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RBVIYC Sailor Tom Mullen Takes Second in St Croix

Tom Mullen, long-time member at the Royal BVI Yacht Club, helmed his boat Shamrock VII to second place in the 2011 St Croix Hospice Regatta.

Held over the weekend of Feb. 12-13, this year’s regatta hosted 22 boats from across the Caribbean region. Shamrock VII took second place in the Performance Cruiser class, missing out narrowly to Wild Ting from St Thomas. Shamrock was also awarded first place in the Jib/Main class, which was amalgamated with the Performance Cruiser class owing to the reduced number of entries at this year’s regatta.

Shamrock VII is a J-95 with lifting centreboard. Mr Mullen races her in an unusual configuration of two-headsails in lieu of a spinnaker downwind. Whilst the lack of spinnaker provides a slightly reduced performance when sailing across the wind, the double-headsail affords excellent performance when running dead-downwind. This configuration ensured the boat received a lot of interest from spectators and press in St Croix.

After day one, Shamrock VII was leading the regatta, but then suffered a setback when she was disqualified in one race after being protested by another boat. On day two Shamrock regained joint first-place. Unfortunately in the penultimate race (race 6), the foresail genoa failed which caused the boat to finish last in that race. Despite recovering to finishing first in the final race, it was not enough to secure what would have been a deserved overall victory.

Racing as part of Mr Mullen’s crew, Guy Phoenix (Capt of Sailing at RBVIYC) commented: “Lady luck wasn’t smiling on us this weekend, and but for two pieces of bad luck we would have won our class. However, we were delighted with the boat performance and can look forward to forthcoming regattas with renewed confidence in its ability to perform competitively. St Croix Yacht Club is a fantastic venue for a sailing regatta, and I hope that more boats from the BVI and USVI will enter next year. The regatta provides significant funds to the hospice, so as well as a fun weekend on the water it has the added benefit of supporting a very worthy cause.”

Shamrock VII will be entering many of the regattas during the Caribbean season, and will next be racing in the St Maarten Heineken regatta at the beginning of March. For more information on the Royal BVI Yacht Club, please visit www.royalbviyc.org.

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