On a weekend of perfect sailing conditions Team Coors Light skippered by Sint Maarten’s Frits Bus won top honors at the 9th Annual Anguilla Regatta sailed May 11th – 13th.
With clear skies and winds from 15-20kts, 17 boats in Spinnaker, Non-spinnaker and Multihull Classes enjoyed spectacular racing. This year’s return of the A class Anguilla Sloops on Sunday completed a perfect three days of competition.
Dashing to make the first race on Friday, Kick ‘em Jenny, a Beneteau 36.7 skippered by Ian Hope-Ross, suffered an engine loss on the way from St. Maarten and arrived late. Despite the problems Kick ‘em Jenny managed to start with the rest of the spinnaker class boats and sailed to a third place finish.
On Saturday, the boats sailed four races over a shortened triangle course laid out between the mouth of Road Bay and Sandy Island.
Fierce competition on the start line saw spectacular helming from all classes. Fighting for positions, the Jeanneau Select, Bel Aurora, skippered by Roger Petit of St. Martin, kissed the transom of the Committee Boat and made of with some paint.
In multihull class, Robbie Ferron’s Katzenellenbogen dominated with four bullets, having fought a ferocious battle with Erick Clement’s Dauphin Telecom, and Petro Jonker’s Quality Time.
In Spinnaker Class, Raymond Magras’ Speedy Nemo stole the first race from Team Coors Light, finishing one second ahead on corrected time.
In Non-Spinnaker Class, Colin Percy’s Nonsuch, Antares, claimed the first win of the day, but finished no higher than fifth in the next three races. Ben Jelic’s Custom J 120 Jaguar Island Water World, crewed by students from the Anguilla Youth Sailing School, finished last in race one. However, under Jelic’s tutelage, they rapidly improved to finish 3rd, 2nd and 4th in the next three races respectively. Pushing Jelec’s team of youngsters was Sir Robert Velazquez’s Beneteau, L’Esperance, the eventual overall class winner, and Nico Corlever’s 61ft X-Yacht, Nix.
A thrilling start to Sunday’s multihull race saw Dauphin Telecom, Quality Time and Katzenellenbogen fighting it out on the line. Ferron found a sliver of space and slipped through with a clear start. The other multihulls crossed the line early, their failed strategy resulting in a resounding win for Katzenellenbogen.
The last race saw the regatta’s most spectacular start, that of Richard West’s Alden schooner Charm III in Non-spinnaker Class. Had the boats to leeward known more about handling a 20-ton schooner under full sail in tight spaces, they might have given Charm III more room. Facing a narrowing gap, West held his nerve and made a brilliant start, scraping by the committee boat with only inches to spare.
Sunday afternoon featured Anguilla A Class boat racing. Starlin Rosario, doing double duty on Charm III, needed to quickly get aboard the local boat, Satellite. In a fantastic dive from the schooners deck, while Satellite sailed by at 8kts, Rosario grabbed a line hung from Satellite’s stern and was dragged through the water for 50 yards before being hauled aboard.
At Sunday’s awards ceremony, Donald Curtis, President of the Anguilla Sailing Association, praised the sportsmanship of the competitors.
“While Coors Light may have won the top prizes the real winners were the students of the Anguilla Youth Sailing School. This year, seventeen students were invited to crew for all three days of racing. The students not only got to see first-hand how it felt to sail on yachts that have competed all over the Caribbean but the funds raised by the regatta will be used to make sure that the sailing school survives and grows as it continues in its mission to teach sailing to the next generation of Anguillians,” Curtis said.
This year a new trophy was created in memory of former Anguilla Sailing Association Board Member, Fred Randall, who passed away a month before the regatta. The Fred Randall Trophy will be awarded annually for the best overall performance by a single boat in the regatta. Frits Bus of Team Coors Light graciously accepted this top honor in addition to his win in Spinnaker Class.
For info and full results, visit: www.anguillaregatta.com