launched and flung
The most dramatic news of day one at the St. Thomas International Rolex Regatta was not about the winners – instead, it focused on the gorgeous new R/P Highland Fling XII IRC-52 with her rig over the side. The boat, owned by the idiosyncratic Lord (I always think ‘Vader’ should go after that word) Irving Laidlaw, has been under a bit of a black cloud since before her launch, but by all accounts she was finally going nicely until this happened.
She lost her rig in a novel way, at least I hadn’t heard anything quite like it before, but here it is: Fling had a Zero on for the long reach on the first race. They went jib up, and tried to furl the zero, but as often happens on the big furling headsails, the top of the sail didn’t really make it. The late drop was inevitable, and the boat tacked, the afterguard hoping the unruly zero would slide down quickly inside the jib. The top of the zero blew back into the S-1 spreader, which buckled, and the rig quickly followed, and the crew were still a little stunned 6 hours later in the bar. “It was like premature ejaculation,” said one female crew member. “We never even got a chance to get going before it was all over.”
For our part, the Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave (CSA 2) started a bit of a road to redemption after a disappointing 6th at the cruisey-course Heineken Regatta. We led both races more or less wire-to-wire, correcting out over all but the well-sailed J/105 Dark Star in Race 1, and beating all comers in Race 2. Interestingly,
Dark Star and the 3rd place J/122 Lazy Dog are all Puerto Rican, the little Spanglish island owning the podium in a big class of cruiser/racers.
You can check out our daily press releases (SnW is a sponsored boat) and progress in this thread.