The Chrysler Caribbean International Boat Show hosted at Puerto Rico’s Puerto Del Rey Marina boasted a new twist this year: the debut of the International Ulysse Nardin Regatta hosted March 23rd – 24th by the BoRinquen Island Sailing Association (BRISA). Seventeen boats in four classes: Racing, Cruising, Jib & Main A and B, took to the seas off Fajardo under partly cloudy skies with 12 to 15 knots of wind blowing out of the east. The racing class enjoyed several windward-leeward races, while the cruising class took off on more round-the-island type races such as circumnavigating Largo Reef.
“Competition was fierce in the four-boat racing class,” says Guillermo Mullet, who raced with Fernan Mora, Arturo Quinones, Wilber Millan, Oscar Martinez, Pedro Campos-Saavedra, Diego Montoya, owner Dr. Bernardo Gonzalez and Capt. Jose ‘Balaju’ Sanchez, aboard the Beneteau First 35, Bonne Chance.
“We finally were able to gather a perfect mix of young and not-so-young hardcore sailors to control this thoroughbred,” said Sanches. He added, “Our hard training and investment really paid off. We were able to execute good starts and basically make no major mistakes in our tacks, gybes and in predicting the wind shifts.”
The Bonne Chance team scored five bullets in eight races to win a Ulysse Nardin timepiece, five points ahead of Puerto Rico’s Carlos Camacho’s J/105, Abracadabra.
There was another great story in the Jib & Main A class. Heather and Jim Baus’ J/46, Miss Majic was entered and crewed by sailors in the Ponce Yacht & Fishing Club’s Optimist program: Andres Reguero (15), Ricardo Valenzuela (13), Lucas Miranda (12), Gabby LaSanta (12), and Savannah Baus (9). The team was guided by their coach Jorge Santiago and assisted by Jim Baus. Reguero showed great helming ability, although the tactical decisions were group based, with all the kids getting to trim sails and helm at some point during the races.
“Since we normally sail alone and against each other, it was awesome to be working as a team deciding which side of the course had more wind, when to tack, getting to steer, and trimming the sails on such a big boat,” said Savannah Baus. “The starts were wild since we’re used to our Optis which can turn and stop on a dime!”
Plans are underway for a second annual International Ulysse Nardin Regatta next spring.
For full results, visit: www.brisaweb.net
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.