83.2 F
Cruz Bay
Friday, April 19, 2024


Chris Rosenberg, sailing his Melges 24, Seaborne Airlines, came back from a premature start in the final race to seal his fourth Rolex Cup Regatta, third in the last four years. After having to settle for second, or third best in the first two regattas of the Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (CORT) series, Rosenberg and his all star crew were ready for the variety of conditions presented to them during the 28th International Rolex Cup.
The Melges 24 class presented stiff competition for Rosenberg. Efrain "Fraito" Lugo, winner of the Puerto Rico and British Virgin Islands CORT events placed second in both of the Friday races aboard Orion and renowned America's Cup sailor and Rolex veteran Mike Toppa led the Melges fleet on Saturday and Sunday. Rosenberg credited the first day success, when it was blowing a steady 18 to 20 knots, to his crew's ability to sail on the edge of disaster, and sometimes beyond, for the full race distance. "It was tough out there, and you had to ready for a wipe out at any second during the downwind legs. We broached four times the first day," Rosenberg said.
Many of the other classes were closely contested right up to the last. In class A with the largest boats, the last race was won by previous Rolex winner Tom Hill, with USVI Olympian and America's Cup sailor Ben Beer aboard. This was not enough to keep Equation from first in class, with Titan X second, and Strabo sneaking past Grins for third.
In class B with boats ranging from 30 to 40 feet, Caccia Ala Volpe from Antigua, with Antiguan Olympic sailor Carl James as crew, won by one point with a three way tie for second broken in this order: Lost Horizon, 2nd, Mermaid II third, and Rushin Rowlett fourth. Mermaid II crew member Kerry Klein said the series long competition with Caccia Ala Volpe was a impetus to both crews. Handshakes and congratulations were being exchanged between the crews as the final results were posted.
In class C the struggle for second behind Puerto Rico's Ex Meru Moto was won by St. Thomas's Magnificent 7, with Sorceress of St. Croix third.
In the Melges 24 class D Seaborne Airlines was first followed by Orion and Fritz Bus' 2 Contact Carib third.
The expected battle among the under twenty sailors in the J-24 class turned out to be the battle for the first three places. Don Q Cristal, sailed by Michael Serralles of Ponce won the class, followed by Bravissimo of San Juan and Jersey Devil of St. Croix.
Throughout the CORT Series two Tortola boats, Cold Beer and Pipedream had placed at the top of the Racer/Cruiser class. Their rivalry was compounded by visiting boats My Fair Lady of Venezuela and previous Rolex class winner Polyphagus of Great Britain. The final results were Cold Beer first, My Fair Lady second, Pipedream third, and Polyphagus fourth. When asked about the attractions of sailing in the Rolex Cup the captain and crew of Polyphagus said they were split between the great sailing conditions, the fun on shore, and the Rolex watch for winning.
In the newly created beachcat with spinnaker class John Holmberg won his third watch sailing catamarans. The CORT series long competition between Holmberg and Puerto Rico's Olympic sailor Enrique Figueroa came down to the last race of Rolex, with Figueroa finishing second and Chris Curreri of St. Thomas third.
Holmberg thanked the Rolex organizers for including the catamarans and taking the extra step of dividing the boats into two classes of six to eight boats each. "This is going to help build the class even more, and we are looking for bigger turnout next year," according to Holmberg. The inclusion of the beachcats allowed Caribbean sailors to compete in the Rolex at a much less expense than most of the other classes.
For a complete listing of race by race and final results go to www.rolexcupregatta.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.