St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Nine Open teams representing some of the best men and women match racers in the Caribbean, U.S. and World, are confirmed to compete in the 7th Annual Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), set for December 3-6, 2015.
“We are bringing world class match racing to St Thomas,” says regatta director, Bill Canfield. “Today’s young stars will compete against each other as well as former world champions and Americas Cup sailors. This is possibly the most compelling match racing event in the world this year.”
The USVI’s Taylor Canfield, the No. 2 ranked Open division match racer in the World, will be back to the waters where he grew up to pit his skills against the impressive fleet.
“This definitely will be one of the toughest events of the year for my team! Charlotte Amalie harbor is a great spot to race it offers shifty/puffy conditions on a short race track right in front of the water front allowing for some great spectating but it is also unique in that the wall becomes an obstruction in most races and the boats often come within inches on the waterfront.,” says Canfield,
The USA’s David Storrs, the world’s No. 19 ranked Open match racer and No. 2 in the U.S., will compete in the CAMR for the first time. Storrs’ crew will be a talented mix of fellow American, Hayden Goodrick as well as New Zealanders Rod Dawson and Garth Ellingham.
These two men will be up against the USA’s Stephanie Roble, No. 2 ranked match racer in the Women’s division on the world stage and No. 1-ranked in the U.S.
“I love this regatta because it always attracts top notch competition. It’s fun to mix things up from the WIM (Women’s International Match) Series and sail against the Open field, especially when it is mixed with these competitors! I’m excited to race against all of them,” says Roble, whose crew will include Maggie Shea and Erik Shampain. Shampain crewed for the USA’s Sally Barkow when Barkow won the CAMR in 2011.
The USVI’s Peter Holmberg and USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh, both former America’s Cup sailors, and veterans of the CAMR, round out the top five confirmed teams to date.
Holmberg, an Olympic silver medalist and former world match racing champion, won this event in 2009.
“This is probably the strongest line up that we have had at the event. I most enjoy bringing the sport of sailing to down town St. Thomas so the public can get a taste of what sailboat racing is about,” says Holmberg, whose crew will be veteran Caribbean match racers Morgan Avery, Maurice Kurg and Ben Beer.
Dellenbaugh will sail with daughter Becca, Janel Zarkowsky and Amanda Callahan, plus St. Thomas high school sailor, Thomas Walden. This team sailed together in the 2013 CAMR.
Other skippers who will compete include the USA’s Christopher Poole (ranked 29th/Open Division) and Dave Perry (ranked 47th/Open Division), Brazil’s Senfft (ranked 29th/Women’s Division) and Canada’s Elizabeth Shaw.
Past winners of the CAMR read like a Who’s Who of sailing: the USA’s Sally Barkow and Finland’s Staffan Lindberg won the Open Division in 2012 and 2011, respectively, while the USA’s Genny Tulloch triumphed in 2008 and 2010 and France’s Claire Leroy in 2009 in the Women’s Division, and it was the USVI’s Taylor Canfield in 2008 and Peter Holmberg in 2009 and Portugal’s Alvaro Marinho/Seth Sailing Team in 2010 that won in the Open Division. The USA’s Dave Wilson won the 2013 CAMR.
The CAMR is known for introducing young sailors to the sport, working cooperatively with the V.I. government and V.I. Department of Tourism in its efforts to get more kids out on the water. This year, each Open team will have a V.I. high school (under age 18) sailor as a member.
The CAMR is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF)-provisional Grade Two event. The event will be raced in IC-24s, a one-design modification of a J/24, provided by Island Sol.
The Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) and St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) are the organizing authorities for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor and match racer. AeroMD is the major sponsor.
AeroMD President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Anzalone said he was honored to be approached by VISA to be part of this event.
“We are new to St. Thomas and appreciate being embraced so quickly by the sailing community who immediately saw the connection between AeroMD, our locally based air ambulance company and Carlos Aguilar, the namesake of this event. Our service provides urgent care equal to what patients would receive at a trauma center, intensive care unit or emergency room – and we provide it in the air,” Anzalone said. “Unlike any other air ambulance company serving the region, we have dedicated aircraft, dedicated medical crews and each and every one in our company is dedicated to the speed of life. Our mission is to save lives.”
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is a supporting sponsor.
For more information, Notice of Race and to download photos of last year’s event for editorial use, visit: www.carlosmatchrace.com