Posts Tagged ‘STIR’
Professional racer Steph Roble checks in with her final report from what was by all accounts a barnstorming St. Thomas International Regatta, and we advise you to watch this one; Roble has a keen mind, serious competitiveness, and a great attitude in a hell of a package, and we urge you to go and like her Epic Racing Facebook page to follow her pro sailing and Women’s Match Racing exploits this summer. Congrats also to Jaime Torres and his Melges 32 Smile and Wave for following in his father’s footsteps to win the Rolex…ironically, the year they no longer give out the watch. Follow SnW’s Facebook Page to watch the Caribbean M32 fleet grow. Photos from Dean Barnes, and you can see all the galleries from the STIR here. Dean Barnes photos.
What a day! Team Line Honors started the final day of STIR with a 2 point lead over Puerto Rico’s Cachondo, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy to beat them. All week, it had been tight between us and today would be no different.
We sailed out to Jersey Bay this morning feeling good with our waterproof speakers blasting. The race course was much more open than yesterday’s tight courses, and we knew this would be more boatspeed and shift, and less boat-on-boat tactics. We won the first two races by winning the very favored boat end of the line and staying on starboard, getting out to the left where a nice geographical shift helps. The RC had 6 races scheduled – we knew we had to pace ourselves, but after two bullets, we were feeling pretty darn fine.
In the start of race 3 we played with the Cachondo boys for a bit, but at a minute to go, he went off for the crowded boat end while we went mid-line. The boat was so favored that Marco took the lead at the gun and basically sat on us the entire rest of the way; we grabbed a third place in this one.
For the final buoy race, we wanted to put some more point separation between our boats, and as befits the Match Race World Champion at our tiller, we went after Marco and his boys on Cachondo. And we misjudged our time and distance to the line…starting behind Cachondo…and then we missed a right shift on the last run, and lost 4 boats. We were extremely annoyed, and now, instead of a nice lead, we had a 3-point deficit going into the distance race that would end the regatta.
The race started in Jersey Bay, went up and around Great St James Island, through the awesome Current Cut, and to the finish line directly in front of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. “How the f%^$ are we going to make up that point gap??” we all thought to ourselves. Naturally, we all thought the same thing: “Let’s match race him,” and somehow, magically, put 3 boats between Cachondo and us before the finish. Sure…no problem.
Taylor went on to manhandle Marco in the pre-start, and on the beat, we pushed him hard to the right side of the course while the rest of the fleet went hard left. Our only hope was to keep sending him back, hoping we could somehow squeeze boats behind us. But with such a gap and so much leverage on the fleet, we didn’t know if we would be first, last or somewhere in between. We tacked about 12 times up the beat while Marco tried to break loose; finally we got to the layline to the cut of the island and left him to extend. We caught up to the fleet but left enough distance between us that exactly 3 boats were between us; we were all wound so tight as it unfolded! We hoisted the kite and snuck in front of a couple of boats, which we managed to pass on the reach, and coming into the final run to the club with spectators stacking the beach, we had 5 boats between us and Marco.
No one said anything; we all knew what was happening, but we had to keep our cool until such an unlikely scenario actually came true. Taylor’s dad and regatta organizer Bill Canfield was on the finish line boat for our final race, and what an experience – live music blasting from the stage, hundreds of competitors already partying it up, Bill on the RC boat with a big smile, champagne sailing conditions, and just enough boats behind us to take a hard-earned win.
We could have easily given up and handed the regatta to Marco, or fight hard against the odds and send it. We sent it, and it goes to show that hard work pays off, and aggression is competition, and to never ever give up no matter the circumstances. We are proud to represent Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters as the champions of the St Thomas international Regatta. One final shout out to the team: Mike Rehe, Taylor Canfield, Matt Clark and Taylor Ladd. And a big thank you to Sailing Anarchy for giving us a lot of love. Now it’s time to fill the glass with rum and celebrate!
March 31st, 2014 by admin
Breeze on in St Thomas today! We had an 11 am start time for our “distance” race to Charlotte Amalie. Mike Rehe got a little excited this morning and we left the dock at 930 only to find out we were the 8th start. So after floating around for more than two hours in squalls with whipping rain, breeze on and big swells, we were ready with a proper game plan for our race.
We had a downwind start with the pin end super favored. With 5 match racers on our boat we aced the time to the pin and had a perfect set right as another squall rolled thru. It was a long downwind race and we managed to pull away pretty well from the fleet. We had perfect surfing swells but IC24 class rules disallow pumping of sails. It took all of our team’s will to hold back on pumping but we managed. After the long downwind we had a short beat and reach into the finish downtown. We didn’t protect the left side enough and the Puerto Rican team “Cachondo” passed us. It was pretty much a parade from there.
Race two was another super pin-end favored start with a puffy reach to the next mark. Taylor blocked everyone out on starboard tack and we started perfectly on port at the pin, leading everyone on the parade to the channel marker we needed to round. Sneaky Marco got into some more pressure and a lefty on the reach and passed us. The breeze and swells continued to build and we were left with a long upwind back east. He held onto the lead the rest of our windward leeward race and we finished 2nd.
Race three was a long windward beat back to the yacht club. Again we crushed the start at the pin (seems to be a trend…) and waited until we got to the rocks for a nice lefty off the shore. We forced the fleet to tack under us but as we sailed away from the shore the lefty faded and the boats to leeward gained. From there we just felt a bit off the pace in the big waves and breeze. We managed to grab a third for the race.
Thinking ahead to tomorrow, we are going to use our starts to our advantage and focus on getting up to speed. The RC can schedule up to 8 races on the windward/leeward course so it’s definitely going to be a marathon. We are ready to go and will be out there blinding the fleet in our neon green Team Line Honors shirts. Big shout out to our sponsor and the STIR for an awesome first day of racing!
March 29th, 2014 by admin
If, like many of us, you’ve just about HAD IT with this insane winter weather, now’s about the perfect time to register for the St. Thomas International Regatta and save $150 off the entry fee if you sign up by this Friday the 31st. You’ll be in good company regardless of what you race; the big boat IRC class is looking ultra-competitive with Highland Fling XII, Tonerre, Scarlet Runner fresh across from Cape Town via Rio and loads more, while the STIR always gets awesome turnout from the diverse cruiser/racer crowd racing CSA. Add in the triple threat of Melges 32s from Puerto Rico, a great beach cat class, and the big IC-24 fleet and you’ve got a recipe for success in the 41st year of the “easy button” for Caribbean racing. “St. Thomas has the best combination of high quality race administration, great competition, and affordability, and the STYC is an awesome atmosphere whether you’re with the family or the party animals,” says Melges 32 owner/driver Jaime Torres. For more information, visit www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com. Or, follow for the latest information on Facebook www.facebook.com/rolexregatta, Instagram #IRRSTYC and Twitter @IRRSTYC. Dean Barnes photo.
January 29th, 2014 by admin