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April 17, 2018 

Hot racing BVI Spring Regatta 400

Photo 1: Hot racing at the BVI Spring Regatta. Six months later, the BVI is back to life despite that the windows haven’t been replaced even on the government building.

By John Morris

The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Hurricane Irma. The force was much stronger than previous hurricanes and really wrecked the place. Boats were stranded on the shore by the dozens and roofs blown off with abandon. Charter fleets were hurt along with all the other boats.

Six months later, while much of the damage remains evident, it would appear that the island is bouncing back. The people in the stores, the taxi drivers and bartenders are incredibly cheery (especially under the circumstances)  - so much so that you wouldn’t know anything had happened if you didn’t notice the missing windows. Inspecting fleet Moorings Tortola

Overcoming tremendous obstacles, the BVI Spring Regatta came off nearly perfectly thanks to committed volunteers, supportive sponsors and enthusiastic racers who came back to the annual event in strength.  The charter boat providers are once again sending visitors on their way into the cruising grounds despite the fact that many of the local draws, like the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda are not operating. 

It is vital to the BVI that things proceed.  Tourism and yachting is the cornerstone of the economy and everyone’s working to get it back to normal.  

While glass and wood are still in short supply for needed infrastructure reconstruction, a boat-reclaiming yard is starting to disassemble the dead yachts and the bars are pouring. 

The boat fleet is getting immediate attention. Repair initiatives keep boatyards like Nanny Cay busy nonstop. At charter operator The Moorings, which lost 2/3 of its fleet, boats have been rushed in from the Mediterranean and techs from OEMs are supplementing locals scrambling to repair broken boats and docks. It’s all hands on deck to get things back to normal for next fall, according to Greg George, GM. The other charter fleets are also working full tilt and assembling fleets to accommodate bookings. BVI Sponsors charter racers 400

While the damage from Irma remains and its force will be remembered for years, BVI is committed to returning to its status as a prime boating destination. 

Photo 2: Inspecting the fleet at Moorings, Tortola

Photo 3: Sponsors and charter racers are back