April 5, 2009, Road Town, Tortola:  The third and last day of the 2009 BVI Spring Regatta dawned with black clouds in the sky. Many thought that the wind would be light and there would be rain, but, as it turned out, the clouds only provided much appreciated sun protection with plenty of breeze with which to race. Throughout Drake Channel, 122 boats competed on the last day of the three day event in 12 – 14 knots of shifty breeze.
It was little surprise that Vincitore took the top spot in Racing A. Phillip Lotz, owner/sklpper of second place Arethusa said that they were clearly in second place and had a great time. This is the first time he has been to the BVI since the early 80's but clearly plans to come back and would like to convince other Swan 42 owners that the format of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival fits this type of boat well. Arethusa sailed the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival even though there was damage done to their mast in St. Maartin Heineken Regatta and it will be replaced. "My kids picked the name and the boat was named after a number of warships. Arethusa was originally a Greek water nymph that was chased around by the god Altheus and was turned into a fountain."

In Racing B, after a bit of a dog fight, Three Harkoms won by a margin of seven points over Jamie Dobbs', Lost Horizons II. Three Harkoms, a modificed Oceanis 440, now belongs to James Huddleston. Following today's races he seemed quite pleased with the results. " I want to say that this is one of the best organized regattas I've been to in a very long time. We had wonderful weather this year, the wind has been shifting nicely so its been a very tactical race. The short up and down course are fantastic to sort out the real sailors. We've had fantastic racing. " He went on to say, "Our success against Lost Horizon here had to do with the windward leeward courses as opposed to the Rolex Regatta in which all the races were round the island races."

In Racing C, the big winner was Bad Girl, With ten first place finishes and one second, they were hard to beat. Dave West's Jurakan was second overall with one first and ten seconds and Fritz Bus was third with a sprinkling of third, fourths and fifths.

After racing his Kirby 25 today, The Good Bad and Ugly, John Foster said, "The breeze stayed up, we had great courses so it was a great weekend for everybody out there. Our class had a good mix of boats and boat speeds but our biggest competion came from J27's and the Olsen 30's." After eleven races, the overall point split was exceptionally close with first through third place being separated by only one half of a point. A sixth place finish in the last race of the regatta dropped The Good, Bad and the the Ugly from first to third overall. Olson 30, Rushin Rowlette, owned by Kevin and Becky Rowlette, had a good day and finished the regatta in second place and Chris Thompson had a great day grabbing the top spot in his J 27, J Walker.

Missing the first race on Friday, Umakua was not on the radar but winning seven out of eleven races was enough to put Papote Reguro's J105 clearly in first place for the regatta in the Racer/Cruiser division. "We had a nice crew work and we just sailed fast." Papote went on to say that he had taken time off from sailing in the Caribbean regattas to pursue a Para-Olympic campaign and soon, he would be returning to training for the 2012 games. In 2002, Reguro lost a leg in a motorcycle accident.

Spirit of Montpelier and Safir III placed first and second, respectively, in Performance Cruising A, but it was third place Miss MaJic, a J/46, skippered by Puerto Rico’s Jim Baus who had secret crew onboard. “We race with Ella and she is the tactician,” says Baus, sitting at the dock and petting his friendly Labrador. Baus and wife, Heather, bought Miss MaJic last year and sailed the Sailing Festival and Spring Regatta with the boat’s previous owners, with whom they had become good friends. “This is a great way to combine vacation and racing all in one,” says Baus. “We had a great time, mellow, relaxed, cooking hot meals on the downwind, while at the same time watching for lifts, headers and the sail trim.”

“Good crew work,” was the secret to success aboard the Beneteau Bonne Chance, sailed by Puerto Rico’s Jose Sanchez. The boat topped Performance Cruising B in a tight race over second place finisher, Coyote, and Cayennita Grande, in third.

It took a tiebreaker to decide the winner in Jib & Main. “It was an amazing display of very different makes of boats,” says the BVI’s Robin Tattersall, who ultimately won the class on his classic Modified 30 Square Meter, Diva. “The top six boats in the class were often seconds apart. What it means is good sailing and that the ratings work.”

A three-way tie spelled the drama in Bareboat A. The top three boats all scored 14 points in five races, but it was Justice, a Beneteau Oceanis 47, with California’s Justin Barton and the BVI’s "secret weapon" Pressley King sharing the helm that triumphed with two firsts. “It was close, but we had better speed today,” says Pressley. Heeren van Staal II from Holland finished second, while Team Germany ended third. “We had a great time,” says Rouven Dresselhaus, crewmember on Team Germany. “Three of our team members knew how to sail, the rest of us were novices, but we learned quickly.”

Two teams with a special mission raced in Bareboat A. Sail Army 1 and Sail Army 2 ended 9th and 8th , respectively, in the 18-boat class. “We did a tour in Afghanistan last year,” says Chris Lait, helmsman for Sail Army 2 and a member of the British Army. “Part of our cycle of training is to get rest and relaxation after being overseas, and at the same time do something that strengthens self reliance, builds good positive attitudes and encourages learning something new. That happened and it was a lot of fun. Both teams approached the racing differently – one raced hard and the other more relaxed. It just showed that different methods could still accomplish the goal. Everyone had the right spirit.”

Saga Boy Racing won Bareboat B, seconded by Abbey and Cool Girl in third.

Racing was “fantastic” in the Large Multihull class, says the BVI’s Richard Wooldridge who sailed his Kelsall trimaran, Team Nanny Cay, to a win in the class. “It was nip and tuck, we beat them and they beat us,” says Wooldridge of racing Nils Erickson’s Formula 40, Soma, which ended second. “When a fetch was involved, they (Soma) crucified us.”

Finally, it was the BVI’s Colin Rathbun who won the IC-24 Class on his Lime. “Spot on crew work, everybody was dialed in,” says Rathbun. “We passed boats at every mark rounding, so we’re feeling good.” Winning his class at BVI Spring Regatta, CORT and being named Best BVI Boat, an exuberant crew chased Colin down during the awards' ceremony and doused him with champaign.

And so ends a great year for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Judy Petz, BVI Spring Regatta Director said, "2009 was an exceptional years for us. We had great weather, incredible race management and organizationally, it all fell into place. We are exceptionally happy and even glowing with pride. It's not too early to start planning for the 2010 edition, March 29 – April 4, when once again it will be 'Warm Water, Hot Racing. ' "
Complete results are available at http://bvisr.result.vg/