Challenger raced across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands with the RORC Transatlantic Race
Photo Credit: James Mitchell
Excitement is building for the annual BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival with the promise of diversity of fast new boats this year.
The event takes place from March 27- April 2 at Nanny Cay.
One of the new boats this year is Challenger, a modified Whitbread 60, built for the '97 Whitbread Round the World Race, but never made it further than Cape Town due to a financial situation.
When Chris Stanmore-Major, owner/founder of Spartan Ocean Racing bought the boat in late 2015, she had just 6,000 miles on her, having been kept in storage for years.
"She is the lowest mileage Whitbread 60 in the world. We have since put 20,000 miles on her and she has been modified for the kind of racing we do, with roller furling head sails and a change to the back-stays that makes the rig a lot more secure and even to operate for the charter crews," he said.
Stanmore-Major, who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, said the boat has done well in regattas this year, chalking up first, second and third places.
He's confident that with his staff's collective sail training background, they will be able to put together a competitive team for Spring Regatta, although, oddly enough, it will be his first time racing in the BVI.
"All my racing have been in Asia, Europe, around the world, etc. So the idea of going to this part of the Caribbean is very exciting," Stanmore-Major expressed.
"I have heard a lot about it, but never had the opportunity. I am interested to see what goes on..."
Another new comer will be the newly launched all-carbon HH66 NALA.
NALA, the carbon rocket ship owned by Jim Vos, a dinghy sailor and long-time boat owner, is fresh out of the yard in Xiamen, China.
"While we have not had a chance to really put it through her paces yet, she seems to do pretty well in chop. She is going to love big breeze - being in the Caribbean is going to be fantastic once we figure out the bugs, but she is really designed for both light and heavy air regattas," Vos said.
The week long BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival takes persons throughout beautiful BVI.