Oct. 10, 2004 Wind – or a relative lack of it – proved challenging to the 26 sailors competing in the Columbus Day Regatta, hosted Oct. 9-10, out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
"It was trying to run a regatta in light air. Trying that is, to decide where to race and whether to race," regatta director Shep Barrows said.
Sailors aboard Optimist dinghies and Lasers completed seven races in conditions that ranged from dead calm to a token breeze blowing 5 to 8 knots. The first day, racing didn't get underway until 1:30 p.m. due to the nearly nonexistent winds. The second day, a becalmed venue at Cowpet Bay led the race committee to move the course over to the bay in front of the Ritz-Carlton resort where small puffs danced across the water making adequate, yet tricky conditions.
"Upwind or downwind, it didn't make much difference; both were challenging," said St. Thomas' Cy Thompson, who won the Laser class.
Racing proved close in the Lasers as Thompson and fellow St. Thomas' sailor, Thomas Barrows, sparred on the seas. After the first day of racing, the duo were tied, with Barrows leading due to having more first place finishes.
Come the second day, Barrows and Thompson were tied right down to the last race. In the last race, the sailors were so close rounding the windward mark that Barrows lightly hit Thompson's rudder. This sparked a protest that Thompson ultimately won.
In the Laser Radial Class, St. Thomas' Taylor Canfield led with Puerto Rican cousins Marco Teixidor and Carlos Teixidor in second and third place, respectively, by a mere five-point spread.
In the Optimist Class, St. John's Mayumi Roller bested the 13- to 15-year-old Red Fleet and placed first in the Optimist Overall fleet.
"Consistency is what's important. I was always in the front," Roller said, about the secret to her success.
She added: "Reading the wind shifts was really important. You needed to be on the right side of the course when the wind shifts came."
Roller trailed St. Thomas' Tyler Rice going into the last day of sailing for the lead in the Optimist Overall fleet.
"I really like heavier air," said Rice, who ultimately won the 11- and 12-year-old Blue Fleet.
St. Thomas' Ian Barrows topped the 10-and-under White Fleet. His small stature and lightweight proved advantageous. "I like light wind, especially like today," Barrows said just after leaving the winners circle at the Awards.
Sailors representing all three U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico competed in this annual event.
The next event hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club will be the 2nd Annual North Sails IC24 Regatta, set for Nov. 13-14. For more information, contact: Jennie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel/Fax: 777-8182, or Ruth Miller at email@example.com or 774-3883.
1. Cy Thompson, St. Thomas (9)
2. Thomas Barrows, St. Thomas (9)
3. Francisco Medina, Puerto Rico (15)
4. Jason Dane, St. John (28)
5. Dick Burks, St. John (29)
6. John Sweeney, St. Thomas (30)
1. Taylor Canfield, St. Thomas (10)
2. Marco Teixidor, Puerto Rico (12)
3. Carlos Teixidor, Puerto Rico (15)
4. Hugo Roller, St. John (22)
5. Sydney Jones, St. Croix (28)
1. Mayumi Roller, St. John (8)
2. Tyler Rice, St. Thomas (16)
3. Billy Gibbons, St. Croix (21)
4. Ian Barrows, St. Thomas (28)
5. William Bailey, St. Thomas (29)
6. Max Nickbarg, St. John (39)
7. Nikki Barnes, St. Thomas (43)
8. Alex Coyle, St. John (47)
9. Alex Taylor, St. Thomas (48)
10. Morgan Bryan, St. Croix (51)
11. Rian Bareuther, St. Thomas (54)
12. Mack Bryan, St. Croix (57)
13. Challis Diaz, St. Croix (65)
14. Christopher Cilliers, St. Thomas (75)
15. Kelly Wallace, St. Thomas (92)
OPTIMIST RED FLEET
1. Mayumi Roller, St. John (8)
2. Rian Bareuther, St. Thomas (54)
OPTIMIST BLUE FLEET
1. Tyler Rice, St. Thomas (16)
2. Billy Gibbons, St. Croix (21)
3. William Bailey, St. Thomas (29)
4. Max Nickbarg, St. John (39)
5. Nikki Barnes, St. Thomas (43)
6. Alex Coyle, St. John (47)
7. Morgan Bryan, St. Croix (51)
OPTIMIST WHITE FLEET
1. Ian Barrows, St. Thomas (28)
2. Alex Tayler, St. Thomas (48)
3. Mack Bryan, St. Croix (57)
4. Challis Diaz, St. Croix (65)
5. Christopher Cilliers, St. Thomas (75)
6. Kelly Wallace, St. Thomas (92)
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