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29 March 2002, 10:54 am
Light Air Foils Today|s Governor|s Race
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International Rolex Regatta
USVI, St. Thomas

Today's trophy awaits winner of kickoff race tomorrow. Although dozens of boats awaited a starting gun today, the wind Gods in the Caribbean refused to cooperate, and the inaugural USVI Governor's Race had to be cancelled.
The show will go on tomorrow, however, when the Governor's trophies are awarded to the winners of the official first race in the three-day International Rolex Regatta. Hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club and revered for its keen racing and a festive atmosphere, the International Rolex Regatta is celebrating its 29th year as an Easter Weekend racing tradition in the Virgin Islands. The Governor's Race was added as one of several enhancements to the regatta, which also includes an expanded social schedule that interfaces more closely with the Island's community.

Sorted from the 78 boats signed up for the regatta, 12 racing classes will yield 12 individual winners, who will receive Rolex watches on Sunday for their efforts. Among the returning favorites are big-boat entrants James Muldoon of Washington, D.C., with his Custom 73 turbo sled Donnybrook and Puerto Rico's Tom Hill, who brings his new Titan XI, also a sled (an Andrews70) to the mix. Bill Alcott's Equation, a Santa Cruz 68, which he says may have difficulty keeping up with the others, may still be one to watch. Alcott, from St. Claire Shores, Mich., won his class last year at the regatta with this boat. "I got lucky," said the defending champion. "The other big boats started messing around with each other, and I just did my own thing. You have to consider that my boat was built to sail to class rules, and the sleds were not. They have 40% more sail area than I do, so I know what I'm up against."

The forecast is for light air over the next three days, which may prove challenging for the event's new Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio. "We'll deal with it as we have to," said Reggio. For most of the racers, optimism prevails, as only two other individual races in the history of the event have had to be cancelled due to light air.
Barby MacGowan/News Editor
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