Rolex Big Boat Racing Series (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )_0220

Rolex Big Boat Racing Series (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

 

A year after the contest for the 34th America’s Cup, world-class sailing is still alive and well on San Francisco Bay. In fact, for the last four days (Thursday, September 11 through Sunday, September 14), the 50th Anniversary edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series has hosted hundreds of sailors on 99 teams, rotating onto three strategically-placed race circles that triangulated the constant wind and tide challenges of the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas. Having developed stadium sailing long before the America’s Cup made it a local colloquialism, the St. Francis Yacht Club ensured fast fun for spectators as well as competitors by designing each day’s second race (always sailed in a blustering afternoon breeze) to finish within cheering distance of the clubhouse’s famous second-story race deck that commands attention east to Alcatraz Island and west to a sun-drenched, or alternately fog-enshrouded, Golden Gate Bridge.

After all was sailed and done, victors were named in ten classes (ORR, HPR, BAMA/Multihull, J/70, J/105, J/111, J/120, Melges 24, Express 37, Farr 40), and six prestigious St. Francis Yacht Club trophies and seven Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepieces were awarded.

Perhaps most appreciative of the Rolex and the trophy (the Richard Rheem Perpetual) he had earned was Alex Roepers (New York, N.Y.) in the Farr 40 class. Like the other 14 Farr 40 teams here, his Plenty is preparing for the class’s World Championships in October, also to be hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club. Plenty, which won the Farr 40 North Americans in May, finished with a point score of 13, a whopping 24 points ahead of 2013 Farr 40 World Champion Enfant Terrible, skippered by Italy’s Alberto Rossi. “There is a lot of improvement, still, that we can make,” said the native Dutchman, who secured the Farr 40 circuit championship title with his performance here as well, “but clearly we are on a trajectory and a mission to do really well at the Worlds.” Having last sailed on the Bay here in 1996, Roepers said it was all he remembered it to be. “It is one of the most spectacular venues in the world. The breeze is so “on,” the vistas are incredible, and with the organization of the St. Francis Yacht Club, this is an absolutely outstanding event.”

Farr 40 Class Manager Geoff Stagg said that when seven more Farr 40s join the fleet in October, the cumulative talents onboard will be mind boggling: “You can see it on the water already – the experience of the crews here, with several of the tacticians coming from the last America’s Cup (case in point: Terry Hutchinson aboard Plenty and Ray Davies aboard Wolfgang Schaefer’s Struntje Light). They spent a year or more here learning the Bay inside-out, so they know it better than any local.”

After a mediocre start in the HPR class’s first race, Whiplash improved steadily and stayed consistently in the top three for the remainder of the week, a performance skipper Donald Payan (Hillsborough, Calif.) attributes to the strength of his team. “One of the big reasons I race this boat is because of these guys,” said Payan, gesturing towards his team. “They work so hard at getting the most out of this boat, and we’re going faster than ever before. The boat is great, and I really enjoy racing in HPR, as the competition was really tough this week.” Whiplash took home the City of San Francisco Trophy and the Rolex watch for its performance.

The oldest trophy for this 50-year-old event is the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy, and it was awarded, along with the Rolex, to the winner of ORR, Wayne Koide’s (San Enselmo, Calif.) Sydney 36 Encore, which led its class from day one.

Dorian McKelvy’s (Portola Valley, Calif.) Madmen looked to be the favorite in the J/111 class for the Atlantic Perpetual Trophy and the Rolex, but after two days of leading, the team succumbed to Rob Theis’s (Los Altos, Calif.) Aeolus, which wound up only one point ahead of Madmen in the final standings.

Kame Richards’ (Alameda, Calif.) Golden Moon, a perennial favorite in the Express 37 Class, did not disappoint this year, winning six out of seven races to claim the Keefe-Kilborn Perpetual Trophy and a Rolex watch.

The J/105s made up the largest fleet this year, and Bruce Stone’s (San Francisco) Arbitrage held the lead every day, earning the team the Commodore’s Cup plus the Rolex watch. “This is the toughest fleet in the country I think,” said Stone, who missed winning last year by a narrow margin. “We felt that the courses were really interesting compared to the past, and St. Francis Yacht Club did a really excellent job,” he said. “For us, it was all about keeping the boat moving with all the lulls and gusts and changing of conditions and tides.”

In J/120s, a tight race between David Halliwill’s (New York N.Y.) Peregrine and Barry Lewis’s (Atherton, Calif.) Chance tilted to Peregrine’s favor for the Rolex watch that was awarded in that class.

Don Jesberg’s (Belvedere, Calif.) Viva and Any Costello’s (Point Richmond, Calif.) Double Trouble topped the scoreboard all week in the Melges 24 and J/70 Class, respectively.

Tom Seibel’s (Redwood City, Calif.) MOD70 Orion made a strong rebound from its third-place finish last year, winning the Multihull Class, which was introduced to the event two years ago. To make sense of how fast the 70-foot trimaran was flying, Orion’s Navigator Peter Isler explained, “Johnny Heineken was keeping pace with us the whole day.” (Heineken, a Kiteboard Courseracing World Champion is seen almost daily, kitefoiling on the Bay.)

Isler, an America’s Cup veteran and California native who grew up racing on San Francisco Bay, added, “I don’t go back 50 years, but I go back a long time with the Rolex Big Boat Series, and when people ask me ‘Where is the best place you’ve ever sailed,’ San Francisco always comes to mind. I love the tradition of racing and of St. Francis, and of course we’ve been on a non-traditional boat the last few years, but that is cool, too!”

Full details on the 2014 Rolex Big Boat Series, including a link to entries can be found at rolexbigboatseries.com. Find us on Facebook at Rolex Big Boat Series, and follow on Twitter @bigboatseries. For daily video recaps by T2PTV, visit http://www.t2p.tv
Rolex Big Boat Series
September 11-14, 2014
Day 4 / FINAL RESULTS

Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

HPR (HPR – 7 Boats)
1. Whiplash, MC 38, Donald Payan, Hillsborough, CA, USA – 4, 2, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2; 18
2. Hamachi, J/125, Greg Slyngstad, Sammamish, WA, USA – 5, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3; 19
3. Beecom, TP 52, Anatole Masfen, Auckland, NZL – 6, 8/DNF, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1; 22

J/70 (One Design – 13 Boats)
1. Double Trouble, Andy Costello, Point Richmond, CA, USA – 8, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2; 17
2. Perfect Wife, Chris Andersen, Pt. Richmond, CA, USA – 5, 3, 6, 2, 4, 7, 4; 31
3. 1FA, Geoff McDonald, San Francisco, CA, USA – 7, 7, 1, 8, 3, 3, 3; 32

J/105 (One Design – 19 Boats)
1. Arbitrage, Bruce Stone, San Francisco, CA, USA – 1, 3, 2, 1, 1/RDG, 5, 4; 17
2. Blackhawk, Scooter Simmons, Tiburon, CA, USA – 5, 1, 3, 5, 5, 1, 1; 21
3. Godot, Phillip Laby, San Francisco, CA, USA – 2, 2, 1, 8, 1, 10, 3; 27

J/111 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Aeolus, Rob Theis, Los Altos, CA, USA – 6, 3, 2, 4, 1, 1, 3; 20
2. Madmen, Dorian McKelvy, Portola Valley, CA, USA – 2, 1, 3, 1, 5, 8, 1; 21
3. Big BLAST!, Roland Vandermeer, Hillsborough, CA, USA – 5, 2, 1, 3, 6/SCP, 2, 4; 23

J/120 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Peregrine, David Halliwill, New York, NY, USA – 4, 1, 4, 1, 2, 1, 1; 14
2. Chance, Barry Lewis, Atherton, CA, USA – 2, 2, 3, 2, 5, 2, 3; 19
3. Julian, Yasuhide Kobayashi, Tokyo, JPN – 1, 6, 5, 3, 1, 4, 4; 24

Melges 24 (One Design – 9 Boats)
1. Viva, Don Jesberg, Belvedere, CA, USA – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 10/DNS; 16
2. Nothing Ventured, Duane Yoslov, Corte Madera, CA, USA – 7, 4, 3, 3, 5, 2, 1; 25
3. Insolent Minx, Zhenya Kirueshkin-Stepanoff, Mount Hamilton, CA, USA – 2, 2, 2, 2, 6, 5, 10/DNS; 29

Farr 40 (One Design – 15 Boats)
1. Plenty, Alex Roepers, New York, NY, USA – 2, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3; 13
2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, Ancona, ITA – 4, 2, 8, 13, 2, 2, 4, 2; 37
3. Groovederci, John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, CA, USA – 5, 4, 2, 2, 10, 5, 10, 1; 39

Express 37 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Golden Moon, Kame Richards, Alameda, CA, USA – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2; 8
2. Expeditious, Bartz Schneider, Crystal Bay, NV, USA – 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1; 15
3. Elan, Jack Peurach, San Francisco, CA, USA – 7, 4, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4; 26

SF Bay ORR (ToT – 10 Boats)
1. Encore, Sydney 36, Wayne Koide, San Anselmo, CA, USA – 1, 1, 2, 4, 3, 3, 1; 15
2. BustinLoose, Sydney 38, Jeff Pulford, Salinas, CA, USA – 2, 3, 3, 1, 4, 2, 4; 19
3. Tupelo Honey, Elan 40, Gerard Sheridan, San Francisco, CA, USA – 4, 4, 1, 3, 2, 4, 2; 20

Multihull (BAMA) (ToT – 5 Boats)
1. Orion, MOD70 , Tom Siebel, Redwood City, CA, USA – 4, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1; 10
2. SmartRecruiters, Extreme 40, Jerome Ternynck, San Francisco, CA, USA – 1, 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, 2; 15
3. Shadow, ProSail 40, Peter Stoneberg, Tiburon, CA, USA – 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 3, 3; 19

The PHRF Class start at the 2013 Ida Lewis Distance Race  (Photo by Meghan Sepe)

The PHRF Class start at the 2013 Ida Lewis Distance Race (Photo by Meghan Sepe)

 

A “virtual mark” adds an intriguing new twist to the 10th Annual Ida Lewis Distance Race (ILDR), which starts this Friday (August 15). Starting at 12:30 p.m. off Fort Adams in Newport, R.I., the popular overnighter takes its fleet of PHRF, IRC, One-Design, Doublehanded and Multihull boats on one of four courses – between 104nm and 177nm – that trace the New England coastline.

“This is the first time that we have used the concept of a ‘virtual mark’ at the Ida Lewis Distance Race,” said ILDR Race Chairman Simon Davidson, adding that the mark is similar to a traditional mark, as defined in the rules of sailing, except rather than being a physical object, it’s a position defined by latitude and longitude coordinates.

“Originally, this concept was born out of necessity, due to the Coast Guard’s removal of various traditional marks that we’ve used in the past. However, making this change actually enhances the race committee’s ability to set an optimal distance course. If this experience proves successful, we expect to see it used for a lot of other events.”

This year, the mark will be located at longitude 41:06.00 north and latitude 071:23.34 west.

“This seems to be an emerging trend,” said Ed Cesare (Norwalk, Conn.), who is returning this summer to defend his 2013 win on Class 40 Pleiad Racing in the Doublehanded Division. “I know the RORC uses virtual marks and have been doing so for some time. Certainly the technology is there, so if it works for the race course, then let’s do it.”

Cesare has been racing in the Ida Lewis Distance Race since its inception in 2004. “I competed in this event on a variety of different boats, and what I love about it is that the organizers are constantly trying to modify the format to make it better for a variety of different teams. It also starts and finishes in Newport, making it a fun weekend for all members of the family.”

Youth Challenge Entries 2013 photo by Meghan Sepe

Youth Challenge Entries 2013 (Photo by Meghan Sepe)

To that point, the Ida Lewis Distance Race welcomes the next generation of sailors to try offshore racing on for size with its Youth and Collegiate Challenges. To qualify for the Youth Challenge, more than 40% of the crew must have reached their 14th birthday but not turned 20 prior to August 15. To qualify for the Collegiate Challenge, more than 40% of the crew must not have reached the age of 26 prior to August 15. For both challenges, teams are encouraged to register under the burgee of a college sailing program or a US SAILING yacht club or community sailing program.

TRACK THE RACERS HERE

Video and Photo Contests
The Ripple Effect Short Video Contest has been introduced to attract and engage the youth sailors (between 14 and 20 years of age) competing in the Ida Lewis Distance Race. The contest was originally developed by Joe Cooper and Manuka SEM for the Atlantic Cup this past May. Participants (working either individually or as a team) are asked to answer the question “What do you like most about offshore/overnight sailing?” through a video essay or documentary no longer than five minutes in length.

The Ida Lewis Distance Race Photo Challenge invites all sailors competing in this summer’s event to submit photos to the event Facebook Page (with hashtag #ILDR) that capture their experience at the race. Prizes for both contests will be announced at a later date.

To download contest guidelines and registration form, visit http://bit.ly/1oIOWFb

Sponsors
Starting Line sponsors for the 2014 Ida Lewis Distance Race include the City of Newport, Helly Hansen, New England Boatworks, Marsh, Newport Shipyard and North Sails; Contributing Sponsors are DYT Yacht Transport, Goslings Rum, Rig Pro Southern Spars, Stella Artois, Flint Audio Video, Mac Designs, Sea Gear Uniforms, Toni Mills Graphic Design and Z Block.

The Ida Lewis Distance Race is a qualifier for the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF); the Northern and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophies (IRC); and the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series.

For more information or to register, visit http://www.ildistancerace.org or contact Race Chair Simon Davidson, RaceChairman@ILDistanceRace.org.

Follow the race on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

 

IRC Class Start at 2013 Ida Lewis Distance (Photo by Meghan Sepe)

IRC Class Start at 2013 Ida Lewis Distance (Photo by Meghan Sepe)

IDA LEWIS DISTANCE RACE ENTRIES FOR 2014
Sail Number Yacht Name Owner’s Name Home Port Yacht Type Length
1. USA 41241 And She Was Tim Keyworth Deep River , CT , USA Nelson Marek 45 45.61
2. USA 60510 Ariel Bob Anderson Seekonk, MA, USA J 46 46 ft
3. USA 14111 Aurora Andrew Kallfelz Jamestown, RI, USA Tartan41 12.37m
4. USA 4224 Barleycorn Brendan Brownyard Bay Shore, NY, USA Swan 42 42.5
5. USA 190 Bazinga! Dave Lussier Exeter, RI, USA F-31 31
6. USA 4243 Blazer Christopher Culver Stamford, CT, USA Swan 42 42.5
7. USA 42258 Breakaway Paul Grimes Portsmouth, RI, USA J 35 35.5
8. GBR 7190 BUFFALO – Collegiate Richard Fontaine Buzzards Bay, MA, USA DK 46 46.3
9. USA 42565 Covenant-Collegiate Chris Oliver – Univ. of Michigan Norwalk, CT, USA J 40 40
10. USA 43777 Crazy Horse – Collegiate Kevin McLaughlin – Duquesne Univ. Fairhaven, MA, USA Sloop 50
11. USA 54 DRAGON Michael Hennessy New York, NY, USA Class 40 40
12. USA 42700 Duck Soup Bill Clavin Warwick, RI, USA C&C 37 R/XL 39’6
13. USA 60511 Eagles Dare Mike Piper Marblehead, MA, USA J 111 36
14. USA 50400 Entropy Paul Hamilton / Patti Young Jamestown, RI, USA Tripp 41 41.0
15. USA 52162 EXILE Brendan Kelley Newport, RI, USA J 133 43
16. USA 88 Flight Risk John R Sampson Rumson, NJ, USA Corsair 31 Trimaran 31
17. 27 Flying Fish Steven Parks Middletown, RI, USA F27 27
18. USA 106 GryphonSolo2 Joe Harris S. Hamilton, MA, USA Class 40 40
19. GBR 8858R Jackknife 11 Andrew Hall Southport, Merseyside, GBR C&C Redline 41 41
20. USA 52056 KING DADDY Devin McGranahan Sewickley, PA, USA Swan 56 56
21. GBR 711 Maximizer Jose Diego-Arozamena New York, NY, USA Farr 73 73
22. USA 10 Milk and Honey III Mchael Divon New York, NY, USA Corsair C37 37
23. USA 60554 Moonshot Aldo Roldan Princeton, NJ, USA Amel Ketch 53
24. USA 52814 North Sails Youth Challenge Joe Cooper Middletown, RI, USA Class 40 40
25. USA 2001 Oakcliff Racing – Youth Entry Oakcliff Sailing Oyster Bay, NY, USA Farr 47 47
26. USA 711 Odyssey – Youth Entry Alfred Van Liew Middletown, RI, USA J 111 36.5
27. USA 12282 Orion Paul Milo Leesburg, VA, USA J 122 40
28. USA 60426 Oronoco Adrian Ravenscroft Cohasset, MA, USA Sabre 426 42
29. USA 39 Pleiad Racing Edward Cesare Norwalk, CT, USA Class 40 40
30. USA 301 Samba Tristan Mouligne Boston, MA, USA Quest 30 30
31. USA 52756 Sarah Greg Manning Warwick, RI, USA X-41 41
32. USA 61200 Secondhand Lions – Youth Challenge Robert Kits van Heyningen Portsmouth, RI, USA J 120 40
33. USA 40808 SELKIE David Brown Middletown, RI, USA McCurdy&Rhodes 38 38
34. USA 52643 Settler Thomas Rich Portsmouth, RI, USA NEB Tripp 43 43
35. USA 57 Skedaddle Andrew Houlding Hamden, CT, USA Corsair 28R 28
36. USA 56 Spirit EC Helme Newport, RI, USA J 92S 30
37. USA 95 SPOOKIE Steve & Heidi Benjamin Norwalk, CT, USA Carkeek HP 40 40.0
38. USA 31 Team McMichael Youth Challenge Richard Fleig Portsmouth, RI, USA J 88 29
39. USA 4212 The Cat Came Back Lincoln Mossop Providence, RI, USA Swan 42 42
40. USA 52985 Three Little Birds Kevin Baxley Brooklyn, NY, USA Trimaran 11m
41. USA 128 Toothface2 Michael Dreese West Newton, MA, USA Class 40 – Akilaria RC3 40
42. USA 203 URSA Brooke Mastrorio Lakeville, MA, USA J 109 35
43. USA 93499 Valkyrie Drew Chapman New York, NY, USA Beneteau First 44.7 44
44. USA 51322 Vamoose Bob Manchester Barrington, RI, USA J 120 40.0
45. USA 7145 Vortices Chris Saxton Plymouth, MI, USA J 145 48
46. USA 52821 White Rhino Todd Stuart Newport, RI, USA Swan 56 56

Shockwave and Bella Mente (Photo by George Bekris)

Shockwave and Bella Mente (Photo by George Bekris)

By Talbot Wilson

Three boats had finished the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race by late Monday afternoon

— Shockwave, Bella Mente, Caol Ila R

George Sakellaris’ big white Richel/Pugh mini-maxi Shockwave crossed the finish line off Bermuda’s St. David’s Lighthouse Monday morning at 5:34 race time EDT (6:34AM local time). Her elapsed time was 63:04:11. Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s 72 foot Judel/Vrolijk mini-maxi, followed by seven minutes with her time at 63:11:25. The two had battled head to head within sight of each almost continuously for over 635 miles.

Shockwave heading for a dawn finish off St David's Lighthouse. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Shockwave heading for a dawn finish off St David’s Lighthouse. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Caol Ila R, Alex Schaerer’s 68 foot Mills IRC racer, crossed third at 8:33 local time, three hours behind Shockwave at 66:03:52.

Based on preliminary ORR results, Shockwave stands first on corrected time in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Bella Mente is second and Caol Ila R is third.

The next boat on the course, the US Naval Academy TP52 Constellation, is expected to finish more than 16 hours after the leader on Monday night. The remainder of the fleet is caught in the fickle winds of a frontal zone, waiting for the system to drift east-southeast and weaken. The picture is not pretty for boats still on the course. Light conditions will prevail through Wednesday and maybe longer.

Robbie Doyle sailed his 12th Newport Bermuda Race as the “stratitician” on board George Sakellaris’ Shockwave.

Doyle said, “Different guys called different things for the general strategy. The navigator made a lot of big calls. We had to hunt to find the (Gulf) Stream… we never found the 4 knot real road to Bermuda. It had broken up before we got there. Forecasters had predicted it might, but they suggested we might get there before it would start to dismember. The Stream was really breaking up pretty quick.”

“We got a knot and a half out of it.” He continued, “The stream came around (motioning to indicate a southwest to northeast direction to southeast direction) and what happened is that this part (flow) stopped and decided it was going to reconnect itself eventually and just become a smooth stream. We got through it.”

When asked about the cold core eddy predicted below the flow, Doyle said, “We caught that eddy, but it was only a knot and a half of current; still nice because we had it for 40 nautical miles. It wasn’t the three knots we had fought to get to that point for.“

Congratulations to George Sakellaris and the team aboard Shockwave for winning line honors in this year’s race. The win adds to Shockwave’s growing list of recent victories, highlighted by their division win in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race, the 2013 Montego Bay, and the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 Race. Originally launched in 2008 as Alpha Romero 3, Shockwave continues her winning ways.

George Sakellaris, owner of the first to finish yacht Shockwave celebrates with Gosling's Dark 'n Stormy drink with his crew on arrival at the Royal Bermuda YC dock. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

George Sakellaris, owner of the first to finish yacht Shockwave celebrates with Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy drink with his crew on arrival at the Royal Bermuda YC dock. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Commander’s Weather
1) Frontal zone is located from 35/65w to 33n/70w to Savannah early this morning
a) This front will continue to drift ESE and weaken

2) An expanding area of light winds will develop along and N and S of the frontal zone
a) The shower and squall activity will be diminishing this morning and will become at most isolated this afternoon and tonight
b) The nice SW winds in Bermuda will become much lighter late today and tonight

3) By Tue morning, the frontal zone will be located from 35n/60 30w to 33n/65w to a weak low near 32-33n/74w
a) Light NE-E winds north of the front and very light SW-W winds south of the front
b) Shower/squall activity will be at most isolated and possibly non-existent

4) Wed will see the light wind conditions continuing
a) The frontal zone will be drifting N with light SW and S winds also spreading slowly north during the day

For scratch sheets, crew lists, and other information about the boats, go to Race Documents & Rules.

Twenty-nine of the two Newport Bermuda Lighthouse Divisions’ entries are also sailing the 25th Onion Patch Series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. These Onion Patch racers have just sailed the NYYC 160th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and will form the core of the June 27nd RBYC Anniversary Regatta which now has 32 entries. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta is open to all IRC or ORR rated yachts over 25 feet in Bermuda. Anniversary Regatta entries close at noon on June 25th. Information is online at www.onionpatchseries.com and at www.rbyc.bm.

www.BermudaRace.com — carries Newport Bermuda Race rules, news, videos, photos, history, and expert advice. Race news is also posted on the Newport Bermuda Race 2014 Facebook page and on Twitter at @BdaRace.

HIRO MARU and the Class 1 St. David's Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

HIRO MARU and the Class 1 St. David’s Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

It Was a Little Messy, but the Bermuda Race Fleet has Started

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

By John Rousmaniere

If it was more fun for  spectators than the sailors, the reason was the sea breeze that inched toward the starting line until it finally dominated the northerly.Newport. RI, June 20, 2014, 7 PM.  Who would have thought that spinnakers would be flown at the starts of two Newport Bermuda Races in a row?  The race did not gain its well-known nickname, “The Thrash to the Onion Patch,” because it’s a downwind sleigh ride, like the Transpac.  The 2012 start was a fast run before a fresh northerly for every one of the 165 boats in every class.  This year was a little more complicated for the 164 starters. As the five divisions in 14 classes got going over a period of two and one-half hours, the first half of the fleet in seven starts got away in a leftover northerly breeze under spinnaker.   Not so the last seven.  Like a typical summer day on Long Island Sound, the mouth of Narragansett Bay was full of confusion.

Some of the Class 2 fleet St. David's Lighthouse Division Start 2014  (Photo by George Bekris)

Some of the Class 2 fleet St. David’s Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

The afternoon’s winners appear to be the boats that started early, Classes 1, 2, and 3–the smaller and medium-size boats in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division.  With the light to moderate northerly on their stern, they tacked downwind to the buoy marking the outer reaches of Brenton Reef, and carried their chutes around the mark and onto the southeasterly course to Bermuda. When the southwester filled in like a light summer blanket, all they had to do was raise the jib, douse the spinnaker, and tack onto starboard, meanwhile holding the same course.

Newport_Bermuda_2014_george_bekris_June-20-2014_-1-001

One of the biggest of those winners may be Sinn Fein, the Cal 40 that’s always sailed well by Peter Rebovich, Sr., and his crew of family and friends from Raritan Yacht Club, in New Jersey.  The two-time winners of the St. David’s Lighthouse Division (in 2006 and 2008), they’ve been preoccupied by other concerns since the 2012 race: rebuilding their boat after she was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Today they set the spinnaker promptly and effectively, found the right apparent wind angle, and pulled away. When last seen, Sinn Fein was on the far horizon, closehauled in the seabreeze and racing to Bermuda near the head of a clump of at least 50 other smaller boats. The Pantaenius tracker at 3 p.m. (about two hours after the Class 1 start) showed Sinn Fein slightly behind William Klein’s CC 40, Glim. We’ll know when we see later tracker readings (being sure to remember the 4-hour time delay) and a get a sense of the wind and wave conditions as the big fleet gets out into the Atlantic.

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

But at least everybody’s racing, and headed toward the Gulf Stream, where (the forecasters are telling us) they may find more to worry about than a shifty wind—such as squalls and big seas that could turn this race into a real thrash.The boats that started an hour or so later than Class 1 had any number of troubles as the seabreeze slowly pushed away the northerly. At one moment a Class 6 medium-size St. David’s Lighthouse boat with a red spinnaker up and pulling well on port tack was less than 25 yards abeam of another Class 6 boat with a green and yellow chute pulling well on starboard tack.  A few minutes later, the seabreeze reached the starting line in the mouth of Narragansett Bay just as Class 8 (large St. David’s boats) was making its final approach—some running in the dying northerly, others beating in the slowly building southerly.

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

For More Photos of the Newport Bermuda Race visit George Bekris Photography HERE 

 

 

– See more at bout the race at: http://bermudarace.com/little-messy-bermuda-race-fleet-started/#sthash.aMUaHBGw.dpuf

 

 

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Orion Racing MOD70 - 02

Multi One Design (MOD) announced today that US-based Orion Racing has purchased MOD nr.02.  “MOD is delighted to welcome an American boat-owner as it increases the number of nationalities in the circuit”, said Marco Simeoni, President of Multi One Design.  “Orion will bring a new dynamic to the development of the circuit and promote the MOD70 series in the American Market.”
Cam Lewis, one of the top American multihull sailors and longtime and ambassador for multihull sailing in the US, is a principal in the formation of the Orion Racing team.  Cam Lewis is regarded as one of the top multihull sailors in the US having won the 1988 America’s Cup on the Wing Powered Stars and Stripes and skippered the Maxi-catamaran Team Adventure in The Race in 2000. “This is a great opportunity for sailing in the United States,” Lewis said. “The MOD 70 trimarans are at the cutting edge of the sport. They are purpose designed and built for close inshore racing as well as transoceanic racing. The conditions for racing the MOD70 between California, Hawaii and Mexico are incredible. I can’t wait to show American sailors how fantastic and fast these amazing machines are.”With 2013 being a transition year for the MOD70 circuit, Orion Racing will be training in the Pacific to fully discover this latest generation of racing multihull.   The boat and team will set up a training camp in Puerto Vallarta Mexico in May then move to San Francisco for the summer and fall season.  Orion Racing Team preliminary  race planning for 2014-2015 includes the MOD70 circuit and the Krys Ocean Race (from Brest to New York).
ANTILOPE GBR 46N Willem Wester (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

ANTILOPE GBR 46N Willem Wester (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

The three-day International Rolex Regatta kicked off today with “town races” that took sailors from the east end of St. Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, to Charlotte Amalie, the island’s capital city. Once there, the fleet of 68 boats, split into six classes, turned around and headed back, but only after sharing some colorful action with tourists on the downtown waterfront and on two cruise ships in port as well as fans perched at different vantage points along the route. Gray clouds mingled with white all day, giving tacticians as much cause to look upward to anticipate wind shifts as they did downward to read the play of the sapphire blue Caribbean Sea beneath them.

“Both of the races today were very different from each other,” said Tony Rey (Newport, R.I.), tactician aboard Peter Cunningham’s (George Town, CAY) PowerPlay, which finished 1-2 today to edge out Willem Wester’s (Breskens, Zeeland, NED) Antilope, which posted a 3-1. “We owe 11 ½ minutes to Antilope in an hour of racing, so it’s not easy to beat them, but we love planing, and 8-10 minutes into the first leg of the first race, a storm cloud came and we were off and running. That’s how we got ahead — it was 16-18 knots for a while, and Peter did a fantastic job of driving.”

Rey explained that in the second race the wind laid down. It was then that Antilope, the heavier displacement boat, had the advantage. Bill Alcott’s (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) 65-footer Equation took line honors in both races and corrected out to third overall. Equation’s navigator Chris Clark (Detroit) was happy with the outcome, saying that the crew had been sailing together a long time but not on this particular boat, which Alcott only recently bought. “We are gaining confidence,” said Clark, “but the hard thing really is the boat draws 16 ½ feet, which is a lot.  Today around one of the islands, we were about 500 feet away from it; even in Charlotte Amalie Harbour we had to be careful — it’s hard to find the sweet spot for us on the course.”

A disappointment to all in this class was the dismasting of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) IRC 52 Highland Fling XII after a port spreader apparently failed. “It happened about five miles into the race after the first turning mark,” said Michael Giles (SA), the boat’s trimmer. “We had made some modifications after racing in Key West, and we were very happy because we knew they were the right changes. We were 100% sure we were winning, so it was unfortunate that it did come down.” With no way to repair the rig before the end of the regatta, the boat is out for the count.

“It’s absolutely a shame for a lot of reasons,” said PowerPlay’s Rey. “We were having a great race with them at the time when we heard a loud bang. She was a benchmark for us, and we were keen to see how we compared.”

CSA racing boats (three classes), one-design IC 24s, and Beach Cats also joined in today’s town races, with the IC 24s adding a third race afterwards.

“We actually had to take our spinnaker down in the first race,” said Latitude 38’s 18-year-old Nikki Barnes, who, with one of her all-girl crewmembers here (Augustina Barbuto, age 16) won a bronze medal for the Virgin Islands at last summer’s ISAF Youth Championships (in international 420s). “There were a lot of boats broaching in our (IC 24) class.” Though currently in 12th, Barnes says her experience in dinghy racing will serve her well over the next two days of racing, when the class will sail up to 14 more races. “We made so many mistakes in the long races; we are well practiced in short-course racing, and we will be so much better at that.” Currently leading the IC 24s is Carlos Sierra’s (Guaynabo, PR) Banana Boat/Fuataka.

Another young team of West Indian high school and sailing students is competing in CSA non-spinnaker class and currently sitting in second overall. They are led by Central High School (St. Croix) teacher Stan Jones aboard Tony Sanpere’s (St. Croix) J/36 Cayennita Grande, which has won this class several times.  Jack Desmond’s (Marion, Mass.) Swan 48 Affinity posted a 1-2 today to Cayennita Grande’s 3-1 to take the lead in the seven-boat class.

Jorge Ramos’s Hobie 16 Universal leads the Beach Cats, while Andrea Scarabelli’s (Cole Bay, St. Maarten) Melges 24 Budget Marine/GILL and Jaime Torres’s (San Juan, PR) Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave are leading CSA 1 and CSA 2, respectively.

Racing continues tomorrow with all classes but the IC 24s racing within viewing distance of St. John’s south shore.

WILD T'ING  ISV 888 Owner Lawrence Aqui (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

WILD T'ING ISV 888 Owner Lawrence Aqui (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

Results
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

IC 24 (One Design – 14 Boats)
1. Banana Boat/Fuataka, IC 24, Carlos R. Sierra , Guaynabo, PR, USA – 3, 1, 5, ; 9
2. Orion, IC 24, Fraito Lugo , Ponce, PR, USA – 1, 4, 4, ; 9
3. Cachondo, IC 24, Marco Teixidor , San Juan, PUR – 5, 2, 2, ; 9

CSA 1 (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Budget Marine/GILL , Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli , Cole Bay, St. Maarten, AHO – 1, 1, ; 2
2. Fire Water, Melges 24, Henry Leonnig , Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI – 2, 3, ; 5
3. Magnitude 400, Farr 400, Doug Baker , Long Beach, CA, USA – 5, 2, ; 7

CSA 2 (CSA – 13 Boats)
1. Smile and Wave, Beneteau First 40, Jaime Torres , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Lazy Dog, J 122, Sergio Sagramoso , San Juan, PR, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Dark Star, J 105, Jonathan Lipuscek , San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA – 1, 6, ; 7

CSA Non-Spinnaker (CSA – 7 Boats)
1. Affinity, Swan 48, Jack Desmond , Marion, MA, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Cayennita Grande, J 36, Antonio Sanpere , Christiansted, VI, USA – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Hotel California too, Cruising SC70, Stephen Schmidt , St Thomas, USVI, USA – 2, 5, ; 7

IRC 1 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. PowerPlay, TP 52, Peter Cunningham , George Town, CAY – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Antilope, Grand Soleil 46, Willem Wester , Breskens, Zeeland, NED – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Equation, STP 65, W.Alcott / E.Palm / T.Anderson , St Clair Shores, MI, USA – 2, 3, ; 5

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 10 Boats)
1. Universal, Hobie 16, Jorge Ramos , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Time Out, Hobie 16, John Holmberg , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
3. Zhik, Nacra 20, Trey Brown , Taylors, SC, USA – 4, 3, ; 7

U.S. and Caribbean Media Contact

ARETHUSA USA 4216  Phil Lotz  (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

ARETHUSA USA 4216 Phil Lotz (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

 

Overcast skies and light showers cooled things down today at St. Thomas Yacht Club in the USVI where hundreds of sailors on 68 teams are preparing for the 39th International Rolex Regatta.  The conditions, however, came with plenty of wind for practicing and did nothing to dampen the excitement building for the next three days of racing.

Right out of the box will be Stephen Murray, Jr.’s Carkeek 40 Decision, which has been designed to the newly developed HPR (High Performance Rule) and will headline in one of two CSA classes here that has no less than six other 40-footers “raring to compare.”

“There is no rating rule promoting the light (displacement) grand prix racing boats as a continuum between 30 and 70 feet,” said Sean Carkeek, the South African designer who has been working for a year on the rule as part of a technical committee developed specifically to fill this void.  According to Carkeek, the HPR will change all that when regattas eventually adopt dual scoring under the widely used IRC rule and HPR in classes where it needs to apply.  At the International Rolex Regatta, the likes of Michael Shlens’ (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.,) Blade and Doug Baker’s (Long Beach, Calif.) Magnitude 400, both Farr 400s,  are sure to spice up the competition among the 40 footers.  In addition, two Class 40 boats, which typically are outfitted for short-handed offshore sailing, are competing with accomplished skippers aboard.  Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) will take the helm of Icarus, while Berry Lewis (Mill Valley, Calif.) will steer 40 Degrees.

In IRC, it will be a trio of 52 footers– Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) Highland Fling XII, Ashley Wolfe’s (Calgary, AB, CAN) Mayhem, and Peter Cunningham’s (Georgetown, Cay) PowerPlay — and a Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley’s (Newport, R.I.) Privateer, that are likely to stand out, while the reborn 65-foot Rosebud, now called Equation, will be out for a first showing since bought by Bill Alcott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.).  Among the power names onboard these boats are America’s Cup notables Peter Holmberg, Mike Toppa, Tony Rey, and George Skuodas.  As well, Great Britain’s Brian Thompson, who layed to waste previous around-the-world speed records with his recent circumnavigation aboard the 130-foot trimaran Banque Populaire V, will be skippering the Safe Passage company’s Andrews 72 Safara, which is the largest boat competing here.

Willem Wester (Zeeland, The Netherlands), with Volvo Ocean Race veteran Boewe Bekking (NED) calling tactics, will attempt to repeat his IRC class victory from last year, sailing the Grand Soleil 46 Antilope.  With tomorrow’s winds expected to be between 15 and 20 knots, Bekking says this may be hard to recreate, however.  “When it’s windy the lighter displacement boats in our class this time should be going better,” said Bekking, “but if it’s light we can have a pretty fair race.”

 

For the USA’s Olympic medalist Charlie McKee (Seattle, Wash.),  who is serving as tactician aboard Mayhem, it is mostly about the experience of being here for the first time that has him “expecting crazy, wild, mixed up racing that’s super fun!”

The International Rolex Regatta is a cornerstone of the spring Caribbean racing schedule, and as such attracts top programs from around the world for its mix of buoy and point-to-point races. It also distinguishes itself by having multiple races a day for all classes.  “It’s all part of a unique mix of island-style fun and hard-core IRC, CSA and one design racing,” said Regatta Co-chair Bill Canfield, pointing out a massive, specially-constructed stage rising out of the water on the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s own beach. It is where a band will play on Friday and Saturday nights and where the Rolex Awards will wrap up the event on Sunday, when winners in select classes win coveted Rolex watches.

Spectators will get a treat tomorrow when all classes sail to Charlotte Amalie Harbor for their first race, then return to St. Thomas Yacht Club for their second (and some classes may have a third race).  On Saturday, spectators can watch IC 24s and Beach Cats sail as many as eight buoy races in Great Bay, while other classes sail longer courses on the south side of St. John. On Sunday, while the IC 24s sail up to six races in Jersey Bay, all other classes will sail two “Pillsbury Sound” races.

St Thomas (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

St Thomas (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

GENUINE RISK, Sail No: USA 8390, Owner: Hugo Stenbeck, Home Port: Kings Point, NY, USA, Design: Canting Keel Maxi, Division: IRC 1 (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )

GENUINE RISK, Sail No: USA 8390, Owner: Hugo Stenbeck, Home Port: Kings Point, NY, USA, Design: Canting Keel Maxi, Division: IRC 1 (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )

    

Topping off three days of sun-drenched racing in the International Rolex Regatta, over 700 sailors on 77 teams mixed it up today on Pillsbury Sound, completing distance courses that explored the cays and islands off St. Thomas, where the event has been hosted for 38 years by St. Thomas Yacht Club. Big guns, such as Boewe Bekking, Gavin Brady, Ed Baird, Steve Benjamin, Richard Clarke and Chris Larson were in abundance aboard the keelboats that competed, but it by no means took the calling cards of professional sailors to guarantee victory—or a good time—in the eight classes, which included two for IRC, four for CSA, and one each for IC 24s and Beach Cats.

“This has been one of the best groups of boats and sailors we’ve ever had,” said Regatta Director Bill Canfield. “Sailors came from around the globe, and each class had a good number of boats with impressive depth of competition.” Canfield explained that the largest keelboat competing was the 90-foot Genuine Risk, the recent Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race winner, with Hugo Stenbeck (SWE) steering, while the smallest were 24-footers. (Melges 24s sailed in a CSA Spinnaker class that was populated by sport boats, while IC 24s came in numbers large enough to earn their own One-Design circle.) Ages ranged from in the single digits to mid 70s, and included newcomers, returning veterans and everything in between.

With today’s two victories to add to an already perfect score line, Willem Wester’s (SUI) Grand Soleil 43 Antilope made an impressive showing in the nine-boat IRC 2 class, earning Wester a Rolex timepiece as prize. (Timepieces were also awarded to IRC 1 class, the top performer among CSA Spinnaker classes and IC 24 one-design class.)

“This was our first time to this part of the world,” said Wester, who has won Cowes Week the last two years aboard Antilope and sailed with a crew from Belgium and Holland that included veteran Volvo Ocean Race skipper Bouwe Bekking, who called tactics, and Olympian Philippe Bergmans, who steered. “The whole atmosphere here was fantastic, with the Race Committee setting some wonderful courses; Bekking is a bit of a slave driver (laughs), but a nice one, and he raised the level of the team.” 

Bekking gave credit to good starts, letting the crew do its work and keeping a cool head during the challenge of negotiating Friday’s “town races” to and from Charlotte Amalie; Saturday’s distance races skirting the south coast of St. John island; and today’s exceptionally intriguing “Pillsbury” courses set between St. Thomas and St. John. “I’d say by far, it is the best of the events I’ve sailed in the last couple of years,” said Bekking.

Antilope’s closest competitor, Phil Lotz’s (Newport, R.I.) Club Swan 42 Arethusa, fell to third today with two fourth-place finishes, while James Hudleston’s (St. Petersburg, Fla.) Oceanis 44 Three Harkoms snagged second, just one point ahead, on merit of a 3-2 today.

Prizegiving at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, and the winners are Left to right: Mark Plaxton, Ben Beer, William Bailey, Jeff Price, Willem Wester and Lionel Schürch, Rolex Geneva (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

Prizegiving at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, and the winners are Left to right: Mark Plaxton, Ben Beer, William Bailey, Jeff Price, Willem Wester and Lionel Schürch, Rolex Geneva (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

For Ed Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.), being a seasoned professional didn’t take anything away from his experience here.  The winning skipper from the 2007 America’s Cup (Alinghi) crewed aboard Richard Oland’s (New Brunswick, CAN) Southern Cross Vela Veloce while Canadian Olympian Richard Clarke steered. The team finished second in IRC 1 class, conceding to Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah) TP52 Vesper/Team Moneypenny, which won all but one of six races.

 “It’s the first time either Richard (Clarke) or I have raced here,” said Baird. “We’ve both sailed all over the world but never with so many islands and rocks in close proximity; it was challenging, not knowing what the wind would be doing around the next corner. “

Baird described the top-three boats in his class, all 52 footers, as “locked in battle” the whole regatta. “Vesper (with New Zealand’s America’s Cup veteran Gavin Brady replacing Jim Swartz on the helm today) had a speed advantage, especially upwind, so they could usually sneak out to a strong position and stay ahead, but we went back and fourth with Interlodge (Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s entry from Newport, R.I.)”

Vesper and Interlodge have both sailed this event before,” said Brady, “so when we’d gain a little near the shore, they’d come back at us, maybe using some local knowledge they had. We figured that by the end of the regatta, we’d be really ready for next year!”

Though their expectations in CSA Spinnaker 3 class were modest in the beginning,Timothy Molony’s (New Orleans, La.) Southern Yacht Club team aboard Wild at Heart proved unbeatable in the end. Only on day one were they not at the top of the scoreboard, but today was to still be a test with only two points separating them and Kike Gonzalez’s (San Juan, PR) J/80 Otrakosa, which wound up second overall. 

“We won both of today’s races by exactly two minutes and 25 seconds, which is pretty remarkable,” said Molony, who counts this as his first time to race in the islands. “We ended up with one second and five firsts, while Otrakosa had one first and five seconds.” (Paul Davis’s St. Thomas entry Mag 7 took third overall.)

“We’ve all sailed together since we were kids, so it’s like a family quarrel when we call tactics,” joked Molony, who chartered Wild at Heart from a company in Germany “that took care of everything and perfectly prepared the boat.” 

It was a young William Bailey (St. Thomas), skippering Team INTAC JV, who won the Rolex timepiece in the 16-boat IC 24 class. The high school senior, age 18, endured 17 around-the-buoys races that were reserved especially for this hotly contested one-design class and counted among his crew 2010 College Sailor of the Year (from Yale) Thomas Barrows, a fellow St. Thomian. 

Before racing the last six races today, Bailey knew he had to stay in the top three as much as he could. A bad start in the first race buried him, but he calmly scratched back to win handily, then continued with a string of finishes that were fourth or better.

“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” said Bailey, who was duly impressed when he was told he’d be awarded the newest model of the Rolex Explorer, which accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on his famous ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953.

Second-place finisher, a full 24 points behind, was Fraito Lugo’s (Ponce, PR) Orion, followed by Chris Cuerreri’s (St. Thomas) Soggy Dollar BVI in third.

Team Intac TEAM INTAC, Sail No: IVB 39, Owner: William Bailey, Home Port: St. Thomas, VI, USA, Design: IC 24, Division: One Design (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

Team Intac TEAM INTAC, Sail No: IVB 39, Owner: William Bailey, Home Port: St. Thomas, VI, USA, Design: IC 24, Division: One Design (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

From day one, Mark Plaxton’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Team INTAC/CROWLEY established his lead in the six-boat CSA Spinnaker 1 class. After posting two victories today, he showed nothing higher than a second-place finish in his six-race score line, which also kept Andrea Scarabelli’s (St. Maarten, AHO) Melges 24 Budget Marine and David West’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Jurakan in second and third, respectively, for the entire event.

Plaxton was awarded the Rolex watch as the top performer among the CSA spinnaker classes and was philosophical about it. “I was a Junior A hockey player from Canada where I learned ‘stick on ice, head up and pass the puck.’ Basically, that means it’s not about the watch or winning, it’s about peace, love and boat speed and helping out the next generation.” (It is no coincidence that William Bailey’s winning IC 24 team of young sailors shared the same boat name.)

Things sorted out just fine today for Calvin Reed’s (Tampa, Fla.) Beneteau First 40.7 Elandra of Hamble, yesterday’s leader in CSA Spinnaker 2 class. With finish positions of 2-2 they fended off who they considered their #1 competition, Richard Wesslund’s (Miami, Fla.) J/120 El Ocaso, which slipped to third place overall after posting a 5-4 today. Rising from fourth place yesterday to second place, with a 1-3 today, was Jaimie Torres’s (San Juan, PR) Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave.

In the 10-boat CSA Non-Spinnaker class, James Dobbs’ (Antigua) Lost Horizon turned in a 1-2 today to tie on point score (10) with Tony Sanpere’s (St. Croix, USVI) J/36 Cayennita Grande but win the class after tie-breaking rules were applied.

Lost Horizon was definitely the sleeper of the regatta, arriving with an incomplete crew and adding to it to finish third overall after the first day of racing. On the second day, the team managed to rise through the ranks to second overall behind Cayennita Grande then top them in the finale. Bernardo Gonzalez’s (Dorado, PR) Beneteau First 35s5 Bonne Chance, maintained its third from yesterday.

In Beach Cats, with nine boats competing, Jorge Ramos’s (San Juan, PR) Hobie 16 Universal had only to finish today’s two races to win his class’s five-race series. He not only finished the races but also won them both, just as he had won his two previous races—by huge margins. “We are happy that the fleet was bigger this year,” said Ramos, considered to be one of the top five cat sailors from his country. “There was some attention lost for a few years, but now we are hoping that the class will build again and this regatta will become a primary focus for us.” Giving Ramos a run for his money with a 2-2 today was last year’s winner John Holmberg (St. Thomas), also sailing a Hobie 16, Time Out, with his 12-year-old son Kai. In third was Teri McKenna’s (St. Thomas) Hobie 16 Island Girl.

The International Rolex Regatta, considered the “Crown Jewel” of the traditional spring Caribbean regattas, is the third of the four-part Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit (CORC), which also includes major regattas in St. Croix, Puerto Rico and Tortola. Sailors are treated to a mix of short-course and long distance races that take place off St. Thomas Yacht Club and along the waterfronts of St. Thomas and St. John. Parties are legendary, including a Saturday evening reggae party at Yacht Haven Grande marina, which adds exotic flair to the activities. 

The International Rolex Regatta has been hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club since 1974, making it the oldest regatta in Rolex’s portfolio of international sailing events. Rolex is known for sponsoring famous offshore and grand-prix events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.

A.H. Riise, Official Retailer of Rolex watches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, takes an active role in sponsorship of the International Rolex Regatta.  The St. Thomas shop is one of the largest in the Caribbean and is located on the historic waterfront of downtown Charlotte Amalie.

FINAL RESULTS

International Rolex Regatta 2011

Day 3

IC 24 (One Design – 16 Boats)
1. Team INTAC JV, IC 24, William Bailey , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 6, 3, 3, 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 6, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, ; 51
2. Orion, IC 24, Fraito Lugo , Ponce, PR, USA – 5, 2, 7, 2, 11, 8, 1, 2, 5, 3, 7, 3, 9, 4, 2, 3, 1, ; 75
3. Soggy Dollar BVI, IC 24, Chris Cuerreri , St. Thomas , USVI – 2, 8, 2, 12, 3, 4, 4, 7, 1, 12, 9, 4, 2, 1, 3, 2, 6, ; 82

CSA Spinnaker 1 (CSA – 6 Boats)
1. Team INTAC/CROWLEY, Melges 32, Mark Plaxton , Sea Cows Bay, Tortola, BVI – 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, ; 9
2. Budget Marine/GILL , Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli , Cole Bay, St. Maarten, AHO – 3, 1, 4, 1, 2, 4, ; 15
3. Jurakan, Melges 32, David West , Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 2, 3, 1, 4, 4, 3, ; 17

CSA Spinnaker 2 (CSA – 11 Boats)
1. Elandra of Hamble, Beneteau First 40.7, Calvin Reed , Tampa, FL, USA – 3, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, ; 12
2. Smile and Wave, Beneteau First 40, Jaime Torres , San Juan, PR, USA – 6, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, ; 17
3. El Ocaso, J 120, Richard Wesslund , Miami, FL, USA – 4, 1, 3, 2, 5, 4, ; 19

CSA Spinnaker 3 (CSA – 6 Boats)
1. Wild At Heart, JOD 35, Timothy Molony , New Orleans, LA, USA – 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Otrakosa, J 80, Kike Gonzalez , San Juan, PR, USA – 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, ; 11
3. Mag 7, J 27, Paul Davis , Charlotte amalie, VI, USA – 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, ; 21

CSA Non-Spinnaker (CSA – 10 Boats)
1. Lost Horizon, J 122, James Dobbs , Falmouth, ANT – 5, 1, 1, 1, 2, ; 10
2. Cayennita Grande, J 36, Antonio Sanpere , Christiansted, VI, USA – 2, 2, 2, 3, 1, ; 10
3. Bonne Chance, Beneteau First 35s5, Bernardo Gonzalez , Dorado, PR, USA – 1, 3, 3, 2, 3, ; 12

IRC 1 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, James Swartz , Park City, Utah, USA – 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Vela Veloce, Southern Cross 52, Richard Oland , Saint John, NB, CAN – 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, ; 14
3. Interlodge, JV 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen , Newport, RI, USA – 1, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, ; 17

IRC 2 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. Antilope, Grand Soleil 43, Willem Wester , Breskens, Zeeland, NED – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 6
2. Three Harkoms, Oceanis 44, James Hudleston , St. petersburg, FL, USA – 2, 4, 2, 4, 3, 2, ; 17
3. Arethusa, Club Swan 42, Phil Lotz , Newport, RI, USA – 3, 2, 3, 2, 4, 4, ; 18

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 9 Boats)
1. Universal, Hobie 16, Jorge L Ramos , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 6
2. Time Out, Hobie 16, John Holmberg , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, ; 12
3. Island Girl, Hobie 16, Teri McKenna , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 5, 3, 5, 3, 3, ; 19

 

Fleet (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )

Fleet (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )