Light winds and calm waters proved picture perfect conditions for the lightweight skippers competing in the 2 nd Annual Culebra International Dingy Regatta, held March 18-19, out of Culebra, Puerto Rico.
“I like the light winds. That’s the conditions where I do my best,” says Raul Andres Rios, who won the Overall as well as Blue Fleet in the Optimist Class.
Perennial favorite to win, Jose Nigaglioni, who ended the event second in the Red Fleet, says, “I wished for more wind, like in St. Croix last month, now that I’m heavier.”
The girls competing reveled in the cat’s paw conditions, too.
“This is my favorite regatta since it’s always light winds. Just what I like,” says St. Thomas’ Nikki Barnes, who won Top Female in the Optis.
Proving her prowess in any conditions, Daisy Cintron, who competed internationally from the Far East to the U.S. mainland over the last year, won the Laser Radial class.
Twenty Optimist and seven Laser sailors hailing from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and Tortola, competed in this event where courses of windward-leeward design were set in Ensenada Honda. Winds never edged above 10 to 12 knots.
The real trick to achieving this regatta was the behind the scenes work of the organizers. With no marina facility on Culebra and no yacht club with a home-based fleet of Optis and Lasers, all boats had to be transported from the Puerto Rican mainland.
“I had to get some boats from Ponce and others from San Juan,” says regatta director, Quino Nigaglioni. After Nigaglioni picked up the boats, he had to trailer them to Fajardo, and then transport them by ferry to Culebra. “The lawyers worry about the liability and all that, but it’s important to have enough boats to make a good regatta.”
With the St. Croix International Regatta and Heineken Culebra International Regatta now hosting Opti sailing as events within an event, will the BVI Spring Regatta be next to add this junior dinghy to its class line up? If yes, in the future we may see Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (C.O.R.T.) awards extend to junior dinghy sailors. What a perfect opportunity to assure the next generation of big boat skippers and crew.
1. Raul Andres Rios, Puerto Rico, Blue Fleet (25)
2. Ramon Gonzalez, Puerto Rico, Blue Fleet (28)
3. Fernando Monllor, Puerto Rico, Blue Fleet (28)
4. Ivan Aponte, Puerto Rico, Red Fleet (36)
5. Jose Nigaglioni, Puerto Rico, Red Fleet (39)
6. Armando Collazo, Puerto Rico, White Fleet (42)
7. Alec Anderson, Tortola, BVI, Red Fleet (48)
8. Nikki Barnes, St. Thomas, USVI, Blue Fleet (50)
9. William Bailey, St. Thomas, USVI, Red Fleet (58)
10. Alexander Coyle, St. John, USVI, Blue Fleet (60)
11. Billy Gibbons, St. Croix, USVI, Red Fleet (77)
12. Alejandro Monllor, Puerto Rico, Blue Fleet (78)
13. Alec Tayler, St. Thomas, USVI, Blue Fleet (81)
14. Carmen Rivera, Puerto Rico, Red Fleet (95)
15. Mack Bryan, St. Croix, USVI, White Fleet (99)
16. Victor Aponte, Puerto Rico, White Fleet (105)
17. Challis Diaz, St. Croix, USVI, Blue Fleet (108)
18. Christopher Cilliers, St. Thomas, USVI, Blue Fleet (139)
19. Manuel Gonzalez, Puerto Rico, White Fleet (145)
20. Roberto Puig, Puerto Rico, Red Fleet (147)
1. Fernando Ramierz, Puerto Rico (16)
2. Juan Carlos Franco, Puerto Rico (18)
3. Derek Flemming, Puerto Rico (20)
4. Addison Hackstaff, St. Thomas, USVI (25)
5. Fernando Puig, Puerto Rico (28)
6. Anita Becerra, Puerto Rico (40)
1. Daisy Cintron, Puerto Rico (17)
2. Patricia Villafane, Puerto Rico (19)
3. Patrick Carolus, Puerto Rico (31)
4. Eduardo Miro, Puerto Rico (43)
5. Javier Rodriguez, Puerto Rico (48)
1. David Alfonso, Puerto Rico (1)
2. Morgan Bryan, St. Croix, USVI (3)