For two consecutive weekends in November, crews raced in varying conditions as part of the 2009 Discover the Caribbean Series hosted by the Ponce Yacht & Fishing Club in southern Puerto Rico.
This year we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of this event which, as always, was a great success thanks to the hospitality of the Ponce Yacht & Fishing Club members and volunteers. Crews enjoyed great music, excellent meals and lots of other activities and entertainment. On Saturday November 21 everyone danced to great tunes by fellow sailor Millo Torres y El Tercer Planeta.
On the water sailors encountered a variety of conditions ranging from no wind, to light winds to a nice 15 to 20 knot breeze and building seas. The action on the water was intense with groundings, collisions and capsizes, including a broken keel which separated from the hull and sent the crew of Atorrante for a swim. Luckily nobody was hurt.
I was fortunate to be invited as photographer for a day aboard Bonne Chance, a 1991 Beneteau 35.5 owned by Dr. Bernardo Gonzalez and overall winner of the very competitive Racing Class. I had a blast taking photos and high-definition videos from the stern as we surfed downwind on spinnaker rides of up to 12.9 knots…nice!
Veteran Puerto Rican skipper Jose “Balaju” Sanchez with Quino Sanchez (no relation) as tactician and an elite crew composed of Bernardo, Agustin, Fernando, Arturo, Wilo and Jose, managed to win most races in order to secure their first place standing over two weekends of racing. This well trained crew proved once again that is not always the sailboat or the fancy equipment that wins races but a consistent crew working together as a team.
On the J-24s, Fraito Lugo’s Orion was invincible winning the J-24 class as well as the best Ponce boat award.
Over 40 sailboats raced in ten classes. For complete results: www.ponceyachtandfishingclub.com
Capt. Tony Miró is a life-long sailor, photographer and web developer who currently lives in Puerto Rico with his family, where they sail aboard their Hunter 376 ¡Nada Mas!
Racing Bonne Chance
Jib & Main 1 Happy Hour
Jib & Main 2 Gisele
IC24 Sal Pa’ Fuera