Tuesday, April 01, 2008

International Rolex Regatta 2008

Back from the International Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas and back to the grind. Trey and I flew down to the virgin islands to participate in this cool race for the second time. This time, Trey raced with another sailor friend of ours John Casey an experienced cat sailor and multiple year winner of the Tybee 500 in past years. They raced on a 22 foot Supercat catamaran with a modified "tall rig". I raced with our sponsors son Hudson on a Hobie 16. Here we are on the second day of racing.

Friday was very rough and very windy. Seas 5-7 feet and winds gusting to the high 20s. Hudson and I made to the start of the first race, a 13 mile distance race, but about 15 min. in a gust pitch-poled us and we went straight into turtle (completely upside down) where we promptly lost a rudder pin to the deep. With one rudder, we righted the boat and headed in by necessity. It was a good call and many other beachcats had also headed in that day.

Trey and JC on the suffered worse luck. They were cut off by a cruising trimaran just after the start and with F18s above and below them at the downwind start, pitch-poled badly. They tore their jib and lost their mast rotator. Nonetheless they completed the first race but retired from the second unable to sail to windward effectively without the jib that had to be taken down. With an 18 boat fleet of beachcats. We were both taken out of contention on the first day. Oh well.

Here Trey and JC after getting their Jib repaired and finally getting somewhere on the last day of racing.

On Saturday, I got in 2 races with rock star crew, Hudson before we flipped in a downwind mark rounding and had trouble righting the boat with water in our mast. We retired after a long struggle to get back upright. Trey and JC blew out a second jib this day on the first race and went in for repairs but did not come back out.

Sunday, Hudson was recovering from some burned legs from trapeezing all day and I crewed for another friend of ours, Mark Chong on his I-20. We did alright but mostly just had fun. Trey and JC had more problems when their wire Jib halyard blew up on them on the last upwind leg. Sigh.

We took Sunday evening off and went down to a small public beach bay for some food and swimming. I had a snorkel and goggles with me so I went exploring. I saw Trey an JC entering the water and right as I was yelling to warn them about the HUGE sea urchins I had seen there....you guessed it. JC ended up with 19 urchins spines in his heel. OUCH. We couldn't hardly believe the bad luck we had had. But by now we could only just laugh at it. Except for JC who was in pain and not laughing that much.

It was hard to feel beaten too long though. We had beautiful weather and the water is crystal clear. Overall we all had a great time even though the race did not exactly go as planned.

Thanks to Eric Tillet and Alan Friedman from the BUZZ radio station for the great time again and making it all possible. Thanks to everyone who helped us while we were down there.

I'm still working on my write up for the EC but it IS coming along. Right now my focus is school, with sponsorship for the upcoming Tybee on the side.


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