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