The annual Cruzan Open One Design Regatta (CROOD) took place the weekend of July 17-18 on the waters of Teague Bay in St. Croix. Hosted by the St. Croix Yacht Club, the regatta, now in its eighth year, saw nearly forty sailors take to the water in Optis, Lasers, 420s, and Rhodes 19s.
The racing got off to an inauspicious start on Saturday. Race Officer Jim Kloss had no sooner anchored on station when a squall line threatened, forcing the racers back to shore. Thirty-five knot winds and heavy rains made things interesting for those slow to return to the beach. After a couple of hours delay and an early lunch, the racers headed out again. This time the weather cooperated, providing puffy, shifty winds to challenge the sailors. Four or five races were completed in each class before another heavy squall provided some more excitement, and ended the day's racing.
In the Optimist Class, Ryan Hunter found the conditions to his liking, reeling off four straight firsts to end the day in the lead. Jae Tonachel and Peter Stanton traded firsts in the Lasers, while Mack Bryan and Beecher Higby led the 420s and Rhodes 19s.
Sunday dawned clear and breezy, allowing the Committee to run four more races in each class before lunch. After a rest and a meal, the sailors headed out for more racing. One race was completed before the black clouds rolled in once more, effectively ending the regatta.
In the Optimists, Conrad Yanez liked the heavier winds to move into first, followed by Ryan Hunter in second and Alec Kuipers in third. The Optimist Green fleet was won by Rachel Conhoff, followed by her brother David in second and Nati Kuipers in third. The 420 class was won by Mack Bryan and Eric Perez, just edging out Kenny Richardson and Starlin Rosario from Anguilla by a point. Butchie Gumbs and Zach Richardson, also from Anguilla, took third.
The Laser class was dominated by Jae Tonachel, who had eight firsts in ten races. Second was Chris Schreiber, with Sydney Jones third. Beecher Higby, sailing with Sam Carney and Melanie Conhoff, won a tight Rhodes 19 class, with Debbie Schreiber, Jake Wilson, and Christopher Schreiber second, and Ryan Murphy, Anton Kuipers, and Kelly Kuipers third.
Report and photo submitted by Chris Schreiber