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Smile and Wave Racing Team ready to rock the Int'l Rolex Regatta

'Smile and Wave Racing Team'    Tim Wright    Click Here to view large photo

Puerto Rican yacht racer Jaime Torres and the crew of his Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave set off today for St. Thomas with a mission: To grab the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ at the 39th International Rolex Regatta (IRR) from 23 to 25 March.

'The tactically challenging windward/leeward racing at the International Rolex Regatta suits our boat and our crew well, so we’re hoping for great results despite our class including plenty of proven winners and tough competition,' said Torres.

'We’ve assembled our strongest team to date, and we expect nothing less than a battle royale for the top spot, and we hope to be the team standing at the top when the spray clears,' added the confident Torres.

Some thirty-six years ago, an impressionable young Torres watched his father drive celebrated Caribbean racing yacht Jibaro to the top of the fleet, winning one of the highly coveted Rolex timepieces awarded to top performers at the event. Last year, Torres was just five points shy of repeating his father’s feat, and it left unfinished business for the Puerto Rican businessman.

'Our game plan for St. Thomas requires me to relax more and delegate more day-to-day chores to a highly competent crew,' explained Torres.

'At this level, tactician Ansen Mulder and I need to spend a lot more time thinking, planning, and visualizing our performance, and our crew is more than ready to tackle the additional work of keeping the boat in race-ready condition.'

Torres said he was ready to enjoy St. Thomas Yacht Club’s hospitality – something he’s 'been too tired to take advantage of' in years past.

Crew aboard Smile and Wave for the IRR will be a mix of Puerto Rican and mainland U.S. sailors. From Puerto Rico will be Torres on helm; Carlos Hernandez, spinnaker/jib trim; Mariano ‘Nano’ Ruiz, offside trim; George Polish, pit; Gretchen Ortiz, mid-bow; and Raul de la Torres and Jose ‘Yoyo’ Berrios as floaters. From the U.S., there’s Anson Mulder, tactics/navigation; Bob Hillier, main trim, and Alan Block, mast. St. Thomas resident Meg Hislop will handle foredeck duties.

Smile and Wave Racing Team -  Tim Wright   Click Here to view large photo

Smile and Wave has also stepped up to the latest technology in sailmaking, and will be sporting a brand new North Sail ‘3di’ mainsail for the IRR.

'Our trusty 3DL mainsail never let us down in the two years we campaigned with it, but the tough Caribbean 600 and a very windy St. Maarten Heineken Regatta finally broke its back,' Torres explained. 'Fortunately, North Sails are firmly on our team, and their Fort Lauderdale loft delivered a brand new 3di mainsail in just two weeks – they never let us down.'

Smile and Wave has enjoyed a strong 2012 season, earning a third in IRC3, fourth overall, and ‘Top Caribbean Boat’ in the RORC’s grueling Caribbean 600. In St. Maarten, Torres and crew ran away with the top performance in the Gill Commodore’s Cup, following it up with a sixth in class in the point-to-point-racing Heineken regatta. Following the IRR, the team heads to the British Virgin Islands for the BVI Spring Regatta (30 March to 1 April), then on to Antigua Sailing Week from April 29th to May 4th.

Smile and Wave Racing Team -  Tim Wright   Click Here to view large photo

Smile and Wave is sponsored by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Discovery Bay Resort and Marina and Sebago.

Follow Smile And Wave on the scoreboard at the regatta website: and in their race to the podium on their website, which features daily video, pictures and stories. Give them a ‘Like’ on Facebook at:

Smile and Wave’s 2012 Caribbean Regatta Schedule

Caribbean 600 - February 20 to February 24 – Antigua – third IRC 1
Gill Commodore’s Cup – March 1 – St. Maarten – first Gill 2
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - March 2 to March 4 - St. Maarten – sixth CSA 4
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
Antigua Sailing Week - April 29 to May 4 – Antigua

Smile and Wave Crushes through the Waves at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. -  Tim Wright   Click Here to view large photo

Follow Smile And Wave on the scoreboard at the regatta website: and in their race to the podium on their website, which features daily video, pictures and stories.

Smile and Wave is sponsored by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Discovery Bay Resort and Marina and Sebago.

by Carol Bareuther


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7:55 PM Tue 20 Mar 2012GMT

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