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2015 Carlos Aguilar Match Race - Canfield undefeated after Day 2

by Carol Bareuther on 6 Dec 2015
St. Thomas' Charlotte Amalie Harbor provided spectacular conditions for match racing. Dean Barnes
2015 Carlos Aguilar Match Race - The USVI’s Taylor Canfield remains undefeated after the second day of racing in the seventh Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), presented by AeroMD. Canfield, currently number two in the world in the Open match race rankings, finished with 12 wins and no losses at the conclusion of flight 19 in the second round-robin. The big story of the day was the jostling of positions in a tight fight for second place. The USA’s Stephanie Roble, USVI’s Peter Holmberg and USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh each ended the day with eight wins apiece.

“We have a great team and great crew work. That’s a huge help at this level of competition,” says Roble, the top woman match racer in the U.S. and number four ranked in the world, who fell from first to second place this morning after losing to Canfield in their initial match-up of the regatta. “Sailing against top people like Taylor means walking away with a new lesson learned every time. That’s what makes this event great. It’s a good way to stay in the game when it’s a low point in the match racing season.”

Roble’s crew members are Maggie Shea, Sally Barkow, Eric Chapman and Graceann Nicolosi.

The USVI’s Olympic medalist and former America’s Cup skipper, Peter Holmberg, enjoyed an impressive day winning four matches and losing only one to Canfield in the second round robin. This moved Holmberg’s all-VI team from fifth to third.

Meanwhile, the USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh, a four-time America’s Cup sailor and three-time U.S. Match Racing Champion, strengthened his fourth place position on the scoreboard with four wins and no loses today. Like Holmberg, Dellenbaugh, is within easy striking distance of second place.

“Even though I’ve raced in this event, it doesn’t necessarily help because the conditions are so shifty. You just have to wait and see what you get weather-wise,” says Dellenbaugh, who is racing with daughter Becca Dellenbaugh, Amanda Callahan and Janel Zarkowsky. “I haven’t done too much match racing recently, so it’s great to get back in the groove and this is a fun atmosphere to do it.”

Dellenbaugh, like the eight other international skippers competing, is joined by a local high school student as crew. This is a signature feature of the CAMR and a practice now being replicated at match race events elsewhere around the globe. It’s an incredible hands-on way to prepare these talented members of St. Thomas’ Antilles School Sailing Team for college racing.

“I sailed with Dave (Dellenbaugh) in this regatta twice before, so the communication on the boat is smooth and easy,” says Thomas Walden, a senior at Antilles. “Also, my understanding of match racing is better now so I don’t have to look around to learn so much and can focus on sailing the boat and really helping the team.”

Dellenbaugh was also one of the skippers to mentor a team of students from the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School that participated in the day’s CAMR Youth Regatta. Each of these students had completed a learn-to-swim program that is part of this public school’s impressive aquatics program.

“I’m seldom on a boat with someone who has never been on a boat before. It’s really fun to see what that very beginning experience is like,” says Dellenbaugh, who gave each of the three youth sailors on his boat a chance to steer as well as work the main and jib sheets during the three fleet races that comprised the CAMR Youth Regatta.

Eighth grader Majestik Petersen looked like a natural as she held the tiller and tacked.

“I like to steer. It’s fun to be in control,” Petersen says.

Fellow eighth grader Marvin Monsanto also got a chance to take the tiller.

“It was awesome. Very cool,” says Monsanto, who said what he liked best about participating in the CAMR Youth Regatta was “everything.”

Racing continues and concludes on Sunday. Match racing pits one identical boat against another on a short course. 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 can watch the racing under tented bleacher seating where there is live narration. Racing starts at 9 a.m. (GMT – 4 hrs). The Awards Ceremony will take place at Yacht Haven Grande in the early afternoon.

Past winners of the CAMR read like a Who’s Who of sailing: the USA’s Sally Barkow and Finland’s Staffan Lindberg won the Open Division in 2012 and 2011, respectively, while the USA’s Genny Tulloch triumphed in 2008 and 2010 and France’s Claire Leroy in 2009 in the Women’s Division, and it was the USVI’s Taylor Canfield in 2008 and Peter Holmberg in 2009 and Portugal’s Alvaro Marinho/Seth Sailing Team in 2010 that won in the Open Division. The USA’s Dave Wilson won the 2013 CAMR.

The CAMR is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF)-provisional Grade Two event. The event will be raced in IC-24s, a one-design modification of a J/24.

The Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) is the organizing authority for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor and match racer.

Cumulative standings after day two

1. Taylor Canfield, ISV, 12-0
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 8-3
3. Peter Holmberg, ISV, 8-5
4. Dave Dellenbaugh, USA, 8-4
5. Dave Perry, USA, 7-4
6. David Storrs, USA, 5-8
7. Chris Poole, USA, 3.5-7
8. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 3-9
9. Elizabeth Shaw, CAN, 1-13

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