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Finding Balance in the Islands

June 21, 2017

If you ever get the opportunity to travel to a destination regatta, we highly recommend you do it. If you find yourself in the British Virgin Islands, be sure to try these recommendations from the crew of C&C 30 Themis.

Not a bad view - The Quantum loft at the Nanny Cay Marina in the British Virgin Islands. Photo by Lara Dallman-Weis.

The phrase “perfection takes time” can be well understood by anyone who has shifted from regular, fast-paced sailboat racing to racing in the Caribbean. Earlier this year the C&C 30 class migrated south to join the Caribbean racing circuit. Three Quantum-powered boats – including Walt Thirion’s Themis – enjoyed bright blue water, tight racing and relaxing island vibes. 

From great food spots to learning your race committee, here are some pointers from the crew of Themis during their time at the BVI Spring Regatta:

1. Racing will be casual, try not to overthink anything! This is one place where input is expected; competitors were asked which type of races they preferred and which islands they wanted to sail around. The class vote was to end Saturday’s racing at the Willy T, where everyone could grab an anchor and swim to the famous bar on the barge. What makes these regattas extra special is the daily combination of around the buoy and distance races. The latter bringing you past beautiful locations, often through narrow passages or right up next to steep, jagged rocks. 

2. After sailing, sit down with the team at Peg Legs for a mango slaw salad and a daily debrief; the weather will be perfect and the company good. The regatta tent is located at Nanny Cay (locally pronounced “key”) with food, drinks, and entertainment. It’s one of the best rum tents, so make sure to spend at least one night socializing and dancing to the music.

Sitting pretty - Themis enjoys the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Photo by Lara Dallman-Weis.

3. Expect to rent a car and drive. Although Nanny Cay is a hitchhiker-friendly island (just remember to point the direction you want to go versus the usual thumbs up), not much is within walking distance. All of the C&C 30 teams took advantage of the beautiful rentals for their housing. The lodging enjoyed by the Themis crew included tortoises and an iguana with serene views facing the sunset.

4.  The best Bushwacker cocktail is from Pirates Bight Bar. Many places will try to claim their blend as the best, but until you head to Norman Island and take in the entire surroundings, you haven’t had the full experience.

5. La Baguette is a must visit, a delicious French bakery located in Road Town.Themis team members loved the assortment of cheeses, fresh baguettes and of course the collection of fine wines.  

6. Take a day to enjoy the beach (any beach will do), but the crew’s favorite was Smuggler’s Cove followed by a trip to the Bomba Shack. Or head to The Baths for the day, whichever you choose, a relaxing day in the perfect swimming water is great fuel for the soul. 

The C&C 30 class has agreed that the same trip is in order for next season, so take a page out of their book and start planning your Caribbean racing circuit now. 

One last tip: if there is any time to kill before departing, there is a tiny local restaurant at the top of the hill before entering the St. Thomas Cyril E. King airport, where the taxis wait (they will know where to go). Before walking to the terminal, have a local dish of curried lamb or stewed chicken with the freshly squeezed juice of the day. It will be the best departing meal, surely topping anything you will find at the airport!

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