The J/29 Sweetness captured line honors and won the cruising class. “It was a miracle,” joked Sweetness crew member Eric Ball. “We’ve always wanted a J/29 – they were great boats in their day. We wanted something we could win in, and if you don’t have the boat, you can’t win or be as good as you want to be. It feels pretty good today.”
“The boat went in the water two weeks ago after we found it in St. Thomas. We bought it for a very respectable price,” said Peter Clatworthy, one of six crew above age 60. He laughed and added, “It’s ‘J’ for geriatric.” Dorade, the S&S 52, won the racing class, while Ka Wai Ola (Jeanneau 44i) won among bare boats and Malisi (Outremer 64 Light) captured the multihull class. The pursuit race format kept racing interesting for much of the fleet including Steve McManus and his J/120 Sunset Child. “Our finish was a little exciting,” McManus said. “We actually caught up to Dorade, and we had Parma pinned out. But then a big cat stalled, and they tried to get to the finish and we couldn’t get to windward, so we went from first to third. But, it was a great day and a great course, and that’s how pursuit racing is supposed to be.” Onboard Apsara, the Swan 61, 9-year-old Jayden Shephard took the helm during the windward leg, and 11-year-old Carter Zimmerman served as crew for the yacht’s fourth-place finish in the cruising class. The Strongsville, Ohio-based duo is spending their spring break from school sailing with family on a boat a bit larger than they’re used to. “It was a lot bigger, and you had to turn harder,” said Shephard, who sails J/37s out of his home yacht club on Lake Erie near Cleveland. Wednesday marked opening day for Pirates Bight Bar after the restaurant was destroyed by fire on Oct. 1, 2013. The beautiful rebuilt venue was filled with guests from Caribbean Insurers Ltd. along with race participants and friends. Thursday may be a lay day, but festivities move into full swing as it marks Maritime Heritage Day at the regatta. Among the events: 10:00 Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge sponsored by VP Bank. – Three, locally-built Tortola Sloop yachts will race, including Intrepid, which was constructed in 1912. 16:00 Queen’s Baton in Race Village – The Queen’s Baton is currently in the middle of a 288-day journey, visiting countries in Asia, Oceania, Africa, the Americas, Caribbean and Europe en route to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland beginning on 23 July 2014. The Baton will be in the race village during its stop on Tortola. 17:00 Mount Gay Welcome Party 19:00 Lighting of fire sculptures in Nanny Cay by local artist Aragorn, and an aerial performance by Nichole Raab, followed by music by Final Faze. For compete results and more information on racing, party schedules and more, visit www.bvispringregatta.org.