Nov. 28, 2002 – Gary Wright on his Online Vacations made it a repeat at this weekend's 21st annual Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta. The seasoned St. John sailor went home with first place overall for the second year in a row.
In earlier years, he and his able crew made do with first in his PHRF II racing class.
This time, "We nailed the start. There were no crew mistakes, and we had great spinnaker sets," Wright said Saturday as the noise of the post-regatta party at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant swirled around him.
He said the light air that blew a steady 8 to 9 knots with seas of 1 to 2 feet were perfect for his Cal 27.
While the Coral Bay Regatta sees its share of racing boats, it also attracts a more casual crowd of liveaboards and occasional sailors who scrub their bottoms and round up crew for this annual event.
The two-day event kicked off Friday with gaffers, single-handed racers and Laser sailors taking to the sea outside Coral Bay Harbor. Saturday saw crewed boats set sail. A total of 37 boats and 10 Lasers competed for prizes that ranged from dinners at local restaurants to gifts from local shops.
The conditions were also good for Dick Burks' Melges 24, which captured first in the PHRF I class. The boat's name, I'm Not Fat, Just Big Boned," got some laughs, but Burks had the final smile when he went home with the prize.
Burks gave credit to his young crew of Kids And The Sea — KATS — program participants. Other skippers also cited their crew as the reason they did so well. Dan Davis on Frodo, an SZ 29, was busy giving his crew kind words when David Geiger on Wilful interrupted to say how impressed he was with Davis and his vessel. "Your boat always amazes me," Geiger said.
In one notable upset, Fletcher Pitts, who has made it a habit of going home with the top prize in the traditional over-40-foot class on his Liberty, came in second behind Robbie Hoyt's Snap. "Fletcher's been beating me for years," Hoyt said, giving credit to his crew and the fact that his boat was just back from a haulout.
1. Online Vacations, Cal 27, Gary Wright, St. John, 2:05:08.
2. Trinka, Rhodes 40, Thatcher Lord, St. John, 2:08:39.
3. Windshift, Van DeStat 29, Ralph Fette, St. John, 2:10:52.
1. I'm Not Fat, Just Big Boned, Melges 24, Dick Burks, St. John, 2:05:16
2. Osprey, Luders 44, Larry Best, St. John, 2:10:37
3. Rob Roy, Robb 56, Dave Dostall, St. John, 2:15:37.
1. Frodo, SZ 29, Dan Davis, St. John, 2:59:30.
2. Southern Breeze, Southern Cross 28, Steven Bond, St. John, 3:01:19
3. Dreamer, Cheoy Lee 26, Harold Neel, St. John, 3:09:32.
1. Lily, S&S 38, Bear, St. John, 2:47:352. Runaway, Tartan 33, Doug Weaver, St. John, 3:05:45
3. Windsong, C&C 31, Robert Selk, St. John, 3:08:09
1. Katama, Custom 42, Tracy Myers, St. John, 2:53:19
2. Wild Swan, Hans 42, Truman Barbier, St. John, 3:11:10
3. Indigo, Alden 41, Lewis Alexander, St. John, 3:25:42
Traditional over 40 feet
1. Snap, Rolf Jackobson 52, Robbie Hoyt, St. John, 2:47:29
2. Liberty, Alden 52, Fletcher Pitts, St. John, 2:47:47
3. Ushuaia, Custom 49, Morgan McDonald, St. Thomas, 3:02:20
Traditional under 40 feet
1. Calabreeze, Cowhorn 32, John Costanzo, Coral Bay, 3:45:17
2. Seanonda Rose, Custom 18, Bobby Danet, St. Thomas, 3:46:31.
Single-handed over 40 feet
1. Rob Roy, Robb 56, Dave Dostall, St. John, 2:09:04.
2. Trinka, Rhodes 40, Thatcher Lord, St. John, 2:14:12.
3. Johanna, Atkin 46, Jack Simmonds, St. John, 2:24:28,
Single-handed 30-40 feet
1. Alchemist, Pearson 39, Ray Bachtle, St. John, 2:19:02.
2. Golendrina, Concordia 39, John Eide, Portland, Maine, 2:38:14.
3. Lilly, S&S 38, Bear, St. John, 3:08:16.
Single-handed under 30 feet
1. I'm Not Fat, Just Big Boned, Melges 24, Dick Burks, St. John, 1:52:30.
2. Sophia, Alberg 30, Nate Graig, St. John, 2:34:30.
3. Silmarillion, Catalina 25, Shawn Lemm, St. John, 2:34:35.
Gaffers under 35 feet
1. Calabreeze, Cowhorn 32, John Costanzo, Coral Bay, 3:42:49.
Gaffers over 35 feet
1. Ushuaia, Custom 29, Morgan McDonald, St. Thomas, 2:44:11.
1. Ian Beam, St. John, 1:31:05.
2. Callie Burks, St. John, 1:31:33.
3. Sean Costanzo, St. John, 1:32:11.
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