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Challenging Harbor Winds Make for Exciting Second Day of Rolex Cup Regatta

March 24, 2007 — Sunny skies and a brisk breeze made for a beautiful day of sailing in the 34th Annual International Rolex Regatta Saturday, enhanced by a couple of courses that took the 87-boat fleet from Cowpet Bay to Charlotte Amalie's historic harbor and back again.
Starting at the host St. Thomas Yacht Club in Cowpet Bay, the 22-mile course traced a route from St. Thomas' southeast shore off Estate Nazareth, past Packet Rock and around the Coculus buoy to a finish past Triangle Reef inside the harbor. Then the course back upwind took the fleet south around Buck Island before routing past Cow and Calf cays to the finish.
"We had a rather exciting downwind run," said St. Thomas' Terry Jackson, who sailed with St. Croix's Chris Schreiber aboard the Hobie 16, Century 21. "Lots of jibbing, lots of lifts and headers. But it was a finicky start back up. There was a huge 200-yard hole in the wind in the lee of a cruise ship. The guys who could get on the other side of that and make their start did well."
One beach-cat sailor who pulled off this maneuver was the class leader, Puerto Rico's Enrique Figueroa, aboard his Tornado, DRD-Suzuki-Red Bull. Figueroa has made five Olympic bids in the Tornado.
Comparing the Olympic Tornado to the Hobie 16 in terms of potential sailing speed, Jackson said, "We're talking about his (Figueroa) Porsche to our Volkswagen."
Trinidad & Tobago skipper Tim Kimpton also enjoyed the harbor race. His Melges 32, Crash Test Dummies, seemed to fly over the waves: "Devil 3, who's leading the class, beat us by only six seconds in the first race and only three seconds in the second. It was great. We hit 13 and a half knots downwind. Really fast. It was a lot of fun, more fun than buoy racing."
Florida's Anson Mulder, a representative for Ft. Lauderdale's North Sail Loft, came down to race aboard St. Thomas' Paul Davis' J/27, Magnificent 7. "It was great to have Anson on board," Davis said. "Let's just say we learned a lot. He was the ultimate jib trimmer."
Mulder added: "St. Thomas is a beautiful place to sail, especially in the harbor. But, it was pretty crazy at the start. There were puffs rolling off the mountains and massive wind shifts — definitely exciting."
Puerto Rico's Enrique Torruella, who skippers his Melges 24, Don Q Limon, would have preferred to race around the buoys rather than take the long-distance tour-racing course. "I like buoy racing," he said. "The course is set more square to the wind. You can do more races. For example, we could have done four races today in the time it took two. That means more chances to do better."
This year's Rolex Regatta is extra special for two St. Thomas sailors — one who has raced all 34 without a miss, and one who is competing for the very first time.
John Foster is the celebrated Rolex veteran. "In the early days, we used to race around St. John or to Thatch Cay or over towards Jost Van Dyke, but never into the harbor," he said. "I like the harbor race. It gives more people a chance to see the racing. But the winds off Frenchman's Reef were fluky. And coming back, it's always important to hug the shore and only venture out right before crossing over to Buck Island. That's the way to make sure you don't lose two or three boat places."
His savvy sailing earned Foster a third place in the Spinnaker Racing 3 Class, tied with the same number of points as second place Urayo, a J/24 skippered by Puerto Rico's Gilberto Rivera.
"The fun of Rolex over the years is seeing old friends and making new ones, the camaraderie," Foster said. "Winning is important, but its not everything. Its not necessary in order to have a good time at the Rolex."
Meanwhile, 8-year-old Kai Holmberg celebrated his first Rolex competition with his father, John, and friends aboard the IC24, Bitter End Stinger.
"I watched the time on my watch," said Kai, referring to the timing required at the starts.
"I also added weight to the rail," added the 60-pounder.
Kia's sailing legacy is rich. His dad is a Prindle 19 national champ, his uncle is an America's Cup skipper, his grandmother is a Sunfish World champ and his grandfathers sailed Solings in the Olympics.
So what does the youngster's future hold in the sport?
John Holmberg says he isn't pushing his son: "I just want him to have fun. When we're having a difficult time on the course, or the kids are bored, Kai sings goofy songs."
Results
IC-24 One Design (One Design — 19 Boats)
1. Mio Broadband, Robby & Michael Hirst, Tortola, BVI (22)
2. bMobile, Fred Ruebeck, Tortola, BVI (33)
3. Mio-Roaming, Andrew Waters, Tortola, BVI (34)
Spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA — 6 Boats)
1. Caccia Alla Volpe, Vallicelli 44, Carlo Falcone, Antigua (9)
2. Mad IV, Grand Soleil 48, Clive Llewellyn, Paris, France (12)
3. Yeoman XXXII, Rogers 46, David Aisher, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (13)
Spinnaker Racing 2 (CSA — 9 Boats)
1. Devil 3, Melges 24, Chris Stanton, St. Croix, USVI (5)
2. Crash Test Dummies, Melges 32, Tim Kimpton, Diego Martin, Trinidad (15)
3. Expensive Habit, J/100, Robert Armstrong, Christiansted, USVI (15)
Spinnaker Racing 3 (CSA — 17 Boats)
1. J Bird 4, Olson 30, Doug Baker, Long Beach, CA (5)
2. Urayo, J/24, Gilberto E. Rivera, Guaynabo, PR (20)
3. The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Kirby 25, John Foster, St. Thomas, USVI (20)
Non-spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA — 16 Boats)
1. Three Harkoms, Mod. Beneteau 442, Christopher Lloyd, Tortola, BVI (3)
2. Affinity, Frers 49, Jack Desmond, Marion, MA (9)
3. El Presidente, Thomas 35, Jeffrey Fangmann, St. Croix, USVI (10)
Spinnaker Racing Cruising (CSA — 9 Boats)
1. Crescendo, Swan 44, Martin Jacobson, Greenwich, CT (7)
2. Shamrock V, J /120, Thomas Mullen, Campton, NH (14)
3. Team Paul Mitchell, Beneteau First 40.7, Mark Palermo, Slidell, LA (14)
Beach Cats (Portsmouth — 12 Boats)
1. DRD/Suzuki/Red Bull, Tornado 20, Enrique Figueroa, San Juan, PR (6)
2. Heineken, Hobie 16, Francisco Figueroa, San Juan, PR (11)
3. Fitness Warehouse, Hobie 16, Dennys Junco, Carolina, PR (20)
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March 24, 2007 -- Sunny skies and a brisk breeze made for a beautiful day of sailing in the 34th Annual International Rolex Regatta Saturday, enhanced by a couple of courses that took the 87-boat fleet from Cowpet Bay to Charlotte Amalie's historic harbor and back again.
Starting at the host St. Thomas Yacht Club in Cowpet Bay, the 22-mile course traced a route from St. Thomas' southeast shore off Estate Nazareth, past Packet Rock and around the Coculus buoy to a finish past Triangle Reef inside the harbor. Then the course back upwind took the fleet south around Buck Island before routing past Cow and Calf cays to the finish.
"We had a rather exciting downwind run," said St. Thomas' Terry Jackson, who sailed with St. Croix's Chris Schreiber aboard the Hobie 16, Century 21. "Lots of jibbing, lots of lifts and headers. But it was a finicky start back up. There was a huge 200-yard hole in the wind in the lee of a cruise ship. The guys who could get on the other side of that and make their start did well."
One beach-cat sailor who pulled off this maneuver was the class leader, Puerto Rico's Enrique Figueroa, aboard his Tornado, DRD-Suzuki-Red Bull. Figueroa has made five Olympic bids in the Tornado.
Comparing the Olympic Tornado to the Hobie 16 in terms of potential sailing speed, Jackson said, "We're talking about his (Figueroa) Porsche to our Volkswagen."
Trinidad & Tobago skipper Tim Kimpton also enjoyed the harbor race. His Melges 32, Crash Test Dummies, seemed to fly over the waves: "Devil 3, who's leading the class, beat us by only six seconds in the first race and only three seconds in the second. It was great. We hit 13 and a half knots downwind. Really fast. It was a lot of fun, more fun than buoy racing."
Florida's Anson Mulder, a representative for Ft. Lauderdale's North Sail Loft, came down to race aboard St. Thomas' Paul Davis' J/27, Magnificent 7. "It was great to have Anson on board," Davis said. "Let's just say we learned a lot. He was the ultimate jib trimmer."
Mulder added: "St. Thomas is a beautiful place to sail, especially in the harbor. But, it was pretty crazy at the start. There were puffs rolling off the mountains and massive wind shifts -- definitely exciting."
Puerto Rico's Enrique Torruella, who skippers his Melges 24, Don Q Limon, would have preferred to race around the buoys rather than take the long-distance tour-racing course. "I like buoy racing," he said. "The course is set more square to the wind. You can do more races. For example, we could have done four races today in the time it took two. That means more chances to do better."
This year's Rolex Regatta is extra special for two St. Thomas sailors -- one who has raced all 34 without a miss, and one who is competing for the very first time.
John Foster is the celebrated Rolex veteran. "In the early days, we used to race around St. John or to Thatch Cay or over towards Jost Van Dyke, but never into the harbor," he said. "I like the harbor race. It gives more people a chance to see the racing. But the winds off Frenchman's Reef were fluky. And coming back, it's always important to hug the shore and only venture out right before crossing over to Buck Island. That's the way to make sure you don't lose two or three boat places."
His savvy sailing earned Foster a third place in the Spinnaker Racing 3 Class, tied with the same number of points as second place Urayo, a J/24 skippered by Puerto Rico's Gilberto Rivera.
"The fun of Rolex over the years is seeing old friends and making new ones, the camaraderie," Foster said. "Winning is important, but its not everything. Its not necessary in order to have a good time at the Rolex."
Meanwhile, 8-year-old Kai Holmberg celebrated his first Rolex competition with his father, John, and friends aboard the IC24, Bitter End Stinger.
"I watched the time on my watch," said Kai, referring to the timing required at the starts.
"I also added weight to the rail," added the 60-pounder.
Kia's sailing legacy is rich. His dad is a Prindle 19 national champ, his uncle is an America's Cup skipper, his grandmother is a Sunfish World champ and his grandfathers sailed Solings in the Olympics.
So what does the youngster's future hold in the sport?
John Holmberg says he isn't pushing his son: "I just want him to have fun. When we're having a difficult time on the course, or the kids are bored, Kai sings goofy songs."
Results
IC-24 One Design (One Design -- 19 Boats)
1. Mio Broadband, Robby & Michael Hirst, Tortola, BVI (22)
2. bMobile, Fred Ruebeck, Tortola, BVI (33)
3. Mio-Roaming, Andrew Waters, Tortola, BVI (34)
Spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA -- 6 Boats)
1. Caccia Alla Volpe, Vallicelli 44, Carlo Falcone, Antigua (9)
2. Mad IV, Grand Soleil 48, Clive Llewellyn, Paris, France (12)
3. Yeoman XXXII, Rogers 46, David Aisher, Tonbridge, Kent, UK (13)
Spinnaker Racing 2 (CSA -- 9 Boats)
1. Devil 3, Melges 24, Chris Stanton, St. Croix, USVI (5)
2. Crash Test Dummies, Melges 32, Tim Kimpton, Diego Martin, Trinidad (15)
3. Expensive Habit, J/100, Robert Armstrong, Christiansted, USVI (15)
Spinnaker Racing 3 (CSA -- 17 Boats)
1. J Bird 4, Olson 30, Doug Baker, Long Beach, CA (5)
2. Urayo, J/24, Gilberto E. Rivera, Guaynabo, PR (20)
3. The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Kirby 25, John Foster, St. Thomas, USVI (20)
Non-spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA -- 16 Boats)
1. Three Harkoms, Mod. Beneteau 442, Christopher Lloyd, Tortola, BVI (3)
2. Affinity, Frers 49, Jack Desmond, Marion, MA (9)
3. El Presidente, Thomas 35, Jeffrey Fangmann, St. Croix, USVI (10)
Spinnaker Racing Cruising (CSA -- 9 Boats)
1. Crescendo, Swan 44, Martin Jacobson, Greenwich, CT (7)
2. Shamrock V, J /120, Thomas Mullen, Campton, NH (14)
3. Team Paul Mitchell, Beneteau First 40.7, Mark Palermo, Slidell, LA (14)
Beach Cats (Portsmouth -- 12 Boats)
1. DRD/Suzuki/Red Bull, Tornado 20, Enrique Figueroa, San Juan, PR (6)
2. Heineken, Hobie 16, Francisco Figueroa, San Juan, PR (11)
3. Fitness Warehouse, Hobie 16, Dennys Junco, Carolina, PR (20)
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.