A season sailing around at the back of the fleet will give you a new perspective, and on the first-year Melges 32 team Smile and Wave, we’ve done a lot of it. And aside from a fake April Fool’s story, we’ve just never been able to beat the great teams racing the M32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series. But I did promise after the Rolex that we’re ‘not coming in last fucking place’ anymore, and thanks to some great crew chemistry, light air, and a little luck, we’re now tied for second in the 7-boat fleet after 3 races! Meanwhile, thanks to my April prank, texts keep coming in asking ‘is the score a joke?’
Longtime beach cat and Melges 24 helm Alex Shafer slotted in as tactician alongside main trimmer and speed guru Marty Kullman, and skipper Jaime Torres pulled off one great start after another just off the paradise that’s Peter Island. We found our lanes, sailed fast, pulled off a pile of late drops and gybesets that would have made any team proud, and got back to the dock with grins a mile wide, ready for a lavish party at one of the most exclusive rentals in the entire Caribbean – Robertissima headquarters.
Props to Puerto Rico team # 2 – the boys on Soca with their brand new (to them) Melges 32 rounded the first mark in first, and the second mark in first, and the third mark in first…in fact, they would have finished in third place in their first-ever Melges 32 race…until the kite tore in half on the final gybe. No matter: They’re having a blast, and yet another Melges 32 comes to the Caribbean; a region purpose-built for sportboat racing.
Awesome photo work from Armando Jenik, with a full gallery here. Roberto Tomasino and Vasco Vascotto are making the light air their bitch; Robertissima leads the event by a few points. But we’re coming!