by Joy Dunigan
2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series (M32VISS), Caribbean Championship first day of racing presented three races and some very challenging, shifty breeze for the opening day of competition. Emerging as first overall is Roberto Tomasini Grinover on Robertissima. Dalton DeVos aboard Delta is seated in second, followed by Jaime Torres on Smile and Wave in third.
Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series, Caribbean Championship 20133
Some may refer to it as beginner's luck, but in the Melges 32 Class, almost every newcomer surprisingly finds himself first to the weathermark in the first race of the event. Friday was no exception as Puerto Rico's Luis Juarbe on SOCA came on strong to lead for the first two-and-a-half legs. Tomasini Grinover's experience and tactician Vasco Vascotto's eagle eye proved to be too much for Juarbe to hold off. Very strategically, Tomasini Grinover got ahead to secure the win. Mark Plaxton's INTAC came on strong early successfully keeping up to finish second. DeVos' Delta bounced back after a tough start to claim third.
DeVos' groove for speed carried over into Race Two where he found himself rounding the first weathermark dead last, only to make a remarkable, full on recovery for the win. Torres had a great race as they occupied the lead early, but the ever shifting breeze shuffled the fleet continuously leaving him to finish in second. Plaxton held firm to take third as a looming rain shower that had long positioned itself over the island of Tortola finally encroached upon the racing area.
PRO Hank Stuart and his Royal BVI Yacht Club Race Committee did an awesome job, working tirelessly to manage the ever shifting breeze.
For Race Three, they picked up shop and moved closer to the Peter Island side of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Steady and light breezes put Alex Jackson's Leenabarca at the top first, followed by Tomasini Grinover in second, then Torres.
Jackson lead through the gate with the Race Committee opting to shorten the course to accommodate the rapidly diminishing breeze. Back upwind, for Tomasini Grinover it was full steam ahead as he overtook Jackson for the lead, Torres moving into a more satisfying second place position, Jackson now third. The painfully light conditions prevailed as Tomasini Grinover proudly took home his second bullet of the day. Torres finished second and Jackson settled for third.
Three additional races are scheduled for Saturday.
Top three results (preliminary - After three races)
1.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 1-4-1 = 6
2.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 3-1-5 = 9
3.) Jaime Torres/Alex Shafer, Smile and Wave; 5-2-2 = 9
Top five overall series ranking (After two events, three races)
1.) Roberto Tommasini Grinover, Robertissima = 296 pts.
2.) Dalton DeVos, Delta = 292 pts.
3.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe = 289 pts.
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