June 9, 2006 – Justin Castagne and the young team Trinidad came out with a roar, beating team USA in their first race of the second day at the TAG Heuer Nations Cup Regional Final.
The leftover thrill of victory may have led to the unforced early entry penalty that cost the Trinidadians the match against St. Lucia in their second race Friday.
The youngest team present then bounced back after a very close loss to Canada, and scored victories against both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands teams.
"We could have been 6-0 for the day, except for two mistakes, but we know we can do it," said Alan Barcant of Trinidad after the day of racing.
Brian Angel and the U.S. team shook off the first race defeat and won the remaining five races to lead the two-day scoreboard at 10-2.
Mike Green and St. Lucia quietly and consistently won races to sit second at 8-4. Canada added a 4-2 to the first day's 3-3 for a 7-5 total. USVI and Trinidad are now tied for fourth at 6-6.
On the Women's side, Sally Barkow and the USA women won their match against Paula Lewin of Bermuda to even the score of the top two teams at 5-1.
Jennifer Firestone and her USVI team led Jane Moon of the Cayman Islands for the next two spots.
The women's teams started out the day in breezy conditions. On the downwind runs, hooking into an 18-knot gust was a thrill for crews and spectators. The experience of the previous day paid off well as none of the teams suffered any wipeouts.
Megan Firestone of the USVI team said, "I was really glad, when we were riding that gust on our last run, we were crossing the finish line and not doing another rounding; we were going as fast as I've even been on an IC-24." (The IC-24 class uses a Melges-24 style deck transplanted onto a J-24 hull and are usually sailed without spinnakers.)
Spectators on the waterfront were "oohing and aahhhing" as the teams blasted across the finish line.
Two round robins have been completed for both the Open and Women's groups. The umpires and race committee were still discussing the format for Saturday's races after the post-racing debriefing.
The decision on further round robins and the number of teams advancing into the semi-finals will be revealed at the Saturday morning pre-race meeting.
The Charlotte Amalie waterfront tent set up by TAG Heuer saw consistent use by teams, supporters and passing tourist and local spectators.
Many people have commented on seeing the racing while driving along the waterfront, and crowds are expected to increase on the weekend. Michael Bornn, one of the organizers of the V.I. America's Cup effort, said he was worried about having a car accident while driving and watching the racing.
Organizers recommended spectators bring coolers and some shade if possible, as Saturday's racing is expected to go from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Post-race happy hour party will be at the CYOA Charter Company deck next to the Hook, Line and Sinker Restaurant in Frenchtown.
Bermuda, Paula Lewin, 5-1
USA, Sally Barkow, 3-1
USVI, Jennifer Firestone, 2-4
Cayman Islands, Jane Moon
USA, Brian Angel, 10-2
St. Lucia, Mike Green, 8-4
Canada, Eric Koppernisk, 7-5
Trinidad, Justin Castagne, 6-6
USVI, Chris Curreri, 6-6
BVI, Robbie Hirst, 5-7
Cayman Islands, Peter Cunningham
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