BVI Olympic hopeful Alec Anderson steered his BMobile (LIME) team to a convincing victory after a very tough ‘08 Nations Cup.
At the fourth annual Nanny Cay Nations Cup held this weekend (Nov 15/16) in the British Virgin Islands, 'bmobile/ LIME' brought the perpetual trophy back to the BVI after a one year stay in the US Virgin Islands. BVI Olympic hopeful Alec Anderson steered his 'bmobile/LIME' team to a convincing victory after a very tough two-day event held in 18-20 knots of breeze with a total of 22 points. Last year's defending champions, John and Peter Holmberg of 'Ondeck Ocean Racing' (USVI), were second with 29 points and 'Team BVI' with Robbie and Mike Hirst, and 15-year old Don Tae Hodge on the helm, were third with 34 points.
After twelve races and no throw outs, 'bmobile/LIME' counted seven
bullets scoring nothing deeper than a third place. 'bmobile/LIME's'
challenger for the Cup was Peter Holmberg and his 'Ondeck Ocean Racing'
team - last year's winners. However, the Holmbergs' regatta was
by a costly error in race seven when they sailed around the wrong
windward mark with a comfortable lead.
"They quickly made amends and followed the fleet into the downwind leg in last place," said Richard Wooldridge of Racing In Paradise, event organisers. "Recovering to fourth place it didn't seem too bad until a few competitors pointed out that they had failed to 'unwind' themselves correctly and hadn't sailed the course. Peter Holmberg quickly did the right thing and withdrew leaving him with eight points for that race.
"But to give you some idea of how well the LIME team sailed, even if the Holmbergs had counted a bullet in race seven they would have still lost out in the overall standings by three points!"
The second BVI team ended the regatta having a match race with the Holmbergs for second place overall. Once Robbie Hirst realized that his second place was under fire he took over the helm from Don Tae. "Having one of the world's best match racers come after you in 20 knots of breeze is not unlike a jousting scene from the movie 'A Knight's Tale'," joked Richard.
However, one crucial slip on the start line by the BVI team gave the Holmbergs control and they duly sailed 'Team BVI' to the back of the fleet America's Cup style. At one point it looked like the Canadians could leap into second overall but the Holmbergs with "the damage done" sailed away to finish third and take second place away from Team BVI.
While there was a flurry of boat contact, including one holing on the
first day, there was no damage on the second day. The race committee
managed to get nine races away each day. There was not a spot of rain
all weekend, just fresh to strong trade winds and glorious sunshine.
The event used the Tortola-based fleet of IC24s in a round-robin format. Competitors noted that they had as much fun surfing downwind as they did hammering upwind. The new rotation matrix which saw them competing in a two-on, one-off rotation was very popular with teams because it allowed good down-time, eight boats on the start line and twelve races for each team.
Nanny Cay's beach is arguably one of the best shore side locations in the Caribbean for a sailing event. With a perfect view of the racecourse just offshore, Racing in Paradise set up tents with ample shade on Nanny Cay beach while the Royal BVI Yacht Club provided a mobile bar with food.
Competitors and spectators alike could choose between the sea and the pool to cool off. The Last Resort's Al Broderick, provided entertainment on Saturday evening.
Racing In Paradise's Richard Wooldridge and Chris Haycraft handed out the prizes under the Red Bull tent in the late afternoon sunshine on Sunday. Cameron McColl of Nanny Cay Resort & Marina was invited to present 'bmobile/LIME' with the superb perpetual trophy that will, for the third time in four years, proudly reside in the BVI.
1) bMobile/LIME (BVI) - Colin Rathbun/Alec Anderson - 22
2) Ondeck Ocean Racing (USVI) - Peter & John Holmberg - 29
3) Team BVI - Robbie & Mike Hirst/Don Tae Hodge - 34
4) Canuks - Mark Plaxton/Chris Watters - 37
5) Holland - Frits Bus - 45
6) Blighties - Andrew Waters - 52
7) HIHO (USA) - Andy Morrell - 55
8) Antigua - Bernie Evan-Wong - 63
9) St Maarten - Simon Manly - 66
10) Stormtrysail (USA) - John Carlton - 66
11) Ireland - Clair Burke - 71
12) 5 Go Sailing (UK) - Matt Hood - 85
Teams representing any country, gathered from anywhere in the world, can compete in the Nanny Cay Nations Cup as long as each team member satisfies ISAF nationality guidelines.
Nanny Cay, event sponsor and official home of the BVI IC24 fleet, is Tortola's flagship marina with 40-room hotel, new waterfront homes for purchase and rental and a full-service marina located within a natural basin on the south side of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. For more information on Nanny Cay Marina and its services visit: www.nannycay.com.