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Carib Beer Regatta highlights

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Carib Beer Regatta highlights

Postby KarenS » Wed May 31, 2006 10:37 am

From "The man may be short in stature but French St. Martin’s Philippe Hervé sure is big on tactical weaponry.

Hervé and crew sailed their Beneteau First 300 Spirit to the overall win in a very competitive Cruising Class during the 2nd edition of Captain Oliver’s Carib Beer Regatta in St. Martin over the weekend of May 20-21 to edge out rival Bobby Velasquez’s consistently high performing 'L’Esperance' who finished second.

The two crossed swords in Anguilla’s Mix-Up Regatta a week ago and while the battle of the marinas may be on hold, what we have now is an intriguing battle between Little and Large. Clearly there’s unfinished business here.

Velasquez was 40 seconds adrift of “Vanille” on corrected time following the long race to Proselyte and back to Oyster Pond on Sunday and was left to rue not quite putting 'Vanille' away on the long race to St. Barths on Saturday either.

'I thought we had won but when I look back we were over confident of being far enough ahead,' said Velasquez after the awards ceremony. 'But I lost to a wonderful friend and a great guy. It was great racing. There was a mix of everything.'

On both days it was the Beneteau’s of 'Vanille', 'L’Esperance', and third placed Dufour 'Speedy Nemo' from St. Barths that were engaged in the closest racing of the 11-boat class.

'It was great fun, great competition,' said a beaming Hervé who was presented with Captain Oliver’s perpetual challenge trophy.

Racing Class was won for the second time in a row by Frits Bus’s highly experienced Carib/Natufit team on their Melges 24 but they were hardly tested in a very small class. Didier Roualt’s “Sam Jang” took second place and Robbie Ferron’s Kelt 9.2 “Budget Marine” finished third.

The Monnier family’s 'Palm Palm' emerged the surprise overall winner of Multihull Class relegating Pat Turner’s 37-year-old-wooden Dick Newick trimaran “Tryst” into second place though both had a win apiece. Garth Steyn’s “Carib Cat/Music Man” finished third overall.

Beach Cats was won by the St. Martin duo of Eric Pagès and Ronan Guerin on a Hobie Tiger F18 while the Cool Class (Fun) was won by the Beneteau First 310 'Soca Girl.'

Once again the organisation of this regatta by Race Directors Mary and Stuart Knaggs was well appreciated by the 32 participating boats. Cary Byerley was Race Officer.

Saturday’s 30 mile plus off-shore race to St. Barths with a spinnaker reach back to Oyster Pond may have been too long for some with its circuitous course consisting of a rounding of Frigate Island and a leg into Gustavia—five boats did not make the finish deadline for scoring but still received prizes—but that was balanced by three short windward leeward races for Racing Class on Sunday and the race to Proselyte for the other classes.

Ideal racing conditions on Sunday in 12-15 knots east south easterly contrasted with Saturday’s blustery start. What was supposed to be a benign start in light air was instead greeted with a brief 20-23 knot front that passed over, sending crews scurrying to put in a reef or look for extra crew.

This regatta is gaining a reputation for being the gastronomic regatta of the Caribbean thanks to Captain Oliver’s (Olivier Lange) amazing nightly buffets. Skippers looking for rail meat may be a thing of the past. Another helping at the buffet would do the trick!

What with tremendous trophies, prizes, live bands, and greater support from sponsors the regatta is sure to grow. Co main sponsors Carib Beer and Captain Oliver’s Hotel and Marina are committed to attracting more regional participation and possibly changing the regatta name to something shorter."
Karen for
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