Nov. 29, 2003 After years of participating in the Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta, Trinka finally sailed home to accept the Gary Wright Memorial Trophy on Saturday.
"It was magic from the start, and it just got better," said St. John resident Thatcher Lord, who owns and sails Trinka a Rhodes 40 with his wife Vicki Rogers.
Rogers said that they went for the pin end at the start when everyone else went for the other end of the starting line. She said it put them ahead of the other boats to give them the lead.
Trinka beat out Online Vacations, with St. John's Denise Wright at the helm of the Cal 2-27 for the first time this year. In the preceding last two years, her late husband Gary Wright took the boat to victory. The yacht club has renamed the top prize in his honor.
Wright said she was grateful to her crew who made the repairs always done by her late husband.
"I'm thankful for the support of the crew and their knowledge and advice," she said.
There were a few tears at Saturday's awards ceremony at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant, as the participants recalled the three yacht club members who died in the past year. In addition to Wright, Ted Haler and Lori Dawes passed on.
"The regatta is dedicated to Lori Dawes," said Dave Dostall, recalling all of Dawes' hard work in making previous regattas happen. "Let's raise a toast."
While winning is sweet, this regatta is about the people who participate, said Luis Ojeda, who has motored over from Puerto Rico 14 years in row to put his boat, Casi Casi, at the start as the committee boat and to serve as master of ceremonies.
It's "just the friendliness of the people," he said as he waited for the awards ceremony to start.
The event ran for two days. On Friday, single-handed sailors and those at the helm of gaffed-rigged boats set sail in the waters outside Coral Bay Harbor. On Saturday, crewed boats in numerous classes ran the course.
Thirty-five boats raced Saturday. On Friday, 33 sailors went around the course.
Conditions were pleasant, with light winds blowing from 10 to 15 knots and seas only a couple of feet high.
On Friday, St. John resident Peter Muilenberg skipped his boat, Breath, to a first-place finish in the gaff-rigged class for boats over 35 feet.
"Today was another story. There was not enough wind, and that's my story," Muilenburg said wryly, describing why he couldn't finish the course on his 42-foot ketch.
Like Muilenberg, St. John resident Fletcher Pitts is a perennial entry in the race. He went home with top honors in the traditional class on Saturday's race aboard his Alden 52, "Liberty."
"It was good crew and team work all the way," Pitts said.
St. John resident Dick Burks was first in the PHRF 1 class for boats under 40 feet. Sailing his Melges 24, "Ming the Merciless," Burks he got off to a good start on Saturday.
"But the wind died later in the afternoon," he said. "But we hung on and did well down wind."
The winners were:
Traditional over 40 feet
1. Liberty, an Alden 52, Fletcher Pitts, St. John, 2:33:21.
2. Silver Cloud, a 106-foot Great Lakes cargo boat, Elliot Hooper, St. John, 3:41:21.
Traditional under 40 feet
1. Penelope, a 34-foot schooner, Les Anderson, St. John, 3:56:47
2. Calabreeze, a 30-foot schooner, John Costanzo, St. John, 3:57:07.
Cruising 1 (under 30 feet)
1. Willful, a Bristol 27, David Geiger, St. John, 4:01:04.
2. Trapper, a 27-foot boat, Michael Schifenle, St. John, 4:04:45.
3. Southern Breeze, a Southern Cross 28, Steven Bond, St. John, 4:10:01.
Cruising II (30 to 40 feet)
1. Mia, a Helmsman 39, Willis O'Neill, St. John, 3:34:47
2. Lilly, an S&S 38, Bear (no last name given) St. John, 3:53:10.
3. Free Spirit, a Luders 40, Jeff Carey, St. John, 3:57:35.
Cruising III (over 40 feet)
1. Sea J II, a Newporter 40, William Hudson, St. John, 3:48:09.
PHRF I (40 feet and under)
1. Ming the Merciless, a Melges 24, Dick Burks, St. John, 3:03:01.
2. Osprey, a Luders 44, Larry Best, St. John, 3:05:12.
3. Dance, a J-35, John Rice, North Carolina, 3:11:39.
PHRF II (over 40 feet)
1. Trinka, a Rhodes 40, Thatcher Lord, St. John, 2:53:55.
2. Online Vacations, a Cal 2-27, Denise Wright, St. John, 3:00:19.
3. Windshift, a Vandestedt 29, Nina Fette, St. John, 3:03:56.
1. Nostromo, a Gold Coast 51, Jody Culbert, St. Croix, 3:00:40.
Gaffers 35 and Under
1. Calabreeze, a 30-foot schooner, John Costanzo, St. John, 2:49:58.
2. Penelope, a 34-foot schooner, Les Anderson, St. John, (time not given)
Gaffers over 35 feet
1. Breath, 42-foot ketch, Peter Muilenburg, St. John, 2:46:02.
Single-handed under 30 feet
1. Ming the Merciless, a Melges 24, Dick Burks, St. John, 3:08:26.
2. Winds Glory, a Cal 30, Paul Days, St. Thomas, 3:14:52.
3. Windshift, a Vandestedt 29, Nina Fette, St. John, 3:32:05.
Single-handed 30 to 40 feet
1. Tiger Maru, (no boat identification given,) Julian Davies, St. John, 3:14:12.
2. Naima, a Dufour 35, Olivier Karcher, St. John, 3:59:50.
3. Lilly, an S&S 38, Bear (no last name given,) St. John, 3:40:30
Singled-handed over 40 feet
1. Rob Roy, a Robb 56, Dave Dostall, St. John, 3:13:01.
2. Trinka, a Rhodes 40, Thatcher Lord, St. John, 3:19:05.
3. Free Spirit, a Luders 40, Jeff Carey, St. John, 3:33:00.
1. Ian Beam, St. John, 2:17:01.
2. Ryan Costanzo, St. John, 2:21:25.
3. Sean Costanzo, St. John, 2:22:08.
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