A Successful Inaugural Mahi Mayhem Tournament

on Wednesday, 10 May 2017. Posted in Sailing

A Successful Inaugural Mahi Mayhem Tournament

Captain Alvin, and his crew aboard Emmanuel from St Thomas, swept the board at the first annual Mahi Mayhem fishing tournament this weekend, taking $9,500 in prize money.  They scooped the $5,000 top prize for heaviest mahi at 33 pounds, $2,500 for second heaviest mahi, $1,000 for heaviest overall catch, and $1,000 for heaviest mahi with an outboard engine.

Jack Cadman on Venator won the heaviest tuna award for his 65-pound yellowfin, which also won him Star Angler for heaviest fish of the tournament.

Heaviest wahoo went to E&S Team Nanny Cay BVI with their 39-pound catch.  Eli James on 2 To Tango from St Thomas won heaviest kingfish with his 23-pounder.  The Youngest Angler award was won by Max Reshetiloff and Sue Durham was awarded Female Angler of the tournament.

Tournament director, Ken Pemberton, from the BVI Conservation & Fisheries Department, was pleased to see 14 boats registered and 56 anglers taking part.  He said: “The event was a tremendous success, very well organised at a perfect location for a fishing tournament.”

Anglers caught 573lbs of the eligible species of mahi, wahoo, tuna and kingfish.  The two-day event was presented by Caribbean Sustainable Fisheries (CSF) in partnership with Nanny Cay Marina.

Giles Cadman of CSF was delighted with the turnout and said: “We had a great first event and I’m looking forward to many more. The enthusiasm has re-enforced my commitment to the fishermen of the BVI and the promotion of sport fishing to the territory.”

CSF has agreed a five-year deal to sponsor the tournament in conjunction with Nanny Cay, the BVI Tourist Board, the BVI Sportfishing Association and the Conservation and Fisheries Department.

Dates for the 2018 event are 3rd and 4th March.

Tournament festivities were held throughout the weekend. Registration on Friday night included a beach cocktail party and BBQ.  On Saturday, the Caribbean Sustainable Fisheries team gave talks on currents and their work with sustainable lobster farming; children then set to work building their own lobster homes.  This was followed by the weigh-in from the first day of fishing and BBQ with DJ Juice setting the mood.  The excitement of final weigh-in was followed by the closing ceremony with cocktails and canapés as the sun set on the Nanny Cay beach.

Ocean Racer, Walker beaten by BVI Dinghy Sailors

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in Sailing

The Royal BVI Yacht Club youth sailing programme got an early Easter surprise, when on Tuesday 22nd March, 2016, world renowned sailor Ian Walker dropped by to join the training session.

The winning skipper of the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race and double Olympic silver medalist visited the sailing centre at Nanny Cay and went out on the water with the team.

Walker skippered Abu Dhabi to victory in the 2014/2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, his third circumnavigation with the race having skippered Abu Dhabi in 2011/2012  and Green Dragon in the 2008/2009 races.  At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, he won the silver medal in the 470 class before switching to the Star and picking up another silver in 2000.  In 2004 he coached Shirley Robertson's team to gold at the Athens Olympics in the Yngling.

The fleets of Optimists and Lasers headed out after a quick briefing onshore just like a normal Tuesday session but with an extra pair of coaching eyes analysing their performance.

Walker observed the first races from the coach boat, jumped into a Laser with Dawson van Zoost to run through some finer tuning points and then, for the final race of the session, he took on the race team in an Optimist - a far cry from the 300 tonne boat he was skippering just last week! 

Giving the team a run for their money in the pre-start build up and on the start line he suffered slightly from lack of boat speed giving Team BVI the win.

Back ashore, at the debrief, he chatted with the race team about starting strategies, downwind techniques and rules, emphasising the importance of sail set up, practice and learning to be fast through the water. The questions poured forth from the young sailors, keen to hear more on topics ranging from watch systems on the Volvo Ocean Race and prize money to the theory of apparent wind.

Haycraft and Pipe Dream raise Statue of Liberty

on Tuesday, 02 February 2016. Posted in Sailing

Haycraft and Pipe Dream raise Statue of Liberty

Seventeen boats took to the water on Saturday 30th January 2016, to contest the 2016 Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy, with Chris Haycraft onboard Pipe Dream claiming line honours.

In 2002 the Manhattan Yacht Club (MYC) presented a trophy to the BVI and initiated an annual challenge between our home clubs, the Royal BVI Yacht Club (RBVIYC) and the West End Yacht Club (WEYC). Since then the two clubs have duked it out for the honour of raising the replica Statue of Liberty but for 2016 the MYC fielded a team of their own - could they do enough to claim their own prize?

Sailors awoke to light winds which built steadily to 10-12 knots by the time of the first start at 10 o'clock.  The format for the challenge was a pursuit race so each boat was given a start time adjusted to their CSA rating and the length of the proposed course.  In theory this means the fleet should all finish at roughly the same time...

The first boat away was the WEYC'sWicked Wynchshortly followed by J24Braivssimo and the 2 IC24s, Black Pearland Latitude 18all representing the Royal.

The first leg took the fleet upwind from the start line off Nanny Cay to round the Rhone anchor buoys off the entrance to Great Harbour.  Then it was downwind to pass both Pelican and Flannigan to starboard before returning to finish back at Nanny Cay.

It wasn't long before the bigger boats began to reel in the early starters and battle ensued to the finish.  The 120ft schooner, Arabella, was a majestic sight as she powered around the course offering a fine photo opportunity, but she didn't quite have the legs to catch the front runners. 

In the end there were just 3 minutes separating the top four boats with the Royal's Pipe Dream skippered by Chris Haycraft taking the line honours just ahead of team-mateSpike.

First in for West End was Kevin Wrigley'sBoomerang just 14 seconds behind Spike, with Henry Leonnig'sFirewater taking fourth.

The overall winner was calculated from an average of the scores for each team so with boats in first, second, fifth and sixth it was a clear win for the Royal BVI Yacht Club.

At the prize giving ceremony hosted at the Royal BVI Yacht Club, MYC Commodore, Michael Fortenbaugh expressed thanks to both the local yacht clubs and there is little doubt that they will be back with a score to settle.

Final Results
1.Pipe Dream, Sirena 38 - Chris Haycraft (Royal)
2.Spike, J111 - Sam Talbot (Royal) 
3.Boomerang, J33 - Kevin Wrigley (West)
4.Firewater, Melges 24 - Henry Leonnig (West)
5.Bravissimo, J24 - Aaron Gardner (Royal)
6.Latitude 18, IC24 - Thad Lettsome (Royal)
7.Girasoli, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42 - Keith LiGreci (West)
8.Wildfire, Edel Cat 35 - John Hayes (West)
9.Black Pearl, IC24 - Tamsin Rand (Royal)
10.Pyjamas, C+C 38 - Bryson Hall (West)
11. Wicked Wynch, Hunter 30-2 - David Lake (West)
12.Snowbird, C&C 36 - John Randall (Royal)
13.Caribbeing, Moorings 50.5 (Manhattan)
14.Alabanza, Moorings 50.5 (Manhattan)
15.Arabella, 120ft schoner (Manhattan)
16.Boomerang, 4800 Cat (Manhattan)
17. Mercedes IV, 4800 Cat (Manhattan)

Olympic Dream is Over for Brockbank and Andersen

on Saturday, 30 January 2016. Posted in Sailing

Olympic Dream is Over for Brockbank and Andersen

the Olympic dream of reaching Rio 2016 is over for Chris Brockbank and Alec Andersen as they concluded the final qualification Regatta in 28th place in the 49er Gold Fleet at the Miami Sailing World Cup on Friday 29th January, 2016

The pair progressed into the Gold Fleet with three of their best races of the Regatta in Yellow Fleet, when they were able to secure a 9th, 4th and 13th.

Although it was the first time the VI pair had progressed so far, they had great misfortune in the only race on Thursday as unusual weather swept through Bay Biscayne with torrential rainfall and a chilly air reducing the schedule to just one race.

“Waited around all day in the rain before getting sent out mid afternoon for one race. Led the race until the halfway point when we caught a tough break and experienced a bad breakdown. Sailed slowly to the back of the fleet- it's like F1 racing out there! Bummed with the mishap, but proud to have been competing with the best in some more exciting conditions! “Noted Brockbank and Andersen, who finished 28th and left their hopes of qualification in tatters

The final day of Races saw them finish 9th, 19th, 29th and 6th

“Our efforts to qualify for Rio 2016 have come to an end folks. We fought hard and enjoyed every moment of the journey- especially sneaking into gold fleet and proving ourselves around the course (also enjoyed the beer on the way in)! Didn't finish as far up the leader board as we would like, but had some stellar moments against the best in the business.”

“We are incredibly proud of ourselves for getting to this point and want to thank all of you who have supported us in the many ways you do. It's not the end for us though, as we would like to officially announce our ambitions to represent the BVI at the Tokyo Games of 2020!”

Brockbank and Andersen still in with Olympic shout!

on Thursday, 28 January 2016. Posted in Sailing

Brockbank and Andersen still in with Olympic shout!

Chris Brockbank and Alec Andersen have progressed into the Gold Fleet at the Sailing World Cup in Miami, Florida and still have a mathematical chance of finishing high enough to qualify for the RIO 2016 Olympics, albeit facing an uphill battle

The 49er Olympic nation qualifying went down to the wire at the mid point of Sailing World Cup Miami regatta.  Three nations from North America were fighting it out for Gold Fleet berths along with two teams from South America.  The USA were in good shape, as the teams of Thomas Barrows with Joseph Morris and Judge Ryan with Hans Henken were both securely in the top 15 overall with Brad Funk and Trevor Burd just behind them.  The British Virgin Islands and Canada were much closer to the Gold Fleet cut off of top 30 teams, with the Canadians just above the line and Virgin Islanders just below it.


In the Yellow qualifying fleet Alec Anderson and Chris Brockbank (IVB) had themselves quite a good day, with a  9, 4, 13 pulling themselves to 16 of their fleet at that point.  Over in Blue fleet, starting was a major issue, as six teams were called over early in the first race of the day and another 7 teams were scored over early in the second race of the day.  That pulled up the average score of the Blue fleet and delayed them, leaving IVB scoreboard watching for the final race to see if they would be in the top 30 overall and qualify for Gold, keeping their Olympic qualification hopes alive.

It was tense on shore as the Blue fleet’s extended delay on the water meant a delay in finding out if an Olympic campaign for Rio was still on the cards for Canada and IVB.  Canada was on the water, so in control of their own destiny, and in a good position as only a very high score would knock them back to Silver fleet.  IVB sat on 109 points with 15 teams already ahead of them.  Four teams would control the destiny of IVB however, FRA 24 (Dyen/Christidis) on 100 points, USA 17 (Strammer/Kuschner) on 104, AUT 29 (Bildstein Hussl) on 104, and GER 59 (Schmidt/Boeme) on 106.  All of those teams could concievably finish with fewer than 109 points, and with an additional 13 teams in safe position ahead there was only room for one of those teams if IVB were to skate in.  In the end, none of the critical teams had good races, and they all fell back to Silver fleet leaving two teams from the USA, one team from Canada, and one team from the British Virgin Islands to fight it out until the end of the week in Gold Fleet.

“Well, we needed a big day to keep our qualifying chances alive and that's exactly what we did.. A score line of 9,4,13 on the day moves us up to 29th overall and secures a berth in the gold fleet! Two more days of quality racing in gold fleet (for our first time ever) to see if we can chip away at the 3 Americans and 1 Canadian ahead of us.” Commented the BVI Hopefuls

With two races remaining, it remains a tall task for either the Canadians or IVB to catch three American teams all ahead of them, but a margin of 40 points.  It is possible, but would take some great sailing.

[12 3 4 5  >>