Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Puerto Rico's Smile and Wave ready to sail to podium finishes in 2012

by Carol Bareuther on 9 Jan 2012
Smile and Wave Sailing Team. Photo: Raquel Torres Arzola .
Jaime Torres’ hot Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave, that scored six top three finishes in nine regattas last year, will be back this Caribbean regatta season with brand new gear, deep crew talent and a determination to win.

Smile and Wave’s story, and watching it play out starting with the Caribbean 600 in February and finishing with Antigua Sailing Week in May, will be exciting to follow. It’s a David and Goliath story of the new kids up against the pros in a sport where talent and true grit can ultimately lead to spectacular podium finishes.

Smile and Wave’s main weaknesses last year was lack of accurate performance data. This year, the team boasts a new suite of Nexus Marine performance instruments paired with a wireless tablet that runs Expedition-brand race software. Developed by winning Whitbread navigator, Nick White, in collaboration with America’s Cup winning navigator, Peter Isler, Expedition is a powerful navigation and performance racing program

'This will not only enable us to perform more precise navigation and make better tactical decisions, but more importantly, it will provide target speeds and angles for vastly improved boat performance,' Torres explains.

That’s not all. Another trio of enhancements aboard Smile and Wave this season includes first, a new 3di heavy number one jib by North Sails along with a spinnaker staysail, for an unrated speed boosts on and off the wind. Secondly, a hull bottom finish to a high standard should enable the team to gain critical seconds per mile while racing. Third, a new angled steering platform allows Torres to stand taller and more comfortably so that his driving performance, especially upwind, should be improved.

The heart and soul of the Smile and Wave team are owner/driver, Jaime Torres, and trimmer/crew chief, Carlos Hernandez. Both have been sailing since the mid-70s. Torres won the International Rolex Regatta at age 12 aboard his father’s Swan 44, Jibaro, while Hernandez has worked positions aboard a variety of vessels with the enthusiasm and energy of a teenager and the wit and wisdom of a wise man.

Returning for the second season is Club Nautico de San Juan's sailing program manager, Jose ‘Yoyo’ Berrios. He’s the technical guy and keeps the boat’s electronics in tip top shape. North Sails Fort Lauderdale lofts’ Anson Mulder and Florida’s Joe Goulet are returning too as Smile and Wave’s ‘pros’. These two have played instrumental roles in getting all crew shipshape and the boat equipped for winning. Javier Andrades returns to man the cockpit, while Raul de la Torres is back as mast man.


'We are also stoked to be able to sail with arguably one of the Caribbean elite sailors, Peter Kingsbury,' says Torres. 'Peter has spent the last 15 years of his life as a pro sailor and when he can get away to spend time on a local boat he is often with us.'

Tom Morgan, who sailed a few regattas with Smile and Wave last year, will fly in from Ohio to trim the main in three regattas, while Jorge Hernandez of Windward Rigging will offer rigging support.

New members of the Smile and Wave team include Mariano ‘Nano‘ Ruiz, whose forte is sail trim and who has years of experience in offshore racing, and Fernando Padro, who will work the bow and who is one of Puerto Rico's top pro-level offshore race sailors.

'We have five new race sailors in training,' says Torres. 'Gretchen Ortiz and Maritere Rovira are learning bow work. Both of these gals are strongly motivated women who have learned the ins and outs on the skinny end of the boat quickly. The other two are George Polish in the pit, who has had lots of sailing experience but little racing time, and Carlos Fuentes who had never stepped on a boat until he came to Smile and Wave, but whose big frame and analytic mind have quickly adjusted to the needs of sailboat racing.'

The youngest member of the Smile and Wave team is Rafael Ortiz, a graduate of Club Nautico de San Juan’s sailing program and now working the front of a real race boat.

Torres goals are simple. He wants Smile and Wave to emerge as the Caribbean's leading offshore sailing team and for the team to be known as one that is always in the running for a podium finish while showing a great attitude and friendly character.

'Smile and Wave is more than name to us,' says Torres, 'it’s an attitude of love for our sport and enjoyment in what we do.'

'Our efforts are made possible by companies that have put their faith and marketing dollars behind us,' says Torres. 'Banco Popular is a strong supporter of the sport in Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands, and has invested in us as a way to reach the sailing market in the Caribbean. Discovery Bay and Sebago have sponsored Smile and Wave from the beginning and they are back this year stronger than ever.'

Follow the team’s race to podium’s throughout the Caribbean this season by visiting their website or, give them a ‘Like’ on Facebook.

Smile and Wave’s 2012 Caribbean Regatta Schedule:

Caribbean 600 - February 20 to February 24 - Antigua
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - March 1 to March 4 - St. Maarten
St. Croix International Regatta – March 9 to March 11 - St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Puerto Rico Heineken International Regatta - March 16 to March 18 - Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico
International Rolex Regatta - March 23 to March 25 - St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
BVI Spring Regatta - March 30 to April 1 – Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Voile de St. Barths - April 2 to April 7 - St. Barths, French West Indies
Antigua Sailing Week - April 29 to May 4 – Antigua

upffront 660x82Zhik Yachting 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted today at 9:57 am
Noroton Yacht Club takes the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Trophy again
The yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club's winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by five years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water.
Posted today at 3:48 am
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, Freides takes over
The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship featured two races under shifty conditions 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.
Posted on 27 Aug
Vendée Globe – Yann Eliès and his team relaunch 60-ft IMOCA in Lorient
Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses. Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses organised at the Finistère Ocean Racing Centre in Port-la-Forêt (Brittany). He will also take part in the Azimut Trophy. Yann Eliès tells us about the work that has been done and what lies ahead in the final part of his preparation.
Posted on 26 Aug
Vendée Globe – A long trip between France and Iceland for Heerema
After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. Thanks to this voyage from France to Iceland and back, the Dutch skipper is finding out more about No Way Back, the new generation IMOCA on which he will line up on 6th November
Posted on 26 Aug
Phoenix returns and Cayard is back for the TP52 World Championships
Richard Cohen will compete at the championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 Super Series.
Posted on 26 Aug