Saturday (December 10) with trimaran Triple Jack taking line honours but Boomorang skippered by Kevin Wrigley taking the overall prize on corrected time for the second consecutive year.

Chris Haycraft’s Pipe Dream, after battling it boat for boat with Boomorang, was second and Spike skippered by Sam Talbot was a third. Racing class results also went in that order.

Triple Jack won the multihull division with contender Fault Intolerant, a Gunboat 60, retiring due to gear failure.

David Lake and his crew on Wicked Winch took cruising class and Keith LiGreci’s Girasoli, the performance cruising class.

The last three boats back – Gypsea, Wildfire and Sapphire Breeze – all came in within 20 mins of each other as the sun was setting with the last, Sapphire Breeze, racing for more than 8 hours. Triple Jack took 3 hours and 44 minutes.

A course change for 2016 race gave competitors more tactical decisions; the course still took the racers anti-clockwise around Tortola but gave them the option to sail between Scrub, Great Camano and Guana Islands and Tortola or head further out to sailing outside them all. However, with the inner route taking 7 miles taken off the course, everyone went that way, thoroughly enjoying the change and the challenge of navigating through some tricky reef formations and an energetic current.

Then, as in previous races, the fleet headed to West End where, after a quick wiggle through Soper’s Hole, it was a beat back to the finish line off Nanny Cay.

The prize giving was held at the Beach Bar at Nanny Cay where a haul-out and launch and the Round Tortola trophy were awarded to the overall winner and vouchers from Peg Legs and Nanny Cay were dispensed to the class winners. Competitors also picked up valuable points towards the Pussers Painkiller Series.

SPOOKIE’s round Tortola record of 3 hours and 8 minutes was under no threat this year. Only boats rounding Great Camanoe and Guana Island to port were eligible for the Nanny Cay Challenge.

1. Boomorang – Kevin Wrigley (1st Overall)
2. Pipe Dream – Chris Haycraft (2nd Overall)
3. Spike – Sam Talbot (3rd Overall)
4. Firewater – Henri Leoning (4th Overall)
5. Sanderling – Mark Sanders (5th Overall)
6. Black Peal – Eddie Brockbank (7th Overall)
7. Bravissimo – Aaron Gardner (9th Overall)
8. Black Pig – Gilbo Simpson (10th Overall)

1. Triple Jack – Richard Wooldridge (6th Overall)
2. Wildfire – Ted Egan (15th Overall)
RTD. Fault Intolerant – Joe Pelletier

Performance Cruising
1. Girasoli – Keitih LiGreci (8th Overall)

1. Wicked Winch – David Lake (11th Overall)
2. Reverie – Don Pietrykowski (12th Overall)
3. Gypsea – Bruce Fletcher (13th Overall)
4. Sapphire Breeze – Stephen St Leger Moore (14th Overall)

Nanny Cay Challenge
TP52 SPOOKIE broke the Monohull Nanny Cay Challenge record in the Round Tortola Race at this year’s BVI Spring Regatta. An elapsed time of 3:08:43, took a whopping 21 minutes off the previous record of 03:29:44, set in March 2013 by Peter Corr’s Aiyana, an Alia 82.

Trimaran Triple Jack holds the outright and multihull Round Tortola Record of 2 hours, 33 minutes and 40 seconds.

Nanny Cay launched the Nanny Cay Challenge for the round Tortola record in 2010. Yachts visiting the British Virgin Islands are invited to make an attempt to beat the latest round Tortola records.

It’s an all-comer, any-day event, starting and finishing off Nanny Cay. Competitors must attempt the record anti-clockwise and round Beef, Scrub Island, Great Camanoe and Guana Island to port.

As with most sailing events, the reward is in the taking part and bragging rights but record breakers will be able to celebrate their feat with a free dinner at Peg Legs for up to 15 crew members and a jeroboam of champagne compliments of Nanny Cay. Record breakers also get their name on the perpetual trophy which is on display year-round in Peg Legs Restaurant.
Challengers must pay an entry fee of a $250 which is donated to a BVI charity of the challenger’s choice and includes two night’s dockage (before and after attempt) at Nanny Cay.

The charities to benefit so far:
– BVI Humane Society, $250, Triple Jack (April 2015)
– RBVIYC Youth Sailing Programme: $250, SPOOKIE, March 2016; $250, Aiyana, March 2013
– VISAR: Aiyana, $250, March 2013
– KATS: $250, INTAC, November 2012
– BVI Humane Society: $250, Triple Jack (October 2012); $250, Soma (April 2010)

Record Holders
TP 52, SPOOKIE, Steve & Heidi Benjamin – March 29, 2013 – 3 hours, 08 mins, 43 secs

Triple Jack, Richard Wooldridge/Steve Davis – April 30, 2015 – 2 hrs, 33 mins, 40 secs

BVI sailors steal the show in St Croix

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

BVI youht sailors dominate at 24th St Croix International Regatta. Photo: Emelyn Morris-Sayre

BVI youht sailors dominate at 24th St Croix International Regatta. Photo: Emelyn Morris-Sayre

Nine Team BVI Optimist sailors raced in the 24th St Croix International regatta this weekend, with podium finishes across the board.

Eleven races were sailed by both fleets in light winds around 10 knots on Saturday building through the weekend with gust up to 15 knots on Sunday.

Nathan Haycraft continued his run of good form to dominate the Championship fleet, securing nine wins in the 11 race series The only sailor to take away the bullet from Haycraft was team-mate Kyle Roose who took victory in the last two races of the regatta and finished second overall and second in the blue fleet.

Ryan Lettsome finished in fourth place overall just two points behind third and this was enough to secure the white fleet win for sailors aged 10 and younger.  In his first regatta sailing in the Championship fleet, Samuel Allen put in a solid performance with his best result of fourth coming in race 9.  Allen finished 6th overall, squeaking in ahead of team mate Max Reshetiloff by just one point and taking second place in the white fleet.  Reshetiloff took the red fleet win for sailors aged 13 to 15.

In the Green fleet the racing was tight at the top throughout the weekend.  Kael Chalwell fired out of the blocks, taking the bullet in the first race.  He followed that up with consistent sailing and another bullet in race number four and rounded out the weekend in third place, just four points back from the eventual winner.

First-timer and the youngest member of the team, Wil Seddon sailed an excellent series with a hugely impressive third place in race 7 and a final result of ninth.  Just behind him in tenth came Victoria Rowlette and Amanda Plaxton in twelfth.  Both these sailors are showing excellent improvement as they confidence grows at these regattas and will be ones to watch for the future.

Over in the big boat series there was another Haycraft on top, taking the CSA Spinnaker division with two firsts, four seconds and a third to finish a comfortable five points ahead of second place. Congratulations to Chris Haycraft and his Pipe Dream crew.

The RYBVIYC thanks the Moorings for the significant support providing a home and transport for the weekend, all the parents who chaperoned, helped loading boats or providing sustenance for the team and Coach Taylor.

Championship Fleet
1. Nathan Haycraft – 9 (1st blue fleet)
2. Kyle Roose – 16 (2nd blue fleet)
4. Ryan Lettsome – 33 (1st white fleet)
6. Samuel Allen – 49 (2nd white fleet)
7. Max Reshetiloff – 50 (1st red fleet)

Green Fleet
3. Kael Chalwell – 26
9. Wil Seddon – 78
10. Victoria Rowlette – 88
12. Amanda Plaxton – 92

24th International St Croix Regatta
1. Pipe Dream – Chris Haycraft – 13

Champagne Sailing for Inaugural Carey Olsen Double-Hander

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

 Dancing Lady sailed by Jaques Roux and Rebecca Paull, fourth in cruising. 2016 Carey Olsen Double-Handed Race November, 5 2016. © RBVIYC / Eddie Brockbank

Dancing Lady sailed by Jaques Roux and Rebecca Paull, fourth in cruising. 2016 Carey Olsen Double-Handed Race November, 5 2016. © RBVIYC / Eddie Brockbank

After a week of light wind and heavy showers, the BVI turned on the charm for the inaugural Carey Olsen Double-Handed Race on Saturday, November 5 to deliver champagne sailing conditions. Mark Sanders and Rory Greenan took the overall win in the racing division aboard Sanderling, with Wicked Winch, sailed by David Lake and Eric Ball taking cruising.

Thirteen boats, each sailed by just two people, were treated to 12-18 knots of breeze, sunshine and remarkably no showers. A wind shift shortly before racing got underway gave the fleets some unexpected challenges with the cruisers faced with an upwind downwind course whilst the racers 20 mile course became more of a reacher…

The cruising fleet were first away with one early casualty as Gypsea, sailed by Chris and Bruce Fletcher, broke their rudder after a close encounter with the reef and were forced to withdraw. In a building breeze, the fleet rounded Hog Vally Green and then headed east to a buoy laid just off Buck Island before beating across to round Dead Chest, crossing back over the channel to Hog Valley Green, returning to the Rhone anchor dive ball and then back downwind to the finish off the Royal BVI Yacht Club.

The larger boats in the fleet, Adagio and MJ made early gains and by the time they reached Dead Chest had stretched away from the fleet, despite a navigational error early in the race by the latter. Taking line honours after three hours and 23 minutes of racing was MJ sailed by Tamsin Rand and Mandi Atack with Bill and Mike Hirst on Adagio coming in second.

Despite their lengthy lead neither boat could match the upwind prowess off David Lake and Eric Ball on Wicked Winch who were third across the line but with enough time to take the class win.

In fourth place, in their first RBVIYC race on the boat, were Jacques Roux and Becky Paull sailing Dancing Lady. Stephen St Leger Moore and Brian Edmunds on Sapphire Breeze finished just 7 minutes ahead of Dancing Lady but not enough to beat them on corrected time, ending their day in fifth.

Wildfire, sailed by John Hayes and Eddie Brockbank were the one and only multihull and had a blast around the same race track as the racing fleet.

The final fleet to start were the race boats, all with hardy duos ready for a tough slog around the 20 mile course. The slightly longer route took them to Buck Island, out around Cooper Island and Dead Chest before crossing back to Buck Island and reaching to the finish.

The ‘offshore’ elements of the course presented stronger winds and big waves to further challenge the crews but after nearly three and a half hours of racing, the four boats finished within six minutes of each other.

The quickest boat in the fleet, The Black Pig, sailed by Gilbo Simpson and Tim Parsons suffered a broken tiller extension to add to the difficulty of racing their boat alone instead of with their usual seven person team. Electing not to fly their spinnaker on the final leg to the finish they just managed to hold on for class line honours ahead of Chris Haycraft and Matt Hood on the IC24 Latitude 18.

Third across the line were Mark Sanders and Rory Greenan in the Soling following by Aaron Gardner and Tom MacKellar on Bravissimo so it was over to the rating calculation to work out the final positions…

After several years of re-fit and in his first race with the boat, Mark Sanders was delighted to be announced the overall winner with Sanderling. A little over two and half minutes behind on corrected time and claiming second overall was Latitude 18 with Bravissimo coming in third and The Black Pig in fourth.

A lively prize giving and after place took place at Sharky’s where stiff and weary sailors shared the highs and lows of a cracking day on the water.

The RBVIYC thanks Carey Olsen for supporting the concept of the race, contributing to the RBVIYC Youth Sailing Programme and providing excellent prizes for the competitors.

Thank you to all the competitors and, last but not least, thank you to Pam Fuller and Giles Wood for running the race committee.

The 2017 race is provisionally scheduled for Saturday 4 November.

Visit our photo album here

1. Wicked Winch – David Lake & Eric Ball
2. MJ – Tamsin Rand & Mandi Atack
3. Adagio – Bill & Mike Hirst
4. Dancing Lady – Jacques Roux & Rebecca Paull
5. Sapphire Breeze – Stephen St Leger Moore & Brian Edmunds
6. Gypsea – Chirs & Bruce Fletcher (RTD)

1. Wildfire – John Hayes & Eddie Brockbank

1. Sanderling – Mark Sanders & Rory Greenan
2. Latitude 18 – Chris Haycraft & Matt Hood
3. Bravissimo – Aaron Gardner & Tom MacKellar
4. The Black Pig – Gilbo Simpson & Tim Parsons