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The third annual Financial Services Challenge took place at Nanny Cay Marina on Sunday, June 24. It also proved to be third time lucky for Conyers Dill & Pearman (Conyers).
Conditions were absolutely perfect as Guy Eldridge, partner at Conyers, and his team went into the final race tied on points with Deloitte. This race would decide who took the International Finance Centre Cup home. It turned out to be a real nail biter. Race 11 saw a picture perfect start with all 11 IC24s hitting the line with speed.
Bryshaun Scatcliffe, helming for Conyers, managed to win the pin end with great speed as they took off along the shore just off Nanny Cay. Andrew Waters helming for Deloitte started midline and looked to be in great shape finding clean air and the freedom to tack off when he wanted.
As Conyers tacked back towards the fleet it became obvious that the committee boat end of the line had been favoured.
Team Deloitte crossed comfortably and managed to get three boats between themselves and Conyers once the windward gate had been rounded. It all looked to be over until the two teams took opposite leeward marks and Conyers sailed a great final upwind leg to get ahead of Deloitte by the windward mark.
Conyers sailed the last run home to the finish to win the event. Deloitte took second place under their skipper Andrew Waters and third place went to Ogier, helmed by George Lane.
Conyers came second in the 2005 and 2006 Financial Services Challenges. At the prize giving held on Nanny Cay beach, Guy Eldridge praised Bryshaun for steering the team to victory. “It was great to have the event go down to the wire – the effort of staying mentally focused for that long was exhilarating and draining.” said Guy. “I was very excited for our helmsman, 17 year old Bryshaun Scatliffe, who proved himself in the front rank of BVI’s young up and coming sailors by driving us to the win after two years of placing second.
“He was aggressive in claiming the pole position at the starts and handling the boat in tight spots on the race course. He showed exceptional maturity by leading us to several important comebacks when things did not go well for us initially.”
The event, organised by Racing in Paradise and sponsored by the BVI International Finance Centre was sold out with eleven teams entered from companies within the BVI financial services sector.
The new rule for this year allowed teams to engage the services of one or two sailors to improve their chances. This meant that many smaller companies were able to get out there and ‘mix it up’ which resulted in a full entry of the eleven teams.
The participating teams were Banco Popular; Beacon Capital Management; Conyers Dill & Pearman; Deloitte; INTAC (winners of the inaugural event); Maples & Calder; Nerine; Ogier; RSM; Tricor; and Walkers.
The teams met at the Royal BVI Yacht Club on the Friday preceding the event for the weigh in, briefing and Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial (Epernay) N/V reception.
Saturday was practice day and the battle began Sunday morning with a light breeze. After lunch the wind increased to take the event to 11 races in a “do or die” finale.
Spectators joined organizer Richard Wooldridge at the ‘FSC village’ to listen to his live commentary and to watch the races.
Final results were posted and the prize giving took place in front of a full house. RSM received a magnum of champagne for being the best dressed team with all members modeling a blue ‘tropical’ shirt.
Team Maples & Calder was awarded a prize for great sportsmanship. Each of the crew members took the helm for at least one race giving novices a chance to get a real taste of the thrill of being ‘in control’.
1st Conyers Dill & Pearman – 33 points
2nd Deloitte – 35 points
3rd Ogier – 49 points
4th Intac – 50 points
5th Nerine – 53 points
6th Walkers – 54 points
7th Banco Popular – 71 points
8th Tricor – 82 points
9th Beacon Capital Management – 84 points
10th Maples & Calder – 102 points
11th RSM – 116 points.
The evening rolled on with the RBVIYC laying on a BBQ dinner and serving drinks from their mobile bar, which also serves as ‘The Protest Room’.
“This has been the best event of the three years for the Financial Services Challenge,” commented Humphry Leue, Chief Operations Officer of the event sponsors, BVI International Finance Centre.
“We have supported this event from its inception and based on this year’s response, I can say that the BVI IFC will be proud to continue to sponsor the Financial Services Challenge. It’s been a great day out for everyone and seems to have been thoroughly enjoyed by all. We set about creating a fun, relaxed and informal event at which industry members could meet and mingle. I think we achieved that here today and I thank all those involved from organizers to racers and supporters for making this a success.”
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