Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It was a month off from Olympic and Paralympic competition in North America as the transition to the European season started.  However, there was still Canadian interest in the lower latitudes of the Carribbean and Florida – at regattas in St Maarten and the British Virgin Islands, while there a handful of Canadians at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week.

The Heineken St Maarten Regatta attracted 170 boats to the island for a week of varied racing.  Perhaps the most competitive class was CSA 8 which comprised mostly Melges 24s and 32s.  Canadians Richard Clarke and Mike Wolfs, sailing on Mark Plaxton’s Melges 32 Team INTAC, took all four bullets in their division and that earned them the title of Most Worthy Performance Overall. 
The fleet moved on to the BVI where in a slightly smaller, but no less competitive, class of Melges 32s and 24s, Team INTAC also took the honours winning five of the ten races.

Back in Florida, Bacardi Race Week provided great conditions for racing in the Star, Viper 640, J/70 and Melges 20 and 24 classes. 
Brian Cramer and Cam Lymburner  were the best of 4 Canadian entries in the Star class, finishing 15th overall, while Stuart Hebb and Mark Strube had to discard their OCS in the first race finishing 24th overall.  Rob and Sandy Butler were best Canadians in the 50 strong Melges 20 class in 19th place.

In the Viper 640 fleet, entrants included the 2012 Class Champion, Brit Glyn Locke but it was the performance of Brad Boston, Shannon Bush and Eric Vigress in the Viper 640 class that showcased the maple leaf at the front of the fleet, winning four of the nine races and taking the series by four points. With a light start to the regatta the boats moved slowly around the course, swapping the lead throughout. The final day came down to five boats within 5 points of first place and this time it was Boston's crew on Jackpot that took the lead. 

Next up, they're on their way to Charleston race week where they hope to reclaim their name as champions after winning two years in a row followed by second place last year. Best of luck to Brad and the crew of Jackpot and congratulations on being named Sail Canada's Sailor of the month for March!

Viper 640 Class Assoc. HERE

Miami Raceweek HERE

Photo courtesy of V640 Class Assoc. via Dan Tucker