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Friday, January 27, 2023
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Classic Finish for Rolex Regatta

Virgin Islands trade winds, bright sun and tidal current tactics brought the 32nd International Rolex Regatta to a brilliant finish. The starting area on the south side of St. Thomas had four to six foot waves with tide going against the trades winds current flow, but the warm sun deflected crews from complaining about the occasional wash down.
For Easter Sunday, the second leg of the race filled Pilsbury Sound between St. Thomas and St. John with colored spinnakers to compete with any Easter egg. The area was critical to tactical decisions for many of the racers.
"We played the current a lot better than the others on both windward legs," said tactician Dan Neri of Class 2 winner Temptress "On the first one, we made big gains by going in near the rocks; then on our spinnaker run we were in adverse current, so we made note of it and played it to our advantage on the next beat." Neri, now living in Rhode Island, is no stranger to this area, formerly working in a St. Thomas sail loft, and racing in more Rolex Regattas that some of the local sailors.
Although some classes were easy to call after Saturday's races down into the Charlotte Amalie harbor and back to the east end of the island, two classes came down to the last race and final finishing positions.
In Racing class 3, three Melges 24's representing St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands were fighting for the top spot. Frits Bus of St. Maarten won the final race, but the second place finish of Guy Eldridge of Tortola, BVI tied Enrique Torruella of Puerto Rico, with Eldridge taking home the Rolex Submariner on a tiebreaker.
In the IC-24 Class, Robbie and Mike Hirst beat out Chris Rosenberg by a single point after nine races to win the 16 boat class. Rosenberg had presented Robbie with a winner's Rolex after Hirst had served as tactician during a previous Rolex Regatta, so it would appear that Mike Hirst is in line for the watch after this win.
Non-spinnaker racing featured some long time International Rolex Regatta competitors and former winners. Tony and Ellen Sanpere edged out former winners Jack Desmond on Affinity and Rudy Thompson on TNT 76 to win the class. Sanpere sailed in the very first International Rolex Regatta in 1974. Said a delighted Sanpere: "I guess you could say I’’ve been waiting 32 years to win this Rolex."
Final results and the first three places follow:
Position, Boat Name, Skipper, Hometown, Country, Boat Type, Finish Positions, ScoreSpinnaker Racing 1 (5 boats)
1. Titan 12, Tom Hill, San Juan, PR, USA, R/P 75, 1-1-1-1-1-1, 6
2. Donnybrook, James P. Muldoon, Washington, DC, USA, Custom 73, 2-3-4-5-2-2, 19
3. Equation, Bill Alcott, St. Clair Shores, MI, USA, Andrews, 5-2-5-2-3-3, 20
Spinnaker Racing 2 (5 boats)
1. Temptress, Richard Shulman, Riverside, RI, USA, IMX45, 1-1-2-1-1-1,7
2. Caccia Alla Volpe, Carlo Falcone, Antigua, ANT, Vallicelli 44, 2-2-1-2-2-2, 11
3. Cosmic War Lord, Michael Shlens, Los Angeles, CA, USA, Express 37, 3-3-3-3-3-3, 18
Spinnaker Racing 3 (6 boats)
1. Mistress Quickly, Guy Eldridge, Roadtown, Tortola, BVI, Melges 24, 4-2-1-1-2-2, 12
2. Don Q Limon, Enrique Torruella, Guaynabo, PR, Melges 24, 1-3-2-2-1-3, 12
3. Contact Carib 2, Frits Bus, Philipsburg, St. Martin, NA, Melges 24, 2-1-4-3-3-1, 14
Spinnaker Racing 4 (11 boats)
1. Lost Horizon II, James Dobbs, ANT, Olson 30, 1-2-1-1-1-1, 7
2. Magnificent Seven, John Foster, St. Thomas, USVI, J/27, 2-1-2-2-2-2, 11
3. Broken Drum, Jack Bishop, St. Croix, VI, USA, 7-5-3-6-3-4, 28
Spinnaker Racer/Cruiser (7 boats)
1. Lazy Dog, Sergio Sagramoso, San Juan, PR, FIRST 40.7, 1-3-1-1-1-4, 11
2. Pipe Dream, Peter Haycraft, Roadtown, Tortola, BVI, Sirena 38, 3-4-3-2-3-2, 16
3. Anticipation, Peter Newlands, Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK, Beneteau 40.7, 2-1-2-3-8-1, 17
Beach Cats (11 boats)
1. Suzuki/Red Bull, Enrique Figueroa, San Juan, PR, USA, Hobie Cat 16, 1-1-1-1-1, 6
2. Exodus, Keke Figueroa, San Juan, PR, Hobie Cat 16, 2-5-3-3-2-2, 17
3. Waterfit, Dennys Junco/Carolina Graulau, Carolina, PR, Hobie Cat 16, 5-6-5-2-3-3, 24
Non Spinnaker Racing (11 boats)
1. Cayennita, Antonio/Ellen Sanpere, Christiansted, USVI, Soverel 27, 2-3-4-4, 13
2. Affinity, Jack Desmond, Boston, MA, USA, 1-9-3-2, 15
3. TNT 76, Rudy Thompson, St. Thomas, USVI, Sonar 23, 3-4-5-3, 15
J-24 (7 boats)
1. Orion, Fraito Lugo, Ponce, PR, USA, DNS-1-1-1-2-1-1, 15
2. Urayo, Gilberto Rivera, Guayanabo, PR, USA, DNS-2-2-5-1-2-2, 22
3. El Shaddai II, Jeff Fangmann, Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI, 1-4-7-3-6-3-3, 27
IC-24 (16 boats)
1. Sea Hawk, Robert/Michael Hirst, Tortola, BVI, 2-1-2-3-2-2-4-6-3, 25
2. BamBoushay, Chris Rosenberg, St. Thomas, USVI, 3-4-3-2-1-1-3-5-4, 26
3. Stinger, John Holmberg, St. Thomas, USVI, 1-3-1-9-3-5-6-3-1, 32

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