October 5, 2009, Road Town, Tortola:  Money always makes people smile but this time, that is only part of the story.   Certainly Judy Petz, BVI Spring Regatta Director, Phil Aspiinal,  President of VISAR, Chuck Peterson, Director of Clearwater and Charlotte McDevitt, Executive Director of Green VI,  are all pleased that the BVI Spring Regatta campaign to promote the use of recyclable water bottles resulted in funds being raised for the donation to VISAR and Green VI, but it was even more important what this donation represented.

Judy Petz explained, “We really did it.  We set out to reduce plastic waste by 30% and with the donation by the BVI Tourist Board of the green reusable water bottles and Chuck Peterson stepping in and supplying free refills throughout our regatta, plastic waste was reduced considerably.  We met our goal and next year plan to raise the bar even higher.”

Executive Director of Green VI, Charlotte McDevitt, is in the midst of getting a pilot island wide recycling program off the ground.  With a major donation from Deloitte, and the funds from the BVI Spring Regatta, recycle bins for marinas, select schools and special events will be bought and distributed.  Recycle efforts will initially focus on glass but Charlotte explained that plans are to expand to include aluminum and PET plastic as soon as possible

When discussing how the funds for VISAR would be spent, all agreed with Phil Aspinal, President of VISAR, that the money should be earmarked to help pay for the new four stoke engine that will be bought as a “spare” for both the Tortola and Virgin Gorda rescue boats.  Phil explained, “The four stroke 225hp engine meets the requirements to be considered ‘green’ by the US Environmental Protection Agency.   It is so much more efficient than a comparable two stroke engine that the boat will go as fast with one half the throttle and use 66% less fuel.”

As a sponsor of the BVI Spring Regatta recycling initiative, Chuck Peterson could not have been more pleased.  “Last spring, at my wife’s insistence, I walked into Judy’s office and asked how I could help.  As it turned out, people were very excited to see us at the regatta with Clearwater, the drinking water purification machine, and the fact that the water tastes great and was free just added to our popularity.”

Sailors for the Sea, an organization committed to protecting the oceans and sponsors of the Clean Regattas Certification Program, awarded the 2009 BVI Spring Regatta the first Silver certificate to ever be awarded to any regatta.  Building on the success of 2009, Ms. Petz said that efforts will be expanded for the March 29 – April 4, 2010 event to include a further reduction of disposable plastic, a reduction of paper used in the registration process, electronic press packets, volunteers monitoring recycling bins and helping sailors and partygoers to get the trash and recyclable materials disposed of properly.


Held annually on the first weekend of April, the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival will be celebrating its 39th anniversary. It is now a seven-day event with two events back-to-back attracting an average of 150 yachts per year with eighty percent of the competitors from overseas.  The BVI Spring Regatta is presented by Nanny Cay Resort and Marina; the BVI Tourist Board is a Platinum sponsor;  Gold sponsors are Bitter End Yacht Club, LIME, First Caribbean International Bank, Heineken,  The Moorings,  Mount Gay, and SOL.    

New for 2010, the International Yacht Club Challenge will pit competitors from yacht clubs throughout the world against each other in Sunsail Beneteau 39’s.  Participants will receive up to a 10% discount on the charter and compete for a grand prize of a free week’s charter.

Visitors can fly to the British Virgin Islands through San Juan, Puerto Rico with American Airlines, Cape Air and LIAT. Flights are also available through Antigua and Barbados on Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and BWIA.  Ferry service is also available from St. Thomas.

For full details on the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival including daily news, photos and complete results from the 2009 event, visit the official web sitehttp://www.bvispringregatta.org. For more information on the British Virgin Islands visit:  http://www.bvitourism.com.
For more information on Nanny Cay Marina visit:  http://www.nannycay.com.

The BVI Spring Regatta is jointly owned by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association.