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70 Women Compete in St. Thomas Radiology Women’s Sailing Regatta

Women ruled the waves and courts at the first annual St. Thomas Radiology Women’s Sailing Regatta & Tennis Tournament, held at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, November 10 to 12.

“I really liked competing with just women. Guys are much more aggressive,” says St. John’s Mayumi “Mimi” Roller, who won the Laser Radial class in the sailing portion of the event.

Seventy sailors and tennis players representing all three U.S. Virgin Islands, including a large contingent of instructors from the KATS (Kids and the Sea) program on St. John, competed in this event. Mother Nature was a key participant too, as skies where bright with sun, seas calm and winds blowing, yet not blustery, over the competition.

Verian Aguilar, who co-chaired the sailing portion of the event with Jessica Rosenberg, said, “It was a great weekend. We had a nice mix of sailors who were new to the sport, along with those who have sailed for several years, and a number of sailors paired up to sail double-hand on the 420s who had never raced together before.”

Meanwhile, Elsbeth Rowaan-Bartlett, tennis tournament organizer, says, “There aren’t enough tennis tournaments on the island, and no women’s events. We expected about 20 players and had 36 compete. There was a broad range of ages and abilities. Everyone had a great time.”

The sailing portion of the event saw women compete single-handed in Laser dinghies with either a 4.7 or larger radial sail and double-handed in 420s.

About her win, Roller added, “I do best in light winds and this weekend was perfect, no more than 6 to 12 knots.”  St. Croix’s Sydney Jones and St. John’s Callie Burks finished second and third, respectively, in the Laser Radials.

Christine Thompson, Elizabeth Anderson and Silvie Scott rounded out the top three, respectively, in the Laser 4.7s.
 
In the 420s, St. Croix’s Sydney Jones and Krista Siino came from a tied-position after the first day to win the event. “The trick was to get boat speed and decide which way to go with the shifts, because each of the races was so short,” said Jones.

The team of Mayumi Roller and Kate Kiefer placed second in the 420s, with Callie Burks and Chutney Mohler third.

In the tennis portion of the event, Finella Cooper won the Women’s Open Singles 6-1, 6-2, with Greeba Richmond runner-up. In the Women’s Open B Singles, Jaurel Harley won 6-3, 6-2, leaving Safia Taylor as runner-up. Finally, Silvina Guller and Nicole Syms won the Women’s Open Doubles, 7-5, 6-2, with the doubles team of Pat and Jaurel Harley runner’s up.

This isn’t the first time the St. Thomas Yacht Club has hosted a women’s only sailing event.

Back in 1986, St. Thomas’ Nance Frank, with assistance from Dee Spear, started a women’s sailing regatta as a one-day event. Over the years, this event grew from one day to three with over 60 women participating from the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Antigua, St. Maarten, all three U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. mainland. In addition, five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and former World Women’s Laser Champion, Betsy Allison, visited to coach participants in 2000 and 2001.

As a direct result of this event, Antigua and St. Maarten have organized Ladies Laser competitions, developing a Caribbean Women’s Laser Circuit.
 
At the Awards Ceremony, event sponsor George Rosenberg, of St. Thomas Radiology, answered the wishful thinking of participants who hoped for a repeat next year, with the words, “This is the start of something big.”

RESULTS

LASER RADIAL
1. Mimi Roller (9)
2. Sydney Jones (19)
3. Callie Burks (24)
4. Verian Aguilar (44)
5. Cat Taylor (48)
6. Vicki Rogers (52)
7. Felice Quigley (55)
8. Carlyn Wesley (69)
9. Cindy Hackstaff (75)
10. Chutney Mohler (80)
11. Jen Robinson (80)
12. Sara O’Neill (94)
13. Sue Cilliers (101)
14. Merryn MacDonald (113)
15. Martha Hollander (120)

LASER 4.7
1. Christine Thompson (11)
2. Elizabeth Anderson (17)
3. Silvie Scott (25)
4. Elsbeth Rowan (38)
5. Carolyn Morrison (43)
6. Joyce McKenzie (44)
7. Sheri Metres (51)

420s
1. Jones/Siini (15)
2. Roller/Keifer (16)
3. Burks/Mohler (21)
4. Thompson/Scott (27)
5. Rogers/Fortune (36)
6. Quigley/Coyle (38)
7. Rosenberg/Aguilar (43)
8. Taylor/MacDonald (47)
9. O’Neill/Hollander (51)
10. Sorrentino/Songer (59)
11. Robinson/Gumbs (63)
12. Laing/Sylvester (75)
13. Bailey/Rice (76)
14. Driscoll/Newland (104)

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