The first day of racing in the British Virgin Islands at the the 2013 OtterBox Melges 32 Virgin Island Sailing Series, Caribbean Championship hosted by Peter Island Resort and Spa saw three races held and some very challenging, shifty breeze for the opening day of competition.
First overall after day one is Roberto Tomasini Grinover on Robertissima with Dalton DeVos' Delta is second, followed by Jaime Torres on Smile and Wave.
Some may refer to it as beginner's luck, but in the Melges 32 Class, almost every newcomer surprisingly finds themselves first at the weathermark in their first race. Friday was no exception as Puerto Rico's Luis Juarbe on SOCA came on strong to lead for the first two-and-a-half legs. However Tomasini Grinover's experience helped by tactician Vasco Vascotto's eagle eye, proved to be too much for Juarbe to fend off. Very strategically, Tomasini Grinover got ahead to secure the win. Mark Plaxton's INTAC came on strong early successfully keeping up to finish second. DeVos' Delta bounced back after a tough start to claim third.
DeVos' groove for speed carried over into Race Two where he found himself rounding the first weathermark dead last, only to make a remarkable, full recovery to take the bullet. Torres had a great race as they occupied the lead early, but the ever shifting breeze shuffled the fleet continuously leaving him to finish in second. Plaxton held firm to take third as a looming rain shower that had long positioned itself over the island of Tortola finally encroached upon the racing area.
PRO Hank Stuart and his Royal BVI Yacht Club Race Committee did an awesome job, working tirelessly to manage the ever shifting breeze.
For Race Three, they picked up shop and moved closer to the Peter Island side of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Steady and light breezes put Alex Jackson's Leenabarca at the top first, followed by Tomasini Grinover in second, then Torres. Jackson led through the gate with the Race Committee opting to shorten the course to accommodate the rapidly diminishing breeze.
Back upwind, it was full steam ahead for Tomasini Grinover as he overtook Jackson to take the lead, Torres moving into a more satisfying second place, Jackson now third. The painfully light conditions prevailed as Tomasini Grinover proudly took home his second bullet of the day. Torres finished second and Jackson settled for third.
Three additional races are scheduled for Saturday.