BVI Spring Regatta Boats and Crews Settling in for 50th Anniversary

First up – Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup starts Tuesday 10am

Registration for the 50th BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival opened today at Nanny Cay © Ingrid Abery/

Tortola, BVI – March 27, 2023. Registration is open and familiar faces along with new have started to appear on the docks at Nanny Cay as boats, their crews, friends, and families start rolling in for the BVI Spring Regatta special edition – the 50th Anniversary. One of the many cool things about the BVI Spring Regatta is its global vibe, drawing people from all over the world to share its stunning islands and turquoise waters.

Guy Chester, from Cairns, Australia is getting through his bucket list of Caribbean races this season on Oceans Tribute, his 46’ Crowther designed trimaran which he purchased in New Zealand in 2020 and completely refit there in 2021. He’s owned at least four cruising monohulls, but it was during his time in the Caribbean while he was circumnavigating in the first multihull he owned that he decided he wanted to race. He sailed a full season with Spring Regatta regulars Bernie Evan-Wong, owner of the RP37 Taz (competing this week) and Pamela Baldwin on her J/122 Liquid. Chester mostly single-handed Oceans Tribute from New Zealand to get to Antigua earlier this year to get his fill of the best sailboat racing in the world.


“Since January we have done the Round Barbados Sailing Week, the RORC Caribbean 600, the Caribbean Multihull Challenge, the Heineken Regatta, then after BVI Spring Regatta we’ll do Le Voile then finish up with Antigua Sailing Week,” Chester enthused. He and his crew spent Monday preparing Oceans Tribute for tomorrow’s distance race around Tortola.”

Australian Guy Chester is ready to race at the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival on his 46’ Crowther designed trimaran Oceans Tribute © BVISR

David Hanks, skipper of Spirit of Juno, a Farr 65 owned by Ondeck Sailing based in Antigua has a full crew on board this week, albeit a bit of a mixed bag, he noted good-humouredly.


“We seem to have a lot of Canadians on board, and mostly an all-women crew – we have fourteen in total on board and just three guys. I prefer sailing with women so we should have a good week!” Hanks smiled. “We have a lot of experience on board and are hoping to do well – we have our eyes set on the podium.”


Crewing on Spirit of Juno is a group of six Canadian ladies – the Sail Sisters – from the West Vancouver Yacht Club. Kelly Wharton said her group of gals probably has a couple of centuries of sailing experience between them. They each sail their own boats at home and in 2017 decided to mix it up and charter a bareboat in the Caribbean to race the 2017 Heineken Regatta. That was the beginning of a love for Caribbean racing, and they have since competed in Antigua Sailing Week, the Heineken for a second time, and St Barts.


“We decided to up our game this year by doing the BVI Spring Regatta 50th Anniversary on the Spirit of Juno,” Wharton said. “We wanted to race on a bigger, technical and competitive boat as in the bareboat division you can’t fly spinnakers. We want to be able to learn more about racing which you can always do!”

From Vancouver, Canada – Kerry Phillips and Kelly Wharton racing on Ondeck’s Farr 54 Spirit of Juno © BVISR

Another BVI Spring Regatta cool factor is that the trades almost always blow consistently across the multiple BVI racecourses. Racers in eleven classes can look forward to excellent conditions for the start tomorrow of the Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, the first event of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival: the trades are expected to blow in the low teens throughout the week, building toward the weekend.


While most of the 58-strong fleet heading out around Tortola on Tuesday will be aiming for a podium position, the crew on Moementum, the Gunboat 60 owned by Fredrik Moe from Montego Bay, Jamaica, have a different game plan. Under the care of Lucky Mike, the happiest boat captain in the Caribbean, the boat is just returning to racing after some time off.


“The world has opened up again and this is our first race since Covid and we will race with friends and crew from Montego Bay – we could be as many as fourteen; it’s hard to tell with the Jamaicans until they arrive,” Lucky Mike laughed. “We very much cruise the boat rather than race it so for us we pick the regattas we really enjoy – this year we are doing the BVI and Antigua Sailing Week. We leave the ice maker onboard, bring on beer and now we’re in race mode! We do not take racing seriously at all, our position is last and nobody better mess with us in our position as we claim every time! We just love going out and doing it for the fun of it.”

Keep up-to-date with all the news, photos and videos via the regatta website: and follow us on social media: #BVISR – Instagram: – Facebook: and Twitter:


Schedule of Events:

Privateer, Blitz, Flying Jenny, Lady M, Bill T & FiDeLa Class Winners @ 49th St. Thomas International Regatta

Privateer, Blitz, Flying Jenny, Lady M, Bill T & FiDeLa Class Winners @ 49th St. Thomas International Regatta

 St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Smart starts. Minimal mistakes. Fast finishes. These are among the successful strategies of class winners at the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Nearly 50 yachts, racing in CSA handicap and one-design classes, spanning from 24- to 70-foot vessels, and with skippers and crews hailing from the Caribbean, USA, Europe, and Australia, raced around the natural markers of islands, cays, and rocks in 12-15 knots of East-Southeast breeze. Perfect conditions, professionally set racecourses, and parties ashore each evening proved why STIR is known as the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Caribbean Yacht Racing.

 Class Winners & Podium Placers

 Privateer, the USA’s Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, finished first over the USA’s Jim Madden’s Carkeek 47, Stark Raving Mad IX, by a mere two points.


Photo: The USA’s Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer. Credit Dean Barnes.


“We raced this event last year and knew there were great conditions,” says O’Hanley, from Boston, MA. “What I’m most happy about is that when we made mistakes, we recovered quickly. The team has sailed together for a long time and communicated well. That was important since we had a fleet start with two other of the CSA classes, but once off the start line it turned into a match race between us and Stark Raving Max IX.”

 In Spinnaker Racing 1, the USVI’s Peter Corr’s Summit 40, Blitz, topped the class from day one to the end. The USA’s Jon Desmond’s Mills 41, Final Final, was second.

 “Our strong points were practicing before the event, a mind set on what we had to do, and then making it happen together as a team,” says Corr. “Each of the boats in our class sailed well and they both caught us a couple of times. Our strength was consistency.”

 The USA’s Sandra Askew and her crew on the Cape 31, Flying Jenny, scored six place finishes to handily win this highly competitive class. The USA’s Marc McMorris maintained second on his Cape 31, M2.


Photo: The USVI’s Peter Corr’s Summit 40, Blitz. Credit Dean Barnes.


“A great crew,” answers Askew, when questioned about the team’s secret to success. “We have US, UK, and Australian crew and the boat responds well when its sailed well. The Cape 31 does especially well in the Caribbean’s breezy conditions, and the coastal racing was fun and scenic. We hope more members of the class will come next year.”


In Racer Cruiser 3, the Dominican Republic’s Joan Rodriguez’s Beneteau First 40.7, Lady M, stretched its lead with a third and final day of first-place finishes. Puerto Rico’s Jerome O’Neill’s J/39, Crystal, came in second.

 “We raced here twenty years ago on Celtic V and have a fair knowledge of the race courses. This year, we practiced beforehand to be competitive. We aimed to have clean starts and play the course as well as we could. During these last three wonderful days, the windy conditions were tough so taking care of boat handling was a key point and then we focused on boat speed and safe maneuvers,” says Rodriguez.

 A first likely in the two-decade-plus history of the One-Design IC24 Class at STIR, St. Thomas’ USVI two-time Olympic Laser sailor, Cy Thompson on Bill T, posted a double-digit 18-point lead to win. St. Croix, USVI’s Scott Stanton’s Big Island, held and soundly scored second.


“Everyone looks at the helmsman, but it takes a good crew to do well and that’s what he had. We never wrapped the spinnaker nor shrimped the kite. Mistakes were minimal and minimized. I think an advantage I bring from Olympic campaigns is fleet management and that works well in the IC24 class,” says Thompson.


Photo: The USVI’s Bill T in the IC24 Class with Cy Thompson on the helm. Credit Dean Barnes


In the 8-boat Hobie Wave class, St. Thomas’ Niall Bartlett on FiDeLa triumphed with nothing less than firsts.


“Age and wisdom, that’s all I can say,” says Bartlett. “The kids in the class got stronger with each race and I think in coming years we’ll be watching them sail towards the horizon.”


In other awards, the USA’s David McDonough and his crew aboard the J/42, Trinity IV, earned the inaugural presentation of the perpetual Arthur J. Wullschleger Happy Days and Never Better Award. Wullschleger, nicknamed Tuna, was a veteran International Sailing Judge with events from the America’s Cup to STIR under his belt. As a longtime STIR judge, Wullschleger was known for his toasts to ‘Happy Days’ and saying in response to inquiries about his well-being ‘Never Better’. As the trophy is inscribed, it will be ‘presented to the yacht the demonstrates the highest level of positive attitude, enthusiasm, and comradery on both the racecourse and ashore.’


Full results for STIR 2023 are at To relive the fun via daily photos and recaps, check out STIR on Facebook (, Twitter @stirvi, and Instagram #STIRVI.

 Mark Your Calendar Now – 50th Anniversary STIR – Easter Weekend – March 29-31, 2024

 Mark your calendar now to race in the 50th Anniversary STIR, set for March 29-31, 2024, with the Round the Rocks Race on Thursday, March 29, 2024. These dates correspond to the Easter holiday, making it a perfect time to travel with family and friends, enjoy Virgin Islands hospitality, and race on the best courses in the top yacht racing conditions in the world! The NOR and entry on will be open in late summer.

 Bring your own boat (BYOB) or charter!

 Caribbean Regatta Logistics, owned and operated by St. Thomas native Ben Beer, can assist owners and teams in bringing their boats to race. (Tel: (340) 998-6203; Email:, Web:

 Chartering makes it especially easy to fly in, jump on a race-ready yacht, and sail!

IC24s are available for race charter from the St. Thomas Sailing Center. To reserve, Email: or call (340) 690-3681, or visit Also, over half a dozen outfits are offering vessels to charter either by boat or crew spot for STIR. For a list, visit

 Strong Sponsor Support

 STIR organizers thank the USVI Department of Tourism; The Moorings; Cardow Jewelers; Bacardi Rum, Milagro Tequila, Stoli Vodka, and Leatherback Craft Beer, distributed by the West Indies Company, and Carib Beer and Coors Light, distributed by Bellows International; Ocean Surfari; and The K3 Company for strong sponsor support.

 For more information, visit, Email:, or Regatta Co-Director Pat Bailey at  or call (340) 775-6320.


Top 3 Results – 2023 St. Thomas International Regatta



1. Privateer, Ron O’Hanley, USA (12)

2. Stark Raving Mad IX, Jim Madden, USA (14)



1. Blitz, Peter Corr, USVI (10)

2. Final Final, Jon Desmond, USA (16)

3. TAZ, Bernard Evan-Wong, ANT (22)



1. Flying Jenny, Sandra Askew, USA (11)

2. M2, Marc McMorris, USA (18)3. Smile and Wave, Jaime Torres, PUR (20.5)



1. Lady M, Joan Rodriguez, DOM (6)

2. Crystal, Jerome O’Neill, PUR (13)

3. Wild T’ing, Lawrence Aqui, USVI (21)



1. Bill T, Cy Thompson, USVI (21)

2. Big Island, Peter Stanton, USVI (39)

3. A Mi Paso, Agustín Lázaro-Lugo, PUR (51)


Hobie Wave

1. FiDeLa, Niall Bartlett, USVI (14)2. Blue Flame, Pierre James Zani, USVI (31)

3. Nuts, Ian Bartlett, GBR (32)


Media contact:

Carol Bareuther

Tel: (340) 998-3650


Skype: Carol.Bareuther


BVI Spring Regatta Proud to Celebrate 50 years with Long-Standing Sponsors

Awesome sponsors = awesome event!

2023 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival: Awesome sponsors = awesome event! © Alastair Abrehart/Broadsword Communications

Tortola, BVI – March 26, 2023 – Tortola, BVI – March 20, 2023. Sailing events are complicated to organize, with many moving parts onshore and on the water. Without the sponsors who jump on board to support the BVI Spring Regatta each year, it would be almost impossible to run this internationally beloved event. We are so grateful to these sponsors, and we hope that our competitors can support them during their time in the BVI.


In 1972 when the BVI Spring Regatta was basically a race to the bar, Mount Gay Rum was not only your first drink, but it was also more than likely the prize you won. 50 years later, Mount Gay Rum continues to highlight the event with Friday designated as the Mount Gay Race Day. Sailors will add a 50th Anniversary cap to their collection, while the Regatta Village will host a separate Mount Gay Rum bar located front and center, and another at the Nanny Cay beach bar.


RiteWay, the exclusive provisioner for the regatta is also the distributor of the nostalgic Mount Gay Rum brand. RiteWay will be looking for the oldest cap or shirt and giving away lots of great Mount Gay swag; they will also sponsor the perfect match with Coca-Cola for the signature Rum and Coke cocktail.

Nanny Cay, the best and largest marina in the BVI, has hosted Spring Regatta for over twenty years, growing alongside the event. It now has two full marinas, a host of villas, a newly renovated hotel, and restaurants. It’s a true community that embraces all types of vessels from around the Caribbean and the world, and a fun gathering place for sailors, their families, and friends.


For many years the BVI Tourist Board has helped put the BVI Spring Regatta on the map for sailors looking to find the world’s best racing. The BVI Tourist Board promotes the regatta, the largest tourism event held annually in the BVI, at international boat shows and similar global events.


Getting around the island or the racecourse has been facilitated by sponsorship from International Motors, who has donated cars for the regatta committee to use for the duration of the event.


Portland Ship Yard has printed and posted course and chart information to help competitors navigate the racecourses. Cape Air has provided flights for the event media team and journalists attending the regatta to ensure the world knows about the great racing and fun parties at the best regatta in the Caribbean. Providing fuel for the event on and off the water, Sol Petroleum has been a fantastic sponsor since 2007.

Speaking of parties, SHRM Group are sponsoring the regatta’s 50th-anniversary celebration with a fun-filled 70s race day on Saturday, and the SHRM cocktail lounge on Saturday night with tunes from the 70s and prizes for the best classic outfits. Sharing this special night, Carib Beer will be ready with more hats, T-shirts, and signature drinks. Tito Vodka has teamed up with PAW BVI, an organization which promotes animal welfare in the BVI, to showcase adorable AND adoptable puppies at the Village.

The regatta is also grateful to sponsors including Sea Hawk New Nautical Coatings Inc, Scrub Island Resort, Marina and Spa, and The Moorings. These brands are synonymous with the sport of sailing and the BVI, a perfect fit for the BVI Spring Regatta.

A big shout-out to all of our sponsors, and let’s make the 50th anniversary of the BVI Spring Regatta the best yet!

© Alastair Abrehart/Broadsword Communications

Keep up-to-date with all the news, photos and videos via the regatta website: and follow us on social media: #BVISR – Instagram: – Facebook: and Twitter:


ENDS/….Michelle Slade/BVISR


Image credits:

Ingrid Abery –

Alastair Abrehart/Broadsword Communications

Leads Taken, Leads Lessened & Leads Lengthened on Day 2 – 49th St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Leads taken, leads lessened and leads lengthened summed up the second day of racing in the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta. Nearly 50 yachts, racing in CSA handicap and one-design classes, spanning from 24- to 70-foot vessels, and with skippers and crews hailing from the Caribbean, USA, Europe, and Australia, raced around the natural markers of islands, cays, and rocks in 14 to 16 knots of East Northeast breeze. Add the post-race rum, fun, and music ashore and it was a bucket-list day of quintessential Caribbean yacht racing.

 Class Recap

 Lead taken is what happened today in the Spinnaker Racing 0. The USA’s Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer, finished the final race of the day in first, thus winning a tie-breaker with the USA’s Jim Madden’s Carkeek 47, Stark Raving Mad IX. Both boats go into Sunday’s final day of competition with 10 points.

 “Back to basics, focusing on the job at hand, and sailing well in outstanding conditions is what made for a good day,” says O’Hanley, from Boston, MA. “The racecourses around natural marks shook things up a bit and made it exciting. Tomorrow, it will be all about sailing well with no mistakes.”

 In Spinnaker Racing 1, it was a lead lessened by 1 point, but still a lead by 3 points for St. Thomas, USVI’s Peter Corr’s Summit 40, Blitz. The team, hailing from both the USVI and Australia, took two second-place finishes today to the class runner-up, the USA’s Jon Desmond’s Mills 41, Final Final.


Photo: The USA’s Marc McMorris Cape 31, M2. Credit Dean Barnes


A lead well lengthened is what the USA’s Sandra Askew and her team on the Cape 31, Flying Jenny, did in this highly competitive class. Yet, the USA’s Marc McMorris moved up to second on his Cape 31, M2.


“I raced here last year on another boat and it was a great event. I remembered the winds and knew it would be perfect conditions for the Cape 31. Today, we were able to sail to our target numbers, especially with good calls from our tactician. There are now 20 Cape 31s in the UK, where we’ll all race this summer. Hopefully, more will come to the Caribbean next year,” says McMorris, who lives in San Francisco, CA.


In Racer Cruiser 3, the Dominican Republic’s Joan Rodriguez’s Beneteau First 40.7, Lady M, stretched its lead with another day of flawless first-place finishes. There’s a depth of talent in this 12-boat class and the USA’s David McDonough, sailing his J/42, Trinity IV, for the first time at STIR, was happy to have a lock on 8th place.


“I guess you could say we were consistent,” says McDonough, from Washington, DC. “But if you look at the big picture, there were blue skies, perfect courses, great conditions. It didn’t matter our place on the scoreboard because we were in heaven.”