General Manager: Miles Sutherland Pilch – High season at Nanny Cay’s already busy resort and Marina is when one of the biggest sporting events in the Caribbean comes to town to sail, party and hustle.  They have had a few years to practice hosting and General Manager Miles Sutherland describes the event as something the whole staff looks forward to and looks back on with great pride. Accommodation is the vital logistic.  There are approximately 150 yachts coming in (100 will be relatively small craft).  There are 180 slips in Nanny Cay, on any given day they are all full.   Each racer will need a berth, shower, bathroom and something to eat and drink.  For every competitor there are 5 event supporters enjoying the parties and days on the beach chilling.

For each of these five, let’s say 3 people have a car.  Each wants a beer at the end of the day and the beer can goes (hopefully) into the trash.  There will be live music on stage and vendors for promotions, live video feed, committee rooms, sailing notice boards and public bathrooms.  The resort and marina, and its internal businesses go about their daily routine.  Mother ships accompany race boats to house crew, the resorts hotel is already full the day after the event for the next year.  There is also the sailing.  There are lists and there are drawings and there are headaches.

There is also the respect for the event as a priority.   It is a BVI event.  Created here it remains one of the few sailing events that have changed its name into a beer, rum or watch brand.  Each year Nanny Cay conducts a post mortem on the event, fresh in their minds.  Key points on this year’s agenda will be sound and vision.  The musicians want to be heard with good quality and the video feed large screen with edits of the days races will be a background to the festivities.  The vendors are committed, local restaurants offering their trades and the kiddy corps (volunteer trash collectors) is signed up and ready.  Aim for a trash can guys, kids are picking up your beer cans!!!  Nanny Cays project team switch onto the event village for maintenance and groundwork.   Police presence is in force to monitor traffic.  People and structures are in place there still looms the space quandary.  Nanny Cay is not Tortola and cramming everyone in… Tortola and a racing fleet are in Nanny Cay.

Timing of the event falls over the Easter Holidays.   For the charter bases in Nanny Cay many slips will be empty as guests check out the boats.  Kids are on holiday volunteering, boats that were on the hard in hurricane struts waiting for a sail are out, giving way to car parks for the event.  This is an offshore event with a fixed venue and captive audience at Nanny Cay.  Day times are quiet and the nights come alive.

Nightmares? Well, a few.  Miles recalls the year a huge name came to play music on the night.  The whole island and other island visitors came in for it; Nanny Cay became a free music festival.  Very much alive but over run and taking on a new dimension of a sailing festival.  Much more under control the parties run long into the night enjoyed by everyone.  The deeper current concern is that the bands may be lip synching to their music, its happened and its prevention that the team are focused on.

The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival are hosted by NANNY CAY as well as BITTER END. Many, many people are behind the scenes from various organizations chipping away to get a world class event off the ground.  Everyone does their part and does it well.  As to the racing, a simple format-do expect every condition, anticipate, adapt and react. And good luck! Enjoy- we will see you there. Time to get your game on.