The 2010 Puerto Rico VelaCup regatta, held over Memorial Day weekend, was the best and biggest so far. Club Nautico de Fajardo, working closely with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and numerous sponsors, organized and delivered a first class set of events on this the third year of the event which started on May 28 and ran through the 30th.
Events started in early May with the Pre-Registration Reception at Bongo's Café in Hato Rey, followed by a Feeder Race used to delivered most sailboats from various marinas in Fajardo to the new Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico.
The Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar, which hosted both the 2009 and the 2010 events at its spectacular club house with state of the art docking facilities, provided free docking to competitors the week before and up to the day after the regatta ended. Gerry Navas, Dock Master, and his friendly staff made everyone feel at home and ran operations smoothly all through the weekend.
Over 30 sailboats and more than 150 sailors from Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the United States raced in six classes including Racing A, Beach Cats, J-24s, Beginners and Jib and Main A and B. Sailors raced in varying conditions ranging from light breezes to medium and some heavier winds brought over by scattered squalls coming out of the South.
All courses were set close to shore so spectators could get a close look at the action as crews battled through the windward/leeward courses.
This year's VelaCup had special meaning as great preparation and training for some of our top local sailors, such as Fraito Lugo, Enrique 'Quique' Figueroa, Keki Figueroa, Jorge Santiago and their crews, among others, who planned to compete in the XXI Central American & Caribbean Sports Games to be held in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico this July.
The VelaCup trophy is awarded to the best/lowest scores in both Racing and the Jib & Main classes. This year the VelaCup in Racing was awarded to Kike Gonzalez and his talented crew on his J-80 Otra Kosa.
On the Jib and Main classes, the cup went to Rafael Figueroa aboard Marisa, his J-30, with veteran Polito at the helm and a well-organized crew.
The organizers and sponsors made the event's slogan "Celebrate the Wind" be felt throughout the weekend by all who enjoyed tasty treats, free beer and drinks, fashion shows, chocolate and wine tasting, an arts and crafts bazaar, music and dancing and of course some great sailboat racing.
On behalf of all sailors and participants who attended the 2010 VelaCup, thanks go to Agustin Rodriguez, Jr. and the Rodriguez Family, Ivonne Panigua, David Kerr III, Cacho Pastrana, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, The Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar owners and staff, the event sponsors, regatta judges, the committee boat staff and all the volunteers who worked countless hours and promote sailing in Puerto Rico so we can continue to "Celebrate the Wind"!
Club Nautico de Fajardo and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company are already working on the 2011 edition of the VelaCup. For information and complete results: www.puertoricovelacup.com or contact Agustin Rodriguez via email at email@example.com, and for photos, contact www.tonymiro.com.
1st: Otra Kosa,
J-80 – VelaCup Winner
Beach Cat 16 Class
1st: Suzuki/DRD, Quique Figueroa and Victor Aponte, H16 111665
Fraito Lugo, J-24
1st: Glory Days, Carlos Selles Bavaria, 44
Jib and Main A Class
1st: Cayennita Grande, Tony Sanpere, J-36
Jib and Main B Class
1st: Marisa, Rafael Figueroa, J-30 –
Capt. Tony MirÃ³ is a life-long sailor, photographer and web developer who currently lives in Puerto Rico with his family and sails aboard his Hunter 376 Â¡Nada Mas!