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Pro Am Regatta Sets Sail

John Lyon

Now in its 25th year, the Pro Am Regatta at the British Virgin Islands’ Bitter End Yacht Club hits the waves October 30 through November 5. As the only major pro-am yacht regatta in the world, the Bitter End event is unique in pairing world-class skippers with anyone with a sense of adventure who wants to participate. This year, notable skippers include Peter Holmberg, the winner of last year’s Pro Am and a member of the victorious 2007 America’s Cup team, and rising sailing star and Olympic gold medalist, Anna Tunnicliffe.

The origins of the regatta are somewhat a result of happenstance. To drum up interest in the Bitter End resort, the resort planned a low-key regatta and invited some of the world’s leading skippers, who participated in exchange for room and board. When guests of the resort began to express interest in participating in the event, the club found space for them on a number of vessels.

Any guest staying at the resort during the regatta is welcome to request a position on a boat, and novices as well as experts are accommodated. The weeklong event will include four pro-am races as well as professional races and a day trip to nearby Anegada Island. In the evenings, guests will enjoy cocktail parties with the skippers, barbecues, and seminars. A limited number of pro-am vacation packages starting at $3,273 are still available. (800.872.2392, www.beyc.com)

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