March 27, 2004 — A fresh northeasterly breeze blew out yesterday's rain squalls, providing plenty of fuel for today's Middle Passage Race at the International Rolex Regatta 2004. The distance competition is a traditional second-day sweep through the beautiful islands and cays north of St. Thomas, where the three-day event is being held.
Sailing in eight classes, the fleet of 91 boats found relatively smooth conditions inside Pillsbury Sound where they were started in 15-18 knot breezes. After two legs, the boats followed a course into more open waters where 10-12 foot waves tested the fortitude of even the best sailors.
"It was ugly out there," said Carlos Camacho (Guaynabo, P.R.), who led Spinnaker Racing Class 1 going into today with his J/105 Abracadabra. "I think it was hard for everyone, but it was fun overall."
Camacho talked about an amazing start and solid performance to the first two marks within the protection of the surrounding hills. By the time he began a double-lap windward-leeward course outside the sound, however, some of the boats from the next classes had begun to pass. By the end of the four-hour race, Abracadabra had slipped to fourth in its class and third in the overall standings. Moving up to first overall from third yesterday was Carlo Falcone's Caccia Alla Volpe out of Antigua, which finished second in the class last year.
For the regatta's biggest boats, which sail in the Spinnaker Racing ("Over 50 ft.") class, the waves were no less of a challenge. "There were times when whole hulls would disappear, and you could just see the heads of crews," said Gregory Petry (Philadelphia, Penn.), a crew member aboard Jim Muldoon's (Washington, D.C.) custom 72-footer Donnybrook. "But by our second lap on the outside windward-leeward course, the breeze softened and the water flattened, making it easier." While Donnybrook finished last on corrected time among seven boats in the class, Rosebud, the Reichel/Pugh Transpac 52 owned by Roger Sturgeon of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was the flavor of the day, posting a victory to move from fourth to second in the overall standings. Despite being over early at the start, Flirt, the Corby 50 owned by Richard Matthews of Ipswich, England, took a third today to maintain his third overall, while Tom Hill's (Puerto Rico) Titan XII still leads.
In the Beach Cats, skipper Rosarita Martinez (Carolina, P.R.) was particularly pleased at her performance aboard her Hobie 16 Yuisa. She considered the waves to be "huge" but held on for the challenge and a third-place finish today for a third in overall standings. Martinez, who has sailed this event for the past five years and won her class in 2001, is the 2003 Hobie 16 Continental Women's Champion and is practicing for the Hobie 16 Worlds to be held in Cancun the first week of May. She is closely watching another woman skipper, Susan Korzeniewski of Liverpool, N.Y., who is also sailing a Hobie 16, named WOW, in preparation for the Worlds. "I was pleased she came to the regatta," said Martinez. "She had been the Women's Hobie 16 Continental Women's Champion the year before me, so I won that title from her, and now I feel I did very well against her here today." Korzeniewski, who finished ninth today and sits in ninth overall, is a first-time entrant in the regatta and a veteran of the grueling Worrell 1,000 event for catamarans. Enrique Figueroa's Movistar/Suzuki/Red Bull still leads the Beach Cats after today.
Racing concludes tomorrow with winds of 8-13 knots predicted.
Day two race results
Spinnaker Racing ("Over 50 ft.") (7 boats)
1. Titan XII, Tom Hill, San Juan, P.R., 1-1-2, 4
2. Rosebud, Roger Sturgeon, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 5-2-1, 8
3. Flirt, Richard Matthews/J. Alvarez, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK, 4-3-3, 10
Spinnaker Racing 1(7 boats)
1. Caccia Alla Volpe, Carlo Falcone, Antigua/Italy, 1-3-1, 5
2. Cosmic Warlord, Mick Shlens, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., 3-1-3, 7
3. Abracadabra, Carlos Camacho, Guaynabo, P.R., 2-2-4, 8
Spinnaker Racing 2 (16 boats)
1. J-Bird, Dave Janes, Newport Beach, Calif., 3-1, 4
2. Lost Horizon II, James Dobbs, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., 4-2, 6
3. 2 Contact Carib, Frits Bus/Peter Hout, 2-6-4, 12
Spinnaker Racer/Cruiser 1 (9 boats)
1. Team Atlantic, Bill Dockser, Bethesda, Md., 1-1-1, 3
2. Pipe Dream, Peter Haycraft, Roadtown, Tortola, B.V.I., 2-2-4, 8
3. Lazy Dog, Sergio Sagramoso, San Juan, P.R., 3-3-2, 8
Spinnaker Racer/Cruiser 2 (6 boats)
1. Trouble, Geoffrey Pidduck, Falmouth, Antigua, 2-1-2, 5
2. Dehlerious, Bungie Flynn, Roadtown, Tortola, B.V.I., 1-2-3, 6
3. Tempest, John Haracivet, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., 3-3-4, 10
Non–Spinnaker Racing (15 boats)
1. Affinity, Jack Desmond, Marion, Mass., 2-0-2, 4
2. Wildflower, Ron Noonan, Marion, Mass., 5-0-1, 6
3. Nemesis, Edwin Cruz Romero, Fajardo, P.R., 4-0-4, 8
J/24 (6 boats)
1. Orion/Coors Light, Fraito Lugo, Ponce, P.R., 1-3, 4
2. XX Tu, Juan Jose Mari Agustini, San Juan, P.R., 2-1, 3
3. San Patricio MRI, Carlos Feliciano Sanchez, 4-4-2, 10
IC-24 (14 boats)
1. Old & Gray, Chris Rosenberg, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., 4-2-4-7-1-1, 19
2. Seahawk, Robert/Michael Hirst, Roadtown, Tortola, B.V.I., 2-1-2-8-3-4, 20
3. Stinger, John Holmberg, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., 1-7-3-1-7-3, 22
Beach Cats (12 boats)
1. Movistar/Suzuki/Red Bull, Enrique Figueroa, San Juan, P.R., 1-2-1, 4
2. Exodus/Ensysa, Enrique Figueroa, San Juan, P.R., 4-1-6, 11
3. Yuisa, Rosarita Martinez, Carolina, P.R., 5-3-3, 11
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