Dustin Durant (USA) and his team from Long Beach, California edged out Canada's Peter Wickwire in a thrilling ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final in Bridgetown, Bardados.
The final concluded a three day ISAF Match Racing Clinic led by Philippe Gomez (FRA) followed by the ISAF Nations Cup North American and Caribbean Grade 2 regatta.
The third and final day brought on the knockout stages for the top four teams in the light shifty winds in Carlise Bay outside the Barbados Yacht Club. The lightening winds made the matches much closer and the prizes greater for a place in the finals. The overall prize was the qualification by right of your nation for the 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in Denmark in August 2013.
Durant faced off against Puerto Rico's Marco Texidor with a ding dong battle as they traded wins in the first of the two semi final matches - each winning the advantage in the prestart. Durant broke through and gained an overall advantage in the 3rd and 4th matches to win their semifinal 3-1.
Meanwhile in the other semi final, Wickwire dominated the host nation's Robert Povey in their semi-final. Despite Losing Povey was delighted to make the semi-final, "This is a totally new level of competition for the sailors in Barbados and it was a fantastic week learning from our new friends and competitors from North America and setting and raising the bar for our local guys to achieve new heights. We look forward to raising our game in the future and meeting them again in the coming year."
The Barbados team went on to win the first match of the third place play off but eventually lost 2-1 against Marco Texidor from Puerto Rico. This was only the 2nd ISAF graded Match Racing competition for Texidor's team who said, "Puerto Rico is planning to grow match racing in the coming years and we hope our Bajan friends will come up and compete against and with us in the near future."
In the final Durant's team turned the tables on the Canadian team, having lost all three Round Robin Matches to Wickwire. Durant controlled the prestart sequence and covered Wickwire's team in the lightening and shifting winds of the Barbados afternoon. Durant edged out victory under the supporting cheers of the MV Barracuda hospitality platform and those on the beach and at Barbados Yacht Club. In gracefully accepting 2nd place after being 18-0 up before losing 3-0 in the final Peter Wickwire said, "All credit goes to Dustin and crew for winning the finals. They put it together at the end of the regatta and did a better job of taking advantage of the conditions to win the final in strong fashion. Congratulations to the Barbados Yacht Club and the ISAF officials for hosting and running an outstanding regatta at a venue which has to be in consideration for one of the top sailing venues in the world."
The J24 Club President Greg Webster said at the closing ceremony that it was, "A great overall event for sailing in Barbados and many thanks to our Sponsors United Insurance, RL Seale, EarthWorks Pottery, 10 Saints Beer, the BYC, and RoseBank Apartments who accommodated our teams."
SF1 - Winner USA (Dustin Durant) vs PUR (Marco Texidor) 3-1
SF 2 - Winner CAN (Peter Wickwire ) vs BAR (Robert Povey) 3-0
FINALS (Overall winner and 3rd/4th place playoffs)
USA (Dustin Durant ) vs CAN (Peter Wickwire) 3-0
PUR (Marco Texidor) 3d vs BAR (Robert Povey ) 2-1
1. Dustin Durant (USA)
2. Peter Wickwire (CAN)
3. Marco Texidor (PUR)
4. Robert Povey (BAR)
5. Sandy Hayes (USA)
6. Neil Burke (BAR)