Team BVI successfully defended its title by championing the 2015 Caribbean Dinghy Championships (CDC). Run under the auspices of the Caribbean Sailing Association, this is the first time in the CDC’s history that Puerto Rico has hosted this regatta. BVI sailors triumphed over teams representing the USVI, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico, in this October 16th to 18th event held out of Club Nautico de San Juan’s new Sailing Academy.
“All of our sailors, with the exception of those competing in the IC24 Class, are youth sailors,” says Julie Deakin, manager of the Royal BVI Yacht Club, which along with Commodore Todd Patterson, funded the team’s trip to defend its title. “We are very proud of their results as all of the classes were Open (meaning any age could participate) apart from the Optimist.”
Each island fielded sailors in every one of the following classes: Optimist, Laser Radial, Laser Standard, 420 and IC24. Nine windward/leeward races were run in the calm protected waters of San Juan Bay. The overall winner was determined by totaling the final point scores for each teams’ sailors. This winner was Team BVI, coached by Taylor Penwell, whose sailors won three of five classes and finished second and third in the other two. Team BVI also won the last CDC, held in Antigua in 2013.
The BVI’s Rayne Duff in the Optimist, Jason Putley in Laser Standards and the duo of Sam Morrell and Daniel Petrovic in the double-handed 420 each led their classes. Thad Lettsome finished second in Laser Radial, while the quartet of Andrew Waters, Ted Reshetiloff, Mike Hirst and Kevin Wrigley placed third in IC24s.
Puerto Rico’s Pedro Luis Fernández won the Laser Radial class. St. Maarten’s Frits Bus, Ian Hope Ross, Ryan Hope Ross and Chuck Pessler led in the IC24s.
“We are pleased to have successfully hosted the 2015 CDCs,” says regatta director, Marco Teixidor. “Winds were light but it made for very close and exciting racing. There was very tight competition with all four teams having had a good chance to win.”
The CDCs were started by the Caribbean Sailing Association in the early 1980s in order to promote inter-island competition. Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Croix are among the islands who have hosted the CDCs in the past.
“This was the first time that Puerto Rico hosts the CDC, and we hope it will not be the last! The new sailing academy, Academia de Vela, has definitely revamped the Club’s focus on sailing. We are looking forward to hosting many great regattas in the near future. In fact, February 4th to 7th 2016, Club Nautico de San Juan will be bringing back the International Dinghy Regatta in its 14th edition. We expect a good fleet of 50 to 60 Optimists and 30 to 40 Lasers.”
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.