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Trinidad Carnival Regatta Proved Excellent Racing

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Challenging conditions with winds swinging from four to nearly 20 knots out of the west, east and then north, created keen competition for the 21 boats taking part in the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association’s (TTSA) Trinidad Carnival Regatta, held out of Hart’s Cut, Chaguaramas, in February. This regatta, now in its second year, replaces the well-known Tobago Angostura Regatta.

Rivalry in the Racing Class was particularly intense. In the end, points leader Norman Da Costa’s Soverel 42, C-Mos, was penalized for an infraction in the penultimate race which resulted in Peter Morris’ Frers 43, Jaguar, earning the class title.

Morris explains that, in addition to excellent sailing by the crew, Jaguar’s success was due to a few significant changes. “Ballast was added internally to ensure she sailed her full waterline length, new Doyle sails have a beautiful shape and the mast was recently given a total overhaul and upgrade by Trinidad Rigging,” says Morris. “The combined impact of all these improvements has been to produce a superb sailing yacht.”

In the Racer-Cruiser Class, the perennial favorite Nirvana, a San Juan 34 skippered by Lloyd De Roche, was dethroned by Mark Chapman’s well-sailed Tartan/LS10, Dingolay.

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“Nirvana was, and is, our biggest competitor,” says Chapman. “They have an experienced crew who has been together for a long while. Yet on the final day all three races were in light to medium air and our spinnaker work was excellent. We were able to keep in clear air and moving.”

Jay Alvi’s Beneteau 473, Andiamo, won the Cruising Class, sailing with the crew from Enzyme after the Henderson 35 damaged its rudder in the Grenada Sailing Festival in January.

“The Enzyme crew is a very competitive group, so we did tone it down a bit for the Cruising Class and put the emphasis on having fun,” says Alvi. “We had three other boats register for the class, so the fleet was small, which meant we had some aggressive starts – can’t totally be non-competitive. The secret to our success, though, was to have fun and we kept the bimini up and the wine chilled.”

There were two One Design Classes: one for J/24s and the other for Melges 24s. It was James Arrindell’s J/24, Jahaji Bhai, which handily won with a three-point spread over Grenada’s Robbie Yearwood’s Die Hard in the J/24 Class.

“The regatta was only won on the very last race of the series. Up to then anyone of us could have won,” says Arrindell. “In that last day, we finished second, second, and then went on to win the last race. It was the only race that I had a good start. We held first from after the first mark to the finish, when Ambushe and Die Hard got into a bit of a battle at the first mark and we were able to round inside with quality crew work, and jumped into the lead while they luffed each other off the race course.”

Finally, Paul Amon’s Melges 24, Drunken Monkey, finished four points in front of Jeffery Chen’s Wasabi.

“We were successful because we have a crew that has sailed together since we owned the boat,” says Amon. “Great crew work from Peter Knox, Mark Loe and James Leighton allowed us to turn the corners faster than most. We normally excel and are able to recover from behind with good clean mark roundings. This same crew forms the core on bigger boats we sail, Storm and now Slippery.”

The regatta finished with a prize-giving ceremony presided over by TTSA president, Reginald Williams.

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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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