Charleston Race Week

The 20th anniversary edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week wound to a close Sunday with east-southeast winds buffeting the waters around Charleston, SC, offering the 2,500 competitors some of the best racing of the entire three-day event. The rainy forecast didn’t produce any significant moisture until the end of the awards ceremonies after all the sailors were ashore and most of the competitors had started their trips home. Another successful edition of the largest keelboat regatta in the Americas is in the books. The action out on the six race courses that made up this event proved a true challenge for Charleston area sailors as the majority of the nearly 300 entries were from out of town and out of state. And some of the best finishes were posted by teams from out of the country. Nine VX Ones were registered for the event, and nine races were completed. John Potter won seven of those, easily securing first place with 11 points. William Griffin placed second with 18 points, and Bob Maccini took third with 23 points. For full results, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1220.

BVI Spring Regatta and St. Thomas International Regatta to host the all-new VX One Caribbean Cup in 2016

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April 9, 2015 – (Tortola, British Virgin Islands) – In a joint statement today, the St. Thomas International Regatta and BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival announced their partnership with VX One to host the first VX One Caribbean Cup in 2016.  Already plans are underway for 2016 just as the events wrap a successful 2015.

The all-new VX One Caribbean Cup will give racers the opportunity to compete in a VX One one-design class in two of the Caribbean’s most foremost regattas – St. Thomas International Regatta (March 25-27, 2016) and BVI Spring Regatta (April 1-3, 2016).

Currently, 12 boats from the VX One North American class association have committed to participate in this inaugural event and the class expects continued interest. Each regatta event in the VX One Caribbean Cup will be scored separately and winners will be awarded. After all racing concludes a perpetual trophy will be presented at the BVI Spring Regatta awards ceremony to the overall winner of both events.

The new VX One will be an exciting addition for each of the regattas, and organizers are delighted by the entry of a fresh, new class. Judy Petz, Director of BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, said “We are honored by the overwhelming reception from VX One owners who are prepared to bring their boats. The Caribbean Cup program is a true testament to what can be accomplished with an experienced team and passion for sailing. The BVI Spring Regatta has been developing a professionally run one-design area, with top race officials and courses that will suit these boats really well. We are excited to welcome the pioneers of the class, which we are sure many more will follow.

Bill Canfield, STIR’s Regatta Director, remarked, “St. Thomas International Regatta is thrilled to have the VX One fleet joining our 2016 event. We believe that new classes in the Caribbean are the future of our racing program, so congratulations to VX One for taking the plunge!”

The international racing scene is all too familiar with these regattas, both of which have been highlights on the Caribbean Sailing Association calendar for more than 40 years. They attract racers and spectators from around the world, who return annually for the unparalleled competition, shore side parties and world-renowned Caribbean hospitality.

Tim Pitts, Vice President of VX One Class Association, remarked, “The 2016 VX One Caribbean Cup will be our class’ first international event, and we are thrilled to be associated with these two prestigious regattas. The VX One design is a revolutionary concept, and there is no better way to showcase her capabilities than to host our first international series in the Caribbean. It’s home to the world’s best sailing grounds!”

A native of the USVI, Pitts knows the waters well and participated in both STIR and BVISR seven times before the age of 18. According to Pitts, “The Caribbean offers the ideal sailing conditions for the VX One. The boat is a rocket ship that sails well in 5 knots or 25 knots, and can be raced competitively with a crew of 2 to 3. It was built to deliver inexpensive, high performance sailing and move efficiently around the world. In the past, it has been cost prohibitive to readily move an entire fleet, but the VX One design overcomes these logistical challenges.”

Interested in racing or learning more? Join the conversation on the event’s Official Facebook Page VX One Caribbean Cup , for the latest news, photos, and videos or to connect with other VX One racers. More details regarding registration, logistical arrangements and the overall program will be announced soon.

Press Contacts:
BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival:
Judy Petz Email: info@bvispringregatta.org
St. Thomas International Regattta: Carol +1 340 998 3650
Email: bareuther@earthlink.net
VX One: Tim Pitts – +1 401-419-9010  Email: pitts.timothy@gmail.com

The BVI Spring Regatta and the Sailing Festival is now one of the top three Caribbean sailing events, with an average of 110 yachts per year with 80% of the competitors from overseas. Racing three race courses to provide top race management and course selection for optimal racing.  The BVI Spring Regatta is jointly owned by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, with host sponsor Nanny Cay Resort and Marina.

The St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), first sailed in 1974, continues into its fourth decade with an exceptional program of serious world class yacht racing that has earned it the status of the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’. The STIR is renowned for its serious racing reputation that attracts both the latest yacht designs and hottest one-design classes as well as the greatest skippers and crews from across the globe as well as the Caribbean’s hottest rock stars.

The VX ONE is a fresh and exciting sport one-design boat for the international two to three person racing enthusiast. The design concept is born of a careful review of performance one-design demographics within this category worldwide. The VX offers sailors from Junior to Advanced a vehicle for perpetual enjoyment of performance sailing in an affordable, durable, and technically advanced package, and at a realistic price. To learn more about the VX One, visit our site and for more details

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Winter Series Conclusion

14 VX Ones joined into the Sarasota Sailing Squadron One Design Midwinter Regatta. They enjoyed three beautiful days of sailing on Sarasota Bay, sharing a course with MC Scows on Friday and E Scows on Saturday and Sunday. Race Committee did a great job getting the maximum 11 races. Friday was a bit light with 5-8 knots on the course with lighter teams doing very well. The fleet had a big family contingent at this regatta including quite a few parent/child teams and a few spouses sailing together as well. Everyone raced hard all afternoon, finishing around 5 pm, and then the group opted to meet at the Daiquiri Deck for a casual dinner on St. Armands Circle. Saturday brought more breeze than forecasted. Starting out in the same light air, the VX Ones had three races as whitecaps just started to form. The fleet was all tight with some complex mark roundings and passing going on. The fleet was actually pretty close, though it may not have always felt like it. Not much time was spent waiting at the finish. The Bennetts, Jeff Eiber and his crew Lance, and Michael and Anthony Norris were always at the front of the fleet with some local talent using 106. Oklahoma fleet representatives Scott Holmgren and Justin Scott were sailing light but hiking hard and were in the front as well. Paul Currie with Rob Britts and guest sailing three-up along with Joe Ferra and Tim Pitts put in some great races. Notable was Paulo Milko and David Hillmyer always in the game and up front. Gabi Scillinger making her debut sailing with the Walfords and having a great time. Mark Witte brought his returning crew Meghan along with a new crew member. New owners Bob Bilthouse and Don Winston made their boats go well. Gabi once again set everyone up with scheduling information and got lunch, snacks and even beer for the fleet. This was the fourth and final regatta in the VX One Winter Series. Sarasota Sailing Squadron has been a great base of operations for the fleet, and manager Craig Bridges went the extra mile every time. The PRO for three of the regattas, Jonathan Histed, is really dialed in on what it takes to keep it going for the VX Ones on the water. The winners of this regatta were the Bennetts, Jeff Eiber in second and the Norris family third. The Winter Series was won by the Norris family. There was great competition throughout the fleet and more importantly, everyone left with good memories of a great weekend of sailing together. Complete results are available at http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/9368#_newsroom+results.

BACARDI Miami Sailing Week

The last day of racing for the 88th Bacardi Cup and the 6th BACARDI Miami Sailing Week Presented by EFG Bank brought a little change in the weather with overcast skies and scattered showers. The wind also switched directions and was coming out of the NE between 10 and 15 knots. The 164 teams racing in five one-design classes – Star, Viper 640, J/70, VX One and M32 – completed enough races in four different circles for the winners to collect the prizes. In the 22-boat VX One fleet, John Potter won with 35 points followed by fellow Americans Phillip Norris (35 points but one less win) and Philip Hallowell (37 points). “The entire week was great, and (Sunday) we got breeze that wasn’t expected,” said John Potter. “We got lucky on the first wind shift and finished second in the first race. It’s a great place and a great venue. Race Committee did a great job, parties were worthy and we especially loved the weather.” For complete results, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1222.

St. Pete NOOD

Favorable conditions allowed for 11 races in the VX One fleet at the Helly Hansen St. Pete NOOD regatta from February 13-15 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Five VX Ones took to the waters of Tampa Bay, but it was Brian Bennett on VX Racing who rode six bullets to the top of the leaderboard with 22 overall points. Michael Norris’ Flash Rider placed second with 28 points, and Andrew Walford’s Commando third with 31. For complete regatta information and results, visit http://www.sailingworld.com/nood-regattas/st-petersburg.

Christopher Alexander Seizes VX One Midwinter Championship

It was a battle to the last race, and Christopher Alexander came out the victor at the VX One Midwinter Championship hosted by Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Florida. After 10 races, Alexander’s Isabelita Con Queso bested 26 other teams, and added this title to his 2014 North American Championship from last July. Finishing with 34 points and a line of (11),4,2,6,1,4,2,2,6,7, Alexander won by just one point over John Potter, whose 3,5,3 on Sunday fell just short of capturing the victory. Ched Proctor’s Flash Rider placed in the show position with 37 points. With temperatures in the mid-70s and winds at 10-12 knots with gusts to 16, Proctor took the gun in Sunday’s opening race, with Alexander keeping pace in second and Potter just behind. Bill Griffin’s Kill Bill won the next contest, followed by Jeff Eiber and then Phip Hallowell on Chuck Wagon. The final duel was taken by Donovan Brennan’s Island Smuggler, as Proctor and Potter rounded out the top three. Complete results are available by clicking here. Photos are posted on the VX One Class Facebook page.

Christopher Alexander Grabs Advantage on Middle Day of VX One Midwinter Championship

A handful of teams juggled among the top three finishing positions today, as four races were completed at the VX One Midwinter Championship hosted by Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Florida. Marty Kullman’s Blue Flame secured three firsts, however it is Christopher Alexander’s Isabelita Con Queso on top of the leaderboard heading into the final day of racing on Sunday with 19 points. John Potter holds the bronze position with 24 points (Kullman has 21). A discard race has now taken effect. Breezes at 10 knots, including gusts to 14, greeted the 27 teams on the middle day of the Championship. Following Kullman in the opening bout was Chris Griffin’s Kill Bill and Justin Howard’s Rosebud. Alexander, the 2014 VX One North American champion, took the next victory, with Ched Proctor’s Flash Rider in second and Kullman in third. Kullman, Griffin and Proctor claimed the top spots in Saturday’s third race, and some familiar names did the same in the final contest (Kullman, Alexander, Griffin). Complete results are available by clicking here. Photos are posted on the VX One Class Facebook page.

Potter/Guggenheim Team Jump to Lead at VX One Midwinter Championship

Three races were completed today for 28 teams competing in the VX One Midwinter Championship hosted by Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Florida. In winds ranging from 6-10 knots, John Potter and David Guggenheim have taken the early advantage after posting a 6,1,1 for 8 points. Justin Howard (13 points) and Donovan Brennan/Tim Pitts (16 points) laid claim to the top three. The husband/wife team of Jeff and Keven Eiber took the gun in race one, followed by Howard and then Phip Hallowell. Potter and Guggenheim earned the first of two bullets in race two, with designer Brian Bennett in second and the Michael Norris family in third. Howard notched another silver finish in the day’s final contest, trailed by the Brennan/Pitts duo. Racing continues through Sunday. Complete results for this event and the entire Winter Series (which began in November and concludes next month) are available on the event website (www.vxonemw.com). Photos are posted on the VX One Class Facebook page.

VX One Midwinters Action Heating Up

VX One momentum is growing with ever larger fleets showing the pure fun and easy performance of this true thoroughbred one design. Twenty-seven VX Ones are expected in Sarasota, Florida for this weekend’s Midwinter Championship, drawing from fleets that are growing throughout the Great Lakes, Oklahoma, Texas, Gulf Coast, New England and the Southeast. The VX One is absolute one design and has a true Corinthian feel to it, with a great blend of family sailors and experienced sportboat and one design competitors all sharing their experiences and good times on the race course. Racing runs Friday through Sunday. Follow the exciting action at the event website (www.vxonemw.com) and the VX One Class Facebook page.

Fleet Reports

Update from Fleet (Awesome) 8
This upcoming weekend, the boat show will be coming to St. Pete. Having no experience with boats or sailing before marrying my husband Andy, I vividly remember my first boat show – the very same one, in December of 2011. Between trips to the outdoor bar, we toured what seemed like hundreds of boats – some power boats, but mainly cruising sail boats. Toward the end of the afternoon, I spotted something that looked a little different and fun. “That looks like the kind of boat you’d like,” I vividly remember saying to my new husband. We headed over to check it out. Tucked in a back corner at the end of a dock were Brian Bennett and David Guggenheim with the VX prototype, #101. One trip out in the bay, and we were sold. My husband is not quick to make expensive decisions, but I think the fact that I was in love with the boat was all he needed. He was ready to write a check that day. Three years later, we are very much in love with our VX and the VX family. It has been a wonderful platform for me to learn to crew on a sailboat, and after a blowing weekend last month in Sarasota, I have overcome any sailing fears I may have harbored in the past. It has also been great for Andy and me both to spend time with his sons Richard and Phillip as they have sailed with us in several regattas. We are beyond excited to have some growing interest in Tampa Bay and the west coast Florida area. Robert Bilthouse’s boat at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa has been our newest addition. We also have added Paul Currie in Naples (or Canada) earlier this year. Robbie Brown and Doug Fisher have been doing a fantastic job promoting the boat in the Tampa Bay area and down in Sarasota. I can imagine that the Sarasota Sailing Squadron midwinter series will give us huge visibility and promotion that will really benefit our local fleet. In addition, we will once again be sailing in the St. Pete NOOD on Valentine’s weekend and would love to have some other boats join us in showing off its fantastic design and performance.
Beth Walford

Update from Fleet 6
Fleet 6 was “born” last Summer during Brian and Hayden’s demo in Holland, MI. Our Fleet covers the Great Lakes/Midwest, and we currently have four boats in our fleet with two new hot possibilities for Spring 2015. We had our official fleet debut in Sarasota with great racing and plenty of fun. For 2015, we are working on our racing schedule and have already confirmed our Great Lakes/Midwest championship for September 19-20, 2015 in Holland, MI.

Update from Fleet 1
Gulf Coast Fleet 1 sailed eight events in 2014; each consisting of 5-7 races. Four events in the spring and four events in the fall. Two events in the Florida Panhandle, two in Alabama, two in Louisiana, two in Mississippi. For participation, there were 7-9 boats at five events and 4-5 boats at three events. Fleet 1 is currently at nine boats; we gained a new boat, but lost a boat. All eight events were sailed in predominantly 12 knots or less breeze; with crew weights ranging from 320-420 lbs.; we all realized that while light is fast in 12 under, it really pays to be 420-460 in everything above 15. Last year’s fleet champion was the Frost/Bolyard combo on USA 128. This year’s fleet champion is Team Poor Decisions, Kevin Northrup on USA 148. Racing this year was very tight with any one of four boats able to win up until the last event in Pass Christian. When the dust settled, Northrup defeated Chris Alexander, 2014 North American Champion, by a slim 100th of a point. Cox/ Sprague scoring was used with the best 5 of 8 counted. For 2015, Gulf Coast Fleet 1 and Tex/Ok Fleet 4 will mesh racing schedules for at least two events (more on that in January). Pictured is the (almost complete) Fleet 1 Series Champion Trophy.
Sail Fast, Donovan Brennan, Fleet 1 CaptainFleetUpdateDec14