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Irma's incursion: Bitter End Yacht Club; Richard Branson's Necker Island

VIRGIN GORDA, BVI – Thank you to all our friends who have expressed concerns as Hurricane Irma approaches the BVI. As many of you may know, we close annually during “tropical season” for staff R&R and resort renovations. Our on-site closure crew have battened down the Bitter End YC hatches. After the storm passes, we will keep you posted as information becomes available. And we look forward to our fall re-opening, and another fun-filled winter season. –Post on the BEYC Facebook page.

At nearby Necker Island, the PR-savvy and sometime sailor (keen kite surfer, especially with a naked woman on his back) Richard Branson is riding out the storm with his staff and a few friends – in the concrete wine cellar below the main house. Having spent some time during AC32 in VLC with the fun-loving Branson, one wonders how much wine will be left after Irma has passed.

Note from our severe weather guru Mark Michaelsen: It looks like they will be in the western or southwestern portion. Maximum sustained winds of 100-150 kts gusts approaching 200 but not likely in the part of the storm that hits BEYC. On the northern edge of Virgin Gorda my suspicion is that windspeeds will be mostly 85 to 125 mph. Regardless, they should brace for a Category Five hurricane with winds in excess of 155 mph.

Richard Branson with his staff and a few friends on Necker Island. "I haven't had a sleepover quite like this since I was a kid."

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