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HomeNewsArchivesCarlos Aquilar Memorial Match Race Slated for Dec. 5-7

Carlos Aquilar Memorial Match Race Slated for Dec. 5-7

Nov. 2, 2008 – Six of the top women match racers in the world along with eight of the best male sailors in the Caribbean will put their sailing skills to the ultimate test in Charlotte Amalie's harbor, Dec. 5 through 7, for the first Carlos Aguilar Memorial Match Race Championship.
Anna Tunnicliffe, 2008 Olympic Gold medal winner in the Laser Radial Class; Liz Baylis, ranked 4th in the world's women's match racing rankings; and Sandy Hayes, 2008 Rolex Women's Match winner will be headlining the talent in the Invitational Women's Division. The Men's Open Division skippers will be St. Thomas' Taylor Canfield, St. Croix's Peter Stanton, the British Virgin Islands' Alec Anderson, Puerto Rico's Efrain 'Fraito' Lugo, St. Maarten's Frits Bus, St. Lucia's Mike Green, Trinidad's Paul Amon and St. Thomas' Chris Curreri who will helm a team of sailors from El Salvador, Aguilar's native country.
"We're committed to leading match racing in the Caribbean," says regatta organizer and host St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) manager, Bill Canfield, of this Caribbean Sailing Association-sanctioned event. "We intend to make this event an annual affair, make it more international and model it after U.S. Sailing's Bermuda Gold Cup."
Unlike fleet racing, where boats sail far offshore and are scored under a handicap system that makes it difficult to tell who is winning in real time, match racing pits one boat against another in close competition on a short course near to shore. On-the-water umpires will make instant calls and enforce the rules. The racing up and down the waterfront allows spectators to instantly see who is winning. There will also be a commentator narrating the action.
St. Thomas' own Henry Menin was instrumental in getting ISAF (International Sailing Federation) to accept match racing. The event's namesake, Carlos Aguilar, who was killed in 2007, was an avid match racer himself and used every opportunity to encourage others, especially young sailors, to follow in the sport. Match racing has come so far since that come 2012, Women's Match Racing will be included for the first time as an Olympic event.
"Hopefully in years to come," says Canfield, "we'll have plenty of representation from the Caribbean in international match racing events around the globe."
America's Cup Sailor, Olympic silver medallist, former number one ranked match racer, and U.S. Virgin Islands' native son, Peter Holmberg, will be running clinics prior to the event to boost skill levels.
The event's NOR (Notice of Race) is available on the STYC Web site (www.styc.net).
Satish Alwani of Trident Jewels & Time says, "We are very honored and proud to sponsor the 1st Annual Carlos Aguilar Memorial Match Race Championship."
For more information about the race, contact Bill Canfield at styc@vipowernet.net or 775-6320.

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