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Rushin Rowlette Wins Racing Class at Palmas del Mar

Competition proved keen at the 2nd Puerto Rico Vela Cup raced May 22 to 24 out of the new Palmas del Mar Yacht Club in Humacao. Yet, when it came to awards time, it was the BVI’s Kevin Rowlette, racing his Olson 30, Rushin Rowlette, who bested the Racing Class and picked up Best Visiting Yacht award as well.

“This was the first time we’d sailed this regatta and it was a lot of fun,” says Rowlette. “We ended up doing better than we expected in spite of the light winds. The J/105 Abracadabra was our closest competition, but the wind wasn’t blowing hard enough for them to get speed over us.”

Thirty-two yachts, representing Puerto Rico as well as the Dominican Republic, U.S. and British Virgin Islands and U.S. mainland, sailed in Racing, Cruising, Performance Cruising, Jib & Main and one-design IC-24 and J/24 classes in this Club Nautico de Fajardo-run event. One of the hottest class competitions was in the J/24 Class.

“The Vela Cup was especially important since the Puerto Rico Sailing Federation included the J/24 competition as part of the national eliminatory for the Central American Games (CAC), to be held in Mayaguez in 2010,” says Agustin Rodriguez, regatta director and president of Club Nautico de Fajardo.

Ultimately, Fraito Lugo’s Orion and Jorge Santiago’s Maximus took one step closer to the island’s single J/24 slot for the CAC Games.

In other results, Puerto Rico’s Mario Bermudez’ Tartan 33, Tranquilein, was the Overall Cruising Winner, Puerto Rico’s Pedro Quinones’ J/24, Bravissimo, won Best Crew, and Puerto Rico’s Water Lilly won Best Beginner.

“The venue was great, we really enjoyed it, as well as the hospitality,” says Rowlette.

Facilities for competitors at the new, 162-slip private Palmas del Mar Yacht Club and megayacht marina included a restaurant, bar, pool, convenience store and deli, shops, concierge services and fuel dock.

The three-day event also featured live music, a fashion show and bazaar, as well as charter catamarans for spectators to enjoy the event from the water.

For full results: puertoricovelacup.com

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