April 2014 Report

I just recently finished doing two more great events here in the Caribbean. First was the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), formerly the Rolex Cup Regatta. VI Tourism, Captain Morgan Rum, and Heineken stepped up their sponsorship where Rolex left off and the event continued stronger than ever. I was again racing on the IRC 52 HIGHLAND FLING and we had probably the best class racing that any event will see in the region this year. Our class had four 52’s, a Cookson 50 with a canting keel, and a Kerr 46. We were blessed with three great days of weather, with a squally 5-25 first day, a solid 20 knots on the second day, and then a moderate 15 on the final day. One of the best things about this regatta is the use of islands and rocks as marks, making for a challenging and scenic course through all the islands. The TP52 NEAR MISS from Switzerland dominated for the win, TONNERE, the top IRC boat in Europe the last several years was second, and we stole 3rd.

Next was the BVI Spring Regatta a week later. Three days of 20-25 knot winds and several races a day made for some tough, but fast and exciting, sailing. We only had TONNERE in our class, and they beat us soundly. It was unfortunate we only had one good boat to race against, but we did benefit from having John Reichel, our boats designer, onboard one day to address our performance issues. As we learned from this and the previous event in St. Thomas, our boat was not sailing up to it’s potential and we need to make changes. After analyzing the data and seeing the boat perform, he is convinced that we are lacking stability, so a new heavier bulb has been ordered and we’ll be ready for our next event in England to test this upgrade against a tough fleet of other 52’s.

Next up for me is the RS Elite Challenge in Antigua, which should be good fun.


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