International Rolex Regatta 2013 Day 1 images by photographer Leighton O'Connor.
Leighton also provides this video and copy:
Today I got to ride on Synergy GT for a practice day before the start of the 40th International Rolex Regatta in St.Thomas. Synergy is one of the eight Melges 32's showing off their stuff in the Caribbean this winter. They are a Russian Sailing Team that have been together for 7 years. Prior to starting their newest campaign on a Melges last year, they did campaigns on a TP52 and RC44.
Local St. Thomas some what famous racer, John Holmberg has been helping the Melges 32 Fleet as the local knowledge guy. John spent the day on the water out at the Melges practice course. I caught up with him at then end of the day to see what he thought of the practice. 'I was impressed with how tight the sailing is between these boats. The Melges 32's are really impressive close winded and powered up in lite air. Really moving off the wind as well. John also said ' It's a neat fleet to watch and to have World Class teams in the Caribbean to show us what front running classes look like. Very impressive day. Great winds. Clear water. Just a typical Virgin Island winter day.'
Other Melges 32 Teams in St. Thomas of for the Rolex are Argo, Delta, Inga, INTAC, Ngoni, Robertissima, Smile & Wave and Volpe. On Wednesday I asked the Melges 32 Press Officer, Joy Dunigan, who is favored to win the Rolex. 'It's a tough to say who is favored. Every boat here has been around the first mark first. That's what makes it so exciting here. It's all about making that great start and hitting your first two shifts.'
The IRR is second event in the Virgin Island Melges 32 Super Series. The first event of the series was in Virgin Gorda, BVI. Robertissima took first with 100 pts, Leenabarca took second with 99 pts and Argo took third with 98 pts. The third and final regatta in the series will be at Peter Island April 26-28 for the Caribbean Championship. Not a bad way to spend a winter.