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Yacht Club News – Jul 08

Caribbean Sailing Association

A new V.P. from the French islands has re-joined the CSA Board, Jean Michel Criquet, replacing outgoing VP French Andrew Dove.  Two new regattas have been sanctioned:  the Carlos Anguilar Memorial Match Race to be held December 5-7 in St. Thomas, and the Caribbean Dragon Championships to be held in Antigua during either December 2008 or January 2009.  President Cary Byerly is compiling a history on the CSA and asks for assistance.  First questions:  “Who went to the Olympics from your island?  What year was it and what did they sail in?”  Send your answers to secretariat@caribbean-sailing.com.  Contact Petra Guilders at that email address if you would like to receive the newsletter for posting at your yacht club or sailing association.

Royal BVI Yacht Club, British Virgin Islands

Club Manager Emma Paull forwarded a report on RBVIYC’s annual Pizza Pursuit Race:  The event saw a resurgence of interest as racers recently recovered from the storms of the BVI Spring Regatta were joined by classic cruisers to more than double the entries over the previous year. New courses starting and finishing at Nanny Cay were adopted and proved popular with competitors.

Dave West’s gleaming white racing sloop Jurakan overcame the difficulty of starting last, beating out a field of eight boats to win the Spinnaker Division. In the Non-Spinnaker Division, Andrew "Tubes" Thompson saw off all challenges.

The Spinnaker Division raced to a mark off the entrance to Road Harbour, with boats starting in a timed order with the slowest boat first according to their handicap. First off was a gaggle of IC-24’s, with experienced racers Andrew Waters (Conchquerer) and Colin Rathbun (Bmobile) leading over junior teams with sailors from the RBVIYC Junior sailing programme and KATS Sail helmed by Alec Anderson (Intac), Chris Watters (Black Pearl) and Phil Prevost (Racing in Paradise).This leg was followed by a long run downwind under spinnaker to Little Thatch, during which a wind squall came through that saw gusts in excess of 20 knots. The larger cruiser-racer style Gryphon and Luxury Girl  followed close on their heels in the difficult current and shift winds between Little Thatch and Tortola, only to see the smaller boats pull away again as the breeze dropped to almost nothing while the fleet worked its way back up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the finish.

Jurakan, starting some 36 minutes after the smallest boats, survived a dramatic knockdown off Sea Cows Bay. She was able to handily pick her way through the dying wind and kept moving as her lighter opponents wallowed, passing the rest before reaching Pockwood Pond and finishing comfortably ahead. In the IC-24’s, Conchquerer gave BMobile a run for their money until running onto an uncharted shallow spot they have christened "Wriggles Reef", giving Rathbun’s bright green boat second place. Luxury Girl and Intac enjoyed the closest finish, with the crew of Luxury Girl taking extreme measures to successfully distract young aspiring Olympian Anderson moments before crossing the line. The young KATS sailors on Racing in Paradise gamely carried on to the end despite being offered a tow in.

The Non-Spinnaker Division took a more scenic course around Dead Chest, Peter Island and the Indians, however the drop in wind had an even more severe effect on these heavier built yachts. One by one they switched on their engines and dropped out, leaving Thompson to steer his Hobie to a victorious finish.

At the Prizegiving held at Nanny Cay following the event, a large stack of pizza donated by the sponsor disappeared within moments. The Yacht Club’s Captain of Sailing, Guy Eldridge, paid tribute to all who competed and helped organise the event:  "I am especially grateful to Virgin Queen who have generously donated sufficient prizes to ensure that each competitor received something, as well as to the Race Committee of Diane Lewis and Sue-Ellyn Eldridge who gave up their day so we could all get out on the water."

St. Croix Yacht Club, USVI

Organizer Chris Schreiber reported on the club’s 2008 Cruzan Open One Design Regatta: Extremely shifty, puffy winds from the southeast made racing challenging for the sailors May 24 & 25.  Over 20 competed in Optis, Sunfish, Laser radials, and 420s in St. Croix’s popular multi-class event. 

Paul Lordi, the event PRO, ran between 16 and 20 races in each class in the two day regatta.  The winds made tactical sailing key, with random puffs and “auto tacks” keeping each sailor on their toes.  The conditions also kept scores interesting in the classes, as consistency was very hard to come by—on one leg, a racer could go from last to first, and back! 

In the Optimist class, Mack Bryan turned in a solid performance to beat Eric Perez, with Harry Hoffman finishing a strong third.  Newcomer CJ Walker finished a noteworthy fourth, earning the most improved sailor award as he won two races!  In the Sunfish, Eric’s brother Hector Perez won, with Shane Ryan-Bataller second and Vincenzo Ambrosi third. 

The Laser Radial was the largest class, with six boats.  Jae Tonachel showed everyone his prowess in the shifty conditions, throwing out a third as his worst race.  Second was Chris Schreiber Sr., with son Christopher close behind in third.  Also racing in the radials was Chris’s wife and Christopher’s mom Debbie, making the radials something of a family affair for the Schreibers!  Also racing in the radials were Beech Higby, who gave up his full rig to compete with the lighter sailors, and Felice Quigley.

In the 420 class, Rian Bareuther with crew Kyle Davis won convincingly, with newcomers to the class Challis Diaz and Mike Weber second, and Sydney Jones, racing with various crews, third.  Bareuther and Davis were the recipients of the regatta Sportsmanship Award, for abandoning a race to help a former competitor who had capsized. 

St. Thomas Yacht Club, USVI

Club Manager Bill Canfield reports, “We are now entering our "quiet" months but there sure seems like there is still a lot going!”  At the start of May, the club began its IC 24 Summer Series with races beginning at 5:15 each Friday. “This will spice up our happy hour quite a bit with the tall tales from the race course. Hopefully we will get a good number of skippers out and be able to get all aboard as crew who want to try the exciting sport of IC 24 sailing,” Canfield said.  The fleet was also organizing an IC 24 Invitational to test drive the new asymmetrical spinnaker.

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