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Preview of 2011 Club Nautico de San Juan Intl Regatta

Puerto Rico's Club Nautico de San Juan International Regatta (CNSJIR), one of the Caribbean's largest and most competitive dinghy regattas, celebrates its 10th anniversary February 4-6.

"We expect approximately 80 to 100 competitors," says regatta director, José Gilberto Berríos. "These sailors will represent Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the USA, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and other countries that are in the process of confirming their participation."

Classes for this regatta include Optimists, Lasers and Snipes and, new, for the 10th anniversary, Sunfish and 2.4 Meter.

The caliber of racing, which takes place in San Juan Bay, should be red hot. For example, several winners from 2010 are expected to return. These include Raul Rios in the Snipe class, who will compete against other top sailors such as Marcos Teixidor, Gabriel Ramos and Jesús Rodríguez all from Puerto Rico.

"We will have participants in the Sunfish, Laser and Snipe classes who will be using this regatta as training and testing for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, this summer," says Berrios. "It's our 10th Anniversary and we are truly committed to offering a great regatta with several surprises."

There are several social gatherings planned in addition to sailing.

The CNSJIR is an outgrowth of the Club's junior sailing program, which was launched in the 1970s by Andres Nevares and strengthened in the late 1990s by then-Commodore Richard Christiansen and Ricky Adsuar. The program, which is now directed by Berríos, combines technical knowledge with practical hands-on sailing experience. It's a combination that definitely works and one that has become a platform from which to propel young sailing enthusiasts to success around the globe. For example, the Puerto Rican sailors who won fleet and team racing awards at the 2008 Optimist World Championships were graduates of the program as were six of the island's sailors who won five gold and one bronze medal in sailing at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayagüez.

For more info, to register and to charter a boat, visit: www.nauticodesanjuan.com/sailingprogram/regatta_int.htm

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

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