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PR’s Alphonso Tops Fleet at 2nd Valentine’s Optimist Regatta

Concentration, and the ability to hold down the boat in
heavy winds, spelled the key to success for Puerto Rico’s David Alfonso.
Alfonso placed first overall at the 2nd annual Valentine’s Optimist
Regatta, hosted out of the St. Croix Yacht Club February 19-20.

“I prefer light
winds. That’s what I’m used to,” said 14-year-old Alfonso, who sails out of
Club Nautico de San Juan. “But, I just concentrated and tried to do my best. In
fact, my best race was the first day when I was over early at the start, then
had to come back around to clear. I still won.”

24 junior sailors
from all three US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the states of Florida and New
York competed in this junior sailing event that was held simultaneously with
the 12th annual St. Croix International Regatta.

Blustery winds
gusting 20 to 25 knots and choppy seas under bright sunny skies set the scene
for racing in Teague Bay. The inshore venue made it easy for spectators to see
the action either from the water or from the beach off Duggan’s Reef.

In addition to the
overall prize, Alfonso also took first in the 13- to 15-year-old Red Fleet.

Puerto Rico’s Jose
Nigaglioni, who won the overall prize last year, topped the 11- and 12-year-old
Blue Fleet. “I really liked all the wind. It helped me go fast,” Nigaglioni
said.

In the age 10- and
under White Fleet, Puerto Rico’s Armando Collaro took top honors. “It was easy
because the wind didn’t change much. It kept blowing out of the same direction
all weekend,” Collaro said.

Finally, in the
beginner Green Fleet, the win went to Jaime Ramon from Coconut Grove Sailing
Club in Miami, Florida. “The waves are bigger here, but it’s been windier at
home.”

What did Ramon
like best about the event? “The food,” he said, “and the beach is right next to
the yacht club.”

 

RESULTS

 

RED FLEET

1. David Alfonso, Puerto Rico (24)

2. Jae Tonachel, St. Croix, USVI (26)

3. Peter Knutson, New York, USA (197)

 

BLUE FLEET

1. Jose Nigaglioni, Puerto Rico (26)

2. Ivan Aponte, Puerto Rico (35)

3. William Bailey, St. Thomas, USVI (49)

4. Billy Gibbons, St. Croix, USVI (55)

5. Morgan Bryan, St. Croix, USVI (60)

6. Fernando Monllor, Puerto Rico (64)

7. Ramon Gonzales, Puerto Rico (80)

8. Alex Coyle, St. John, USVI (88)

9. Nikki Barnes, St. Thomas, USVI (153)

 

WHITE FLEET

1. Armando Collaro, Puerto Rico (109)

2. Ian Barrows, St. Thomas, USVI (120)

3. Alejandro Monllor, Puerto Rico (124)

4. Mac Bryan, St. Croix, USVI (124)

5. Alec Taylor, St. Thomas, USVI (128)

6. Christopher Cilliers, St. Thomas, USVI (131)

7. Challis Diaz, St. Croix, USVI (164)

 

GREEN FLEET

1. Jaime Ramon, Miami, Florida (21)

2. Andre Reguero, Puerto Rico (26)

3. Nick Weber, New York (26)

4. Roberto Puig, Puerto Rico (34)

5. Christopher Hilty, St. Croix, USVI (37)

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