April 25, 2017, Tortola, British Virgin Islands – On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. The week of March 26 – April 1 will offer the unique opportunity to race under a full moon. With that illumination, we will run the inaugural Full Moon Race, 64 Islands ~ One Brilliant Night.
On Tuesday March 27, 2018, this new race will be added to the Round Tortola race. After completing the anticlockwise circle around Tortola, boats will continue on to circumnavigate the islands of the British Virgins and sail through the moonlit night over 165 miles.
“The concept started when we were thinking to offer a race around the BVIs,” said Robert Phillips, Chairman of the BVI Spring Regatta. “A friend mentioned he was on an overnight race during a full moon and that it was such an amazing experience. The full moon falls every third year within a few days of Spring Regatta's Sailing Festival which allows us to create the triennial Full Moon Race.”
To keep the regatta fresh and exciting the Regatta Committee strives to offer different types of racing by changing race areas, classes and courses. Each year the aim is to offer something different. Over the last few years the One Design Class has received attention with the addition of the 2016 VX One Class and the 2017 Gunboat Class. Using the three bodies of water; the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Sir Francis Drake Channel, the race committee can really expand and present new and interesting navigational challenges.
The 165 miles of the Full Moon Race will enable participants to sail keeping the well-known islands of Salt, Cooper and Ginger to port, then to the farthest northeast island of Anegada, leaving this small reef island to starboard and then head downwind, passing Virgin Gorda, then with a long leg towards Jost Van Dyke and the seldom seen islands of Great and Little Tobago. Coming east, the upwind challenge will be through the narrow 'cut' between St John, Great Thatch and Little Thatch Cays off the West End of Tortola. Rounding the islands of Norman and Peter before the home stretch of the race.
At the finish of the Round Tortola portion of the Full Moon Race just outside Nanny Cay Marina the time will be recorded for racing, cruising and multihull classes. The cumulative time will encompass the Round Tortola and Full Moon race. The prize giving will also include the Nanny Cay Cup Challenge if any boat breaks the current Round Tortola record.
Registration is open for this unique race and opportunity to explore the beauty and all the islands of the British Virgin Islands during the 2018 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Racing will continue for the 47th BVI Spring Regatta from March 30-April 1.