Rain in St. Thomas failed to derail any of the match racing action at the 4th Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), presented by Ulysse Nardin/Trident Jewels & Time and sailed November 30th to December 4th. The sprinkles turned to squall just as Finland’s Staffan Lindberg sailed over the finish line three boats lengths ahead of the USA’s Sally Barkow to win the finals 3-1.
“It wasn’t easy,” says Lindberg, who is currently the 15th match racer in the world.
Lindberg lost to Barkow in the first race of the finals and came back to win the next three and the championship.
“Sally made good work of me in the first three starts,” says Lindberg. “In the last race, we were able to pull ahead and sail one long tack to the finish.”
Robert Skarp, Carl-Johan Uckelstam and Benny Ulvaeus sailed with Lindberg as crew.
For their win, Lindberg and his team were each awarded a distinctive Ulysse Nardin precision timepiece. In addition, the team received an invitation to the prestigious Stena Match Cup Sweden, in Marstrand, Sweden, in the summer of 2012. The CAMR is an Official World Tour Qualifier (WTQ) for the 2012 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).
Barkow, the fourth ranked woman match racer in the world who hopes to represent the USA in Women’s Match Racing at the 2012 Summer Olympics in Weymouth, UK, says, “We were so close. We tried hard, but just didn’t get it in the end. There were definitely some tough conditions. It was a good challenge.”
This is the first year the Carlos Aguilar Match Race was an Open event, meaning men and women sailed both on the same teams as well as against one another.
The USVI’s Taylor Canfield won the Petite Final 2-0 over the USA’s Dave Perry, thus each skipper finished third and fourth, respectively.
“It was tough to get in phase with the breeze all over the course and with new crew,” says Canfield, who is ranked 28th in the world and who won this event in 2008.
This is the third CAMR that Perry has competed, finishing third, fifth and now fourth.
“It’s incredible to sail here because it’s sunny and warm,” says Perry, who is the author of Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing Through 2012.
This four-day Grade 2 match race was sailed in Inter-Club (IC)-24s.
The St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) and the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) are organizing authorities for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor and match racer.
For full details, visit: www.carlosmatchrace.com
Report submitted by Carol Bareuther