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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, May 20, 2024


Feb. 4, 2002 – Taylor Canfield reached down and picked up a palm-size brass hourglass filled with time-ticking grains of sand. The 13-year-old could have chosen a foot-high bowling trophy, a tarnished silver cup or any of several other "prizes," for as the winning skipper of the St. Thomas Yacht Club's annual Old Trophies Race on Sunday, he had his pick of finely aged awards.
The race course was around the natural boundaries of Great and Little St. James, with starts and finishes off Cowpet Bay.
It seems that 30 years ago, club members knew the waters around the British Virgin Islands and St. Croix better than those off St. Thomas, because boats would often run aground in Current Cut. To encourage some familiarization, a race was set up that rounded Great and Little St. James three times. Nowadays, in the annual Old Trophies Race,competitors have to sail the first lap counterclockwise, then opt to sail the other two laps in either direction. Each boat has an individual start time, calculated with the the vessel's handicap.
On Sunday, Canfield made the tactical call to round the course all three times in counter-clockwise fashion. It was a tough call to make.
"Usually it's easy to tell by the current and conditions which way is fastest to go," Chris Thompson, sailing an IC/24 with son Cy at the helm, said afterward, "but that wasn't the case today. We had no wind, then too much wind, and shifts with the squalls that went through. We opted to round the course the last two times clockwise and almost caught up to beat the lead boat at the finish."
Thompson finished third behind Canfield and John Haracivit's Beneteau 38, Tempest, in second spot. IC/24 boats filled in mid-pack with Mike Williams fourth, Jackson Roberts fifth and Phil Shannon sixth. Rounding out the pack were Rustler's Moon and Slo Dancin'.
"It was really blowing out there and we were screaming," Mary Kay Kazmerski, crew aboard Rustler's Moon, said.
"The rain out there wasn't fun, but the after-race party is," Slo Dancin' skipper Omar VanRooyen said.

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