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12 September 2005, 12:44 pm
Successful Regatta In US Virgin Islands
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VI Laser Champs 2005
Christiansted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Shifty winds varying from five to 15 knots in absolutely every direction plagued the 2005 VI Laser Champs in Christiansted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. With Hurricane Maria to the north, the seas levelled down to one to two feet and the winds created the platform for an intelligent race.
John HOLMBERG (ISV) stated 'either really light winds, where I can out manoeuvre the younger group with tactics or really strong winds will be my strong suit.' HOLMBERG placed second in the Master's class. Thomas BARROWS (ISV), the overall winner of the regatta said, 'the sailing conditions were ideal for me, the lighter winds really worked to my advantage.' BARROWS proved this by scoring bullets in every race - even his discards were first places.

Bob PHILIPS (IVB) from Tortola sailed a solid second place, third place was a consistent battle between St. Croix's Josh CURTIS (ISV) and St. Thomas's HOLMBERG. Missed this year from the 'VI Champs' were St. Thomas's Cy THOMPSON (ISV) and St. Croix's Tim PITTS (ISV).

The most competitive 'place swapping' went on in the Laser Radial fleet, with only six points between first and third place. During the first five races Sydney JONES (ISV) had the advantage of the lighter air. After the lunch break on the first day of racing the winds picked up and Emma PAULL (IVB) from Tortola gained four points on JONES to take over the lead. With the increase of winds during Sunday's racing Hugo ROLLER (ISV) was able to sail off with first place by one point over PAULL for a surprising first in the Radial. Felice QUIGLEY (ISV), mother of Laser 4.7 sailor Morgan BRYAN (ISV) and St. Croix attorney, took a third in the Master's class, in her very first Laser regatta.

The 4.7 fleet was a new addition to the regatta. The fleet consisted of three sailors that are new to Laser racing. In fact Mayumi ROLLER (ISV) stated that this was her first time sailing a Laser…..but it sure did not look that way to the spectators. There was a mere 13 point spread between the fleet.

Overall the regatta was a great success, drawing sailors from throughout the British and US Virgin Islands for a fun, entertaining and rewarding regatta. The Jones Maritime facility posed a perfect venue to host the event, complete with VI's own version of Dr. Laser, Rob JONES on hand to repair all of the day's breakages. The sailors all look forward to next year as this event seems that it can do nothing but continue to grow.

Kim Jones (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Rob Jones
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