St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands is known for its world-class sailing and sailors. Both of these qualities will be on front row center display when nine Open teams representing some of the best men and women match racers in the Virgin Islands, U.S. and World, will face off in the 7th Annual Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), presented by AeroMD and set for December 3-6, 2015.
“Today’s young stars like the USVI’s Taylor Canfield, USA’s Stephanie Roble and Brazil’s Juliana Senfft will compete against each other as well as former World Champions and Americas Cup sailors like the USVI’s Peter Holmberg and USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh and Dave Perry. That’s what makes the CAMR possibly the most compelling match racing event in the world this year,” says regatta director, Bill Canfield.
Senfft, back for the second time after finishing 5th in the Women’s Division at the 2010 CAMR, says she is looking forward to great sailing against top match racers.
“The level of competition this year is incredible! I look forward to sailing against all of them, but especially against Dave Perry. He is the person that got me interested in match racing,” says Senfft, whose crew will be Sandy Hayes, Cindy Olsen, Marcy Lake and St. Thomas’ Antilles School sailing team member, Caroline Teare.
The USA’s David Storrs, the world’s No. 19 ranked Open match racer and No. 1 in the U.S., will compete in the CAMR for the first time. Storrs’ crew will be a talented mix of fellow American, Hayden Goodrick as well as New Zealanders Rod Dawson and Garth Ellingham and Antilles High School sailor, Reid McHenry.
“Everyone dreams of sailing against the best in the world and the CAMR has been a dream of mine since I started match racing. To race America’s Cup veterans, World Match Racing Tour cardholders, and other world-class match racers who have inspired me is a real treat and I am fortunate to have a superb crew to help me,” says Storrs.
The two other invited teams rounding out the top nine – in addition to Canfield, Roble, Senfft, Holmberg, Dellenbaugh, Perry and Storrs – are the USA’s Chris Poole, the world’s No. 26 ranked Open match racer and Canada’s Elizabeth Shaw.
Match racing pits one identical boat against another on a short course oftentimes near to shore. On-the-water umpires make instant calls and enforce the rules. The result is very exciting racing up and down the Charlotte Amalie waterfront.
Spectators are invited to watch the racing under tented bleacher seating where there will be live narration. Viewers around the world can watch via a live webcast on www.carlosmatchrace.com. Racing starts at 9 a.m. (GMT – 4 hrs) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The format will be a Double Round-Robin where each team races against each other twice, with the team with the most wins declared the champion.
Past winners of the CAMR read like a Who’s Who of sailing: the USA’s Sally Barkow and Finland’s Staffan Lindberg won the Open Division in 2012 and 2011, respectively, while the USA’s Genny Tulloch triumphed in 2008 and 2010 and France’s Claire Leroy in 2009 in the Women’s Division, and it was the USVI’s Taylor Canfield in 2008 and Peter Holmberg in 2009 and Portugal’s Alvaro Marinho/Seth Sailing Team in 2010 that won in the Open Division. The USA’s Dave Wilson won the 2013 CAMR.
The CAMR is known as a global trend-setter for its introducing young sailors to the sport, working cooperatively with the V.I. government and V.I. Department of Tourism in its efforts to get more kids out on the water.
In 2015, each Open team will have a V.I. high school (under age 18) sailor as a member. In addition to the aforementioned Teare and McHenry, the members of the Antilles School Sailing Team will compete: Sam Morrell with Taylor Canfield, Scott McKenzie with Chris Poole, Ryan Hunter and Amanda Engeman with Dave Perry, Kai Holmberg with Peter Holmberg, Thomas Walden with Dave Dellenbaugh, Graceann Nicolosi with Stephanie Roble and Paige Clarke with Elizabeth Shaw.
In addition, St. Thomas’ Addelita Cancryn Junior High School Aquatics Program students will pair with these top-ranked skippers for fleet racing in the Carlos Aguilar Match Race Youth Regatta. This event will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday December 5.
The CAMR is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF)-provisional Grade Two event. The event will be raced in IC-24s, a one-design modification of a J/24.
The Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) is the organizing authority for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor and match racer.
AeroMD is the CAMR’s presenting sponsor.
“We are new to St. Thomas and appreciate being embraced so quickly by the sailing community who immediately saw the connection between AeroMD, our locally based air ambulance company and Carlos Aguilar, the namesake of this event. Our service provides urgent care equal to what patients would receive at a trauma center, intensive care unit or emergency room – and we provide it in the air,” says Dr. Brendan Anzalone, president and chief medical officer of AeroMD. “Unlike any other air ambulance company serving the region, we have dedicated aircraft, dedicated medical crews and each and every one in our company is dedicated to the speed of life. Our mission is to save lives.”
Supporting sponsors of the CAMR include the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; Heineken, distributed in the U.S. Virgin Islands by Bellows International; Patron, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC; Budget Marine; and the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
Daily race results and copyright-free downloadable images by Virgin Islands-based photographer, Dean Barnes, will be available for editorial use on the official event website (www.carlosmatchrace.com).