Club Nautico de San Juan International Regatta
Gusts blowing 20-plus-knots and rolling seas created challenging yet exhilarating conditions for nearly 100 sailors from five islands that competed in the 13th Club Nautico de San Juan International Regatta (CNSJIR), held January 31-February 2.
The CNSJIR Race Committee reveled in the brisk conditions launching as many as 13 races in one of the six classes that sailed both on and outside San Juan Bay.
“We are very happy with the success of this year’s regatta,” explains Luis Fabre, chairman of the CNSJIR organizing committee. “We wondered a few years ago how the addition of the bigger boats would fit in with the dinghies, but it has worked well by giving us a good diversity of classes.”
In the seven-boat CSA Spinnaker class, which included three Melges 32s, it was Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Lipuscek’s J/105 Dark Star that won with a decisive five firsts in six races.
The Melges 32s weren’t far behind. Puerto Rico’s Luis Juarbe, on SOCA, finished second while fellow islander, Jaime Torres, driving Smile and Wave, was third.
The second keelboat class of the regatta, the seven-boat IC24s, saw Puerto Rico’s Fraito Lugo’s Orion take the lead and hold it until the end scoring eight firsts in 13 races.
“We are in the selection process to see what J24 team will represent Puerto Rico in the Central American-Caribbean Games in November in Mexico,” says Lugo. “The IC24 is excellent for practice for the J24 because the CAC Games format calls for a configuration of 105% jib, spinnaker and main with four crew.”
Puerto Rico’s Marco Teixidor driving his IC24, Cachondo, finished second, with Puerto Rico’s Carlos Sierra aboard Fuakata in third.
The dinghy classes have long been the foundation of CNSJIR. In fact, true to past years, the largest class was the Optimist Advanced with 13 boats. Antigua’s Daniel Smit, who finished first in this regatta last year in the Optimist Green Fleet, won the overall this year as well as the 11 to 12-year-old Blue Fleet.
“We’ve been practicing in heavy winds back home in Antigua these last few weeks. That really helped a lot in this regatta,” Smit tells.
Anguilla’s Huekeemi Hughes won the 13 to 15-year-old Optimist Red Fleet, while Puerto Rico’s Jose Mendez scored a win in the age ten and under Optimist White Fleet. This year’s Optimist Green fleet leader was Puerto Rico’s Marc Thys.
The Laser fleets were equally full of talent. Puerto Rico’s Agustin Lazaro-Lugo won the Laser Radial class with six first place finishes in 12 races.
Lazaro-Lugo is attempting to qualify to represent Puerto Rico in the Laser Radial class at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, which will be held in Portugal in July.
Second place Laser Radial finisher, Rhône Findlay, will be representing his home island of St. Maarten in the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships.
Rounding out third in this competitive class was Puerto Rico’s Pedro Fernandez Gamboa. Puerto Rico’s Ricardo Valenzuela led the Laser 4.7 class.
Full results are available at: www.nauticodesanjuan.com