Oyster’s 2017 BVI Regatta

 

“Regatta” means “a series of yacht races”, but both this year as well as last, we found the social gathering of like-minded sailors from many different countries to be as much a part of the experience as the racing itself. So many great yachts – so many great crews.

Last year at this time Spirit won her class at the Antigua Regatta, a high bar for us this year. As the largest boat in our class, we had to overcome an approximate 12% handicap against our competitors. We were ready for the challenge. The photos below pretty much tell the story.

Race one from Nanny Cay, Tortola, ended at Norman Island. The winds allowed us to use our spinnaker on the final leg, which literally pushed us across the finish line for a first place in our class. Erik, our skipper, creatively used the spinnaker as an upwind sail – highly unusual but effective!

For the second race from Norman Island to Scrub Island, we decided not to use our spinnaker, improving our handicap, but putting us at a potential speed disadvantage against the competition, all of which chose to use them. We had some mid-course doubts about our decision, but by poling out our jib on the final downwind leg we were able to achieve another first place finish.

Unfortunately, the winds died on the final two race days, forcing both races to be canceled. This was disappointing, but the beautiful beaches of the British Virgin Islands weren’t a bad place to hang out.

One conclusion: racing is as much an art as a science. After each race, the team reviewed and analyzed its performance – a refreshing exercise and I’m sure a factor in Spirit’s success.

In less than a month, Spirit will make another transit north to Newport via Bermuda for the summer season and highly anticipated sailing off the coast of Maine. Our stop in Bermuda will give us an opportunity to see some of this summer’s America’s Cup trials. Spirit will not be competing. 🙂

For a complete summary of the 2017 BVI Oyster Regatta CLICK HERE http://www.oysteryachts.com/events/regattas/oyster-bvi-regatta2017

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Spirit's race team

Spirit’s race team from the left – Erik, Leah, David, Dick, Nick & Pat

The track of race #1

Race #1 track

Looking back at the rest of the fleet in the Sir Francis Drake Channel

Looking back at the rest of the fleet in the Sir Francis Drake Channel

Spirit crossing the Race #1 finish line - showing off her spinnaker

Spirit crossing the Race #1 finish line – showing off her spinnaker

Race #2 track

Race #2 track

Spirit rounding the corner of Cooper Island

Spirit rounding the corner of Cooper Island

Spirit team receiving awards for finishing first in her class (minus Nick who add to leave a day early)

Spirit’s team receiving awards for finishing first in her class (minus Nick who add to leave a day early)