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Spectator Sport

local knowledge

Spectator Sport

The fleet in the three day International Rolex Regatta put on a colorful show for spectators in St. Thomas on Saturday. The six classes started at St. Thomas Yacht Club, which has hosted this event for 36 years, and sailed to the busy commercial harbor of Charlotte Amalie, where cruise ships were the backdrop for the finish of the first race and start of the race home. "It was beautiful to see," said a guest at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef, which is perched atop a hill at the entrance to the harbor. "The colorful spinnakers of the boats coming in and the impressive speed of the larger boats as they made their way back out; it makes you want to be onboard."

In IRC class, Jim Mitchell’s (SUI) RP 52 Vincitore turned in two solid victories to knock Phil and Wendy Lotz’s (New Canaan, Conn./Newport, R.I.) Arethusa down one notch from its top spot on the leader board. Meanwhile, Ron O’Hanley’s (Boston, Mass.) Cookson 50 Privateer moved up to third position on the strength of two second-place finishes to displace David Aisher’s (Tonbridge, UK) Rogers 46 Yeoman XXXII. Another significant lead change occurred in CSA Spinnaker Racing/Cruising class when Bruce MacNeil’s (Lincoln, Mass.) Morris 48 Barra won both races today. Yesterday’s leader, Lost Horizon, a J/122 skippered by James Dobbs (ANT), had been tied on points with two other boats, and it was thought that it would be a three-way battle today until Barra emerged from the seaspray as the new boat to beat. In CSA Spinnaker Racing Class, no one could pass Dave West’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Jurakan, which posted two firsts to maintain its lead from yesterday. "That boat planes like crazy," said Jim Jamison, navigator aboard Chris Thompson’s seventh-placed local entrant J Walker, a J/27. "We have to read it in the paper the next day that they’ve finished, because after the start they’re just gone and we don’t see them again," he added, laughing. Pic of Vincitore from Ingrid Abery and more from all classes here.