Fierce pre-start duels, shedding penalties with aplomb and wins captured by less than a boat length is a taste of the highly competitive action at the fifth Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), presented by Ulysse Nardin/Trident Jewels & Time.
Germany’s Sven Eric Horsch (far left) and the USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh (second from left) in a closely contested match. Dellenbaugh won.
The USVI’s Peter Holmberg leads after day two of competition with 13 wins. Holmberg, formerly the top ranked match racer in the world and an Olympic Silver Medalist, is sailing with an all Virgin Islands crew: Maurice Kurg, Morgan Avery and Ben Beer. Right behind him is the USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh, who won all his matches today for a total of 12. Dellenbaugh was the tactician and starting helmsman on America3 during her successful defense of the America’s Cup in 1992 and sailed in three other America’s Cup campaigns, so he certainly has an incredible depth and history of experience.
However, says Dellenbaugh, 'I’ve only competed in one match race in the past three years. But, I’ve been thinking about the sport constantly.'
Dellenbaugh spent much of the past few years coaching Anna Tunnicliffe and her crew as they represented the US in Women’s Match Racing at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In the CAMR, Dellenbaugh is sailing with a team of women that includes his daughter, Becca, who was one of the top contenders who sailed against Tunnicliffe for the Olympic match racing slot.
'I’m looking forward to competing on the new women’s match racing circuit that will begin next year,' says Becca Dellenbaugh. 'Match racing is such a blast. We’re having such a great time.'
The USA’s Sally Barkow, sixth ranked woman match racer in the world, rounds out the top three teams with 11 wins.
In other scores, the USA’s Dave Perry posted 8 wins, Brazil’s Henrique Haddad 7 wins, the USA’s Chris Poole 6.5 wins, and the USVI’s Tyler Rice 6 wins.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Renata Decnop enjoyed a better day to score a total of 5 wins.
'Sailing in this venue two years ago in the same boats does help, especially in knowing how shifty the wind can be,' says Decnop, who will look to represent Brazil in the Women’s 470 Class in the 2016 Summer Olympics. 'Yesterday, we started well, but we had trouble coming together as a crew. Today, with yesterday’s experience, we are much better and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.'
Rounding out the 11 team fleet are the USA’s Stephanie Robles tied with Denmark’s Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen each with four wins, with Germany’s Sven-Eric Horsch at 2 wins.
This four-day regatta, sailed in Inter-Club (IC)-24s, will continue Saturday with the remainder of the second round-robin and start of the Semi-Finals. The Finals will be broadcast live locally on WVWI (AM 1000).
Up for grabs is a distinctive Ulysse Nardin precision timepiece for the winner.
A group of Virgin Island’s youth will have an opportunity to try-on match racing during the Carlos Aguilar Match Race Youth Regatta, which will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Match racing pits one identical boat against another on a short course oftentimes near to shore. On-the-water umpires make instant calls and enforce the rules. The result is very exciting racing up and down the Charlotte Amalie waterfront. Spectators are invited to watch the racing under tented bleacher seating where there will be live narration. Viewers around the world can watch via a live webcast on Carlos Match Race Racing starts at 9 a.m. (GMT – 4 hrs) daily.
The St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) and the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) are organizing authorities for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor and match racer.
Supporting sponsors of the CAMR are the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; Heineken Beer and Captain Morgan, distributed in the U.S. Virgin Islands by Bellows International Ltd.; Budget Marine; Hooters; Patron, distributed by Premier Wines & Spirits; Choice Communications; Bolongo Bay Beach Resort; Yacht Haven Grande; Gill and St. Thomas Yacht Club. Daily race results and copyright-free downloadable images by Virgin Islands-based photographer, Dean Barnes, will be available for editorial use on the official event website Carlos Match Race
Day Two - Preliminary Results (Number of Wins)
Peter Holmberg, ISV, 13
Dave Dellenbaugh, USA, 12
Sally Barkow, USA, 11
Dave Perry, USA, 8
Henrique Haddad, BRA, 7
Christopher Poole, USA, 6.5
Tyler Rice, ISV, 6
Renata Decnop, BRA, 5
Stephanie Robles, USA, 4
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 4
Sven-Eric Horsch, GER, 2