The 49th edition of the BVI Spring Regatta, one of the territory’s biggest sailing events, has been postponed for a second straight year due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns in the British Virgin Islands, regatta officials announced.
This year’s regatta, scheduled for March 29 to April 4, would have followed the Rounds the Rocks Race and the St. Thomas International Regatta, which will be held this year from March 26-28 in the waters off of St. Thomas and St. John.
The BVI Spring Regatta has tentatively been rescheduled for March 28 to April 3, 2022.
According to a release issued by BVI Spring Regatta officials, the decision came after discussions between the BVI Spring Regatta’s organizing committee and the BVI government’s Ministry of Health “concluded that the postponement was in the best interest for the safety of all participants, volunteers and the wider BVI community.”
“As much as we would have loved to welcome everyone back to the BVI, the most important factors are health and safety for all,” regatta director Judy Petz said in a prepared release. “Our international participants understand the situation and are already planning for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival in March 2022.”
Last year, the BVI Spring Regatta and its accompanying Sailing Festival was postponed twice — first, just days before the regatta was to be held, with a reschedule date in late October 2020, only to be called off in mid-September 2020 as the pandemic continued to affect the British Virgin Islands.
The cancelation is another financial blow to the regatta’s non-profit organization and Tortola. According to the release, the economic impact from the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival is approximately $4 million a year.
“We hope that as COVID-19 vaccination programs progress and international travel restrictions are lifted, that it will become safer for people to travel and participate in events like ours,” Petz said. “We look forward to making next year a terrific event, one that all of our participants, sponsors and the community can look forward to.”