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Barrows, Paull, Gibbons Rule at Columbus Day Regatta

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Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

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Blustery winds and waves more appropriate for surfing set
the scene for the Columbus Day
Optimist and Laser Regatta, hosted out of the St. Thomas
Yacht Club, October 9 and 10.

St. Thomas’ Thomas
Barrows, who handily won the Laser Standard Class, summed up the conditions
best when he said, “It was crazy out there. Twenty five
knots of wind and five foot seas.”

Thirty-seven sailors, hailing from all three U.S. Virgin Islands, the British
Virgin Islands and St. Maarten, competed in this annual event, sponsored this
year by Caribbean Auto Mart. The Laser Class saw resurgence in participation,
yet youth ruled.

Standard Champion Barrows explained what led to his triumph: “I was in
better shape than many of the older men and I’ve been sailing a lot this

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Tortola’s Emma Paull won
the Laser Radial Class. “The sailing was good but, when it is so windy,
you need to go into survival mode and think about everything before you do

sailing is increasing in the northern Caribbean, says St.
Thomas’ John Holmberg, who ended third in the Standard Class
behind St. Thomas’
Cy Thompson. “It’s nice to have the
competition, but it was rough out there. I flipped over six times in the last

St. Maarten’s Frits Bus agreed on both counts, too.
“Yes, Laser sailing is growing in the region. It’s a boat the whole
family can sail, 4.7s for the kids, Radials for women and Standard rigs for
men. It’s also the Olympic boat. On the other hand, my performance in
this event was terrible, though the sailing was exhilarating.”

In the
Optimist Class, Tortola’s Alec Anderson
led after the first day of competition.

“The rollers made you go so fast you’re almost out of

Ultimately, St. Croix’s Billy Gibbons topped the Optimist Fleet. “To
stay afloat in the heavy conditions, I moved my dagger board up about three
inches, rigged my mast far back for more speed and so that I could head lower,
and I used my body weight to steer, not the rudder, to keep the boat

A large
fleet of beginning Optimist Green Fleet sailors registered and looked forward
to sail, yet the race committee kept them from going out in the harsh
conditions. The ample sign-up of sailors underscored a great crop of new junior
competitors for the future.





1. Billy Gibbons, St. Croix

2. Alec Anderson, Tortola

3. William Bailey, St.
Thomas (12)

4. Nikki Barnes, St.
Thomas (15)

5. Alex Coyle, St.
John (20)

6. Alec Tayler,
St. Thomas (24)

7. Mack Bryan, St. Croix

8. Ian Barrows, St.
Thomas (26)

9. Challis Diaz, St. Croix



1. Alec Anderson, Tortola



1. Billy Gibbons, St. Croix

2. William Bailey, St.
Thomas (12)

3. Nikki Barnes, St.
Thomas (15)

4. Alex Coyle, St.
John (20)



1. Alec Tayler,
St. Thomas (24)

2. Mack Bryan, St. Croix

3. Ian Barrows, St.
Thomas (26)

4. Challis Diaz, St. Croix



1. Thomas Barrows, St.
Thomas (4)

2. Cy Thompson, St.
Thomas (12)

3. John Holmberg, St.
Thomas (12)

4. Frits Bus, St. Maarten (15)

5. Beecher Higby, St. Croix (17)

6. Ben Beer, St.
Thomas (22)

7. Dick Burkes, St.
John (26)

8. Josh Curtis, St. Croix

9. John Foster, St.
Thomas (43)

10. Niell Bartlett,
St. Thomas (52T)

11. Thomas Kozyn,
St. Thomas (52T)

12. Ryan Murphy, St.
Thomas (52T)


1. Emma Paull, Tortola
2. Rob Upson, St.
Thomas (9)
3. Hugo Roller, St.
John (11)
4. Chris Schreiber, St. Croix
5. Felice Quigley, St. Croix (24)
6. Rian Bareuther, St. Thomas
7. Max Nickbarg,
St. John (24)
8. Sydney Jones, St. Croix
9. Christopher Cilliers,
St. Thomas (43)
10. Elsa Myers, Tortola
11. Diane Holmberg, St. Thomas
12. Chris Schreiber, Jr. St.
Croix (56T)
13. Sam Woods, Tortola (56T)

1. Jae Tonachel, St.
Croix (5)
2. Tyler Rice, St.
Thomas (6)
3. Morgan Bryan, St. Croix (12)

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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