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BVI Spring Regatta

The BVI Spring Regatta has no doubt grown stronger each year. This year, the committee is more than happy to announce several new initiatives, notably the green initiative, the International Yacht Club Challenge, and the return or full force of windsurfing class, under the title BVI Windsurfing Championships.

Trash is a problem the world round, and it’s a problem in the BVI. Add thousands of thirsty sailors and partygoers, liquid and glass bottles, and you have the scenario. This is an island where everything is shipped or flown in, and the problem is how to get it off or recycled on island. In 2009, the Spring Regatta achieved its first Clean Regatta award of the Silver Certificate, by Sailors for the Sea, the first for any regatta worldwide on the basis of its achievements in recycling trash and eliminating overuse of plastic—providing refill bottles and refill water stations for everyone. Skippers bags are filled with advice on where to find biodegradable cleaning products, and cleaning of hulls within the marina has been banned.  This year the goal is higher, and the Spring Regatta enlisted the help of local company Green Technology (BVI) Ltd. to provide biodegradable containers and cups. Even when burned, the products give off no toxic chemicals into the air. Judy Petz, spokesperson for the BVI Spring Regatta sees the benefit of the efforts to all involved, “It’s positive examples we are giving to everyone, and whatever anyone can do to be mindful of the environment.  It’s a win for everyone.”

 

As for the sailing, the initiatives are growing stronger to give more diversity and scope to the regatta. Windsurfing was brought in to give local sailors more competition in their own backyard and with the help of local windsurfer Owen Waters, a new idea was born for one of the toughest races under the umbrella of the regatta, “We wanted something unique. Races in windsurfing are always tough, and we were aiming for a complete diversity of racing to encourage any type of board or level. When I learned to windsurf, the equipment was terrible, but the races themselves were scorching and long, and we still managed, often without a harness.” Races have been organized from course racing in the North Sound, around islands and a huge leg from North Sound to Nanny Cay. This year, it is the BVI Championship, next year we have applied for the Caribbean Championships under the same format. Anyone taking part in any of those races is a champion themselves, truly earned.

New also is the International Yacht Club Challenge (IYCC), a new class where teams from worldwide yacht clubs compete for the prestige of a winning team. An invitation from the Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club has been sent to yacht clubs around the world to bring their team to the BVI Spring Regatta to race against other yacht club teams from around the world. This has been endorsed by the BVI Tourist Board and Sunsail Yacht Charters who are donating a week charter to the winner of the prestigious title. Simon Woods, Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club is particularly excited for this event. “I am rooting for the home team,” he says, “but keen to mix it up.” The concept of the Challenge is to offer yacht clubs around the world the opportunity to race against other yacht clubs in a one-design format.

 

Entertainment is always a major factor. This year Quito Rymer is playing and local DJ party promoters Bounce are on hand to drive up the crowd. Known for their infamous dance parties, the tunes go nonstop and enlist exciting sounds alongside themed lighting. In addition to the countless food and drink Vvendors, Nanny Cay hosts an excellent beach venue by day and night where after dark the mood swings to partying and dancing on the sand.

As the regatta celebrates its 39th year, the committee is still elated that each year is adding firsts for themselves, increasing the range of disciplines and striving towards a green racing week. We hope you have a blast!

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