High winds made conditions challenging for over forty sailors competing in the tenth annual Cruzan Open One Design Regatta in May. Hosted by the St. Croix Yacht club, the event saw racers from all three U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands compete over two days on the waters of Teague Bay on St. Croix’s east end.
The regatta was run on two courses, with the younger Optimist sailors competing separately from the more experienced sailors racing Laser, 420, and Sunfish sailboats.
Saturday, the racers faced puffy, shifty winds from 15-20 knots. Eight races were completed in all classes, with competition tight. A duel was shaping up in the advanced Optimist class between Thad Penn-Lettsome, from Tortola, and Ryan Hunter from St. Croix, who each won several races. In the Laser class, DJ Lorschbaugh from St. Croix’s West End, held a narrow lead over Chris Schreiber and Mack Bryan. The Sunfish class, comprised sailors from their early thirties to those over sixty years of age, was led by St. Croix’s Peter Stanton, while Sam Watterson with crew Morgan Moschallski set the pace in the 420s.
On Sunday, the winds picked up even more, ranging from 18 to 25 knots. The higher winds took their toll on the fleet, with numerous breakdowns. The sailors who managed to keep their boats together had quite a workout battling not only the competition, but the wind and waves. In the end, fifteen races were completed in each class. The Optimist Green Fleet, composed of sailors as young as eight years old, was won by St. Croix’s Lake Sanford, with Atlee Kohl and St. John’s Gabriel Brooker close behind. In the advanced Optimist Fleet, Hunter found the high winds to his liking, edging out Penn-Lettsome with Isreal Duffy from St. Croix’s West End, third.
In the Sunfish, Stanton held his lead, with Sam Carney and Preston Dalglish coming second and third, respectively. The Laser class was won by Schreiber, just ahead DJ Lorschbaugh, with Bryan coming in third. Watterson and Moschallski held on to win the 420 Class, with Challis Diaz and Sean Norton second. Harry Hoffman with crew Kent Buska finished third.
The regatta organizers would like to thank the sponsors: Broadband VI; Dr. Kurt Buska; Sanford, Amerling, and assoc.; Ford Real Estate; Tire Express; Car Hunters VI; Hunter, Cole, & Bennett; Divi Carina Bay; VI Board of Tourism, and Waste Management Authority.