Thursday, February 13, 2014

J/105 DARK STAR Shines in San Juan Regatta

J/105 sailing off Puerto Rico in Caribbean (San Juan, Puerto Rico)- Gusts blowing 20-plus-knots and rolling seas created challenging yet exhilarating conditions for nearly 100 sailors from five islands that competed in the 13th Club Nautico de San Juan International Regatta (CNSJIR), held January 31-February 2 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The CNSJIR Race Committee reveled in the brisk conditions launching as many as 13 races for the six classes that sailed with teams hailing from five Caribbean island nations.

“We are very happy with the success of this year’s regatta,” explains Luis Fabre, chairman of the CNSJIR organizing committee. “We wondered a few years ago how the addition of the bigger boats would fit in with the dinghies, but it has worked well by giving us a good diversity of classes. We have the perfect venue here at Club Nautico de San Juan both onshore and offshore.”

IC24s sailing off Puerto RicoIn the 7-boat CSA Spinnaker class, which included three Melges 32s, it was Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Lipuscek’s J/105 DARK STAR that won with a decisive five firsts in six races. “We did very well considering the conditions and the competition,” explains tactician, Rafi Martinez. “Our strategy was to focus on good boat handling, make few errors and on the downwind when the Melges plane to maximize the waves and puffs to our advantage.”

The second keelboat class of the regatta, the 7-boat IC24s (modified J/24s), saw Puerto Rico’s Fraito Lugo’s ORION take the lead and hold it until the end scoring 8 firsts in 13 races. “It was close racing as the younger sailors are very good,” says Lugo.

“We are in the selection process to see what J/24 team will represent Puerto Rico in the Central American- Caribbean Games in November in Mexico,” says Lugo. “The IC24 is excellent for practice for the CAC Games, especially because the format calls for J/24s sailed in the Pan-Am games configuration of 105% jib, spinnaker and main with four crew.”

Puerto Rico’s Marco Teixidor driving his IC24, CACHONDO, finished second, with Puerto Rico’s Carlos Sierra aboard FUAKATA in third.

The CNSJIR is an outgrowth of the Club’s junior sailing program, which was launched in the 1970s. The addition of CSA classes in 2013 has expanded the opportunity for more sailors to participate. Over 75 volunteers contribute to the success of this regatta.  For more San Juan International Regatta sailing information