Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Countdown to 2nd Annual Carlos Aguilar Match Race

By Lynn Fitzpatrick of World Regattas

"We enjoy racing in St. Thomas. The conditions are great," said Genny Tulloch, after her team's recent victory at US Sailing's 2009 Women's Match Racing Championship, hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club. Tulloch is becoming one of USVI's biggest cheerleaders. The Californian has won two major match racing championships this year in St. Thomas. She will return to the spectator-friendly waterfront of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI to defend her title in the Second Annual Carlos Aguliar Match Race, December 2-6, 2009.

Tulloch will face stiff completion from Claire Leroy (FRA) and her 2007 and 2008 Women's World Match Racing Champion team. Women's International Matching Racing Association President, Liz Bayliss (USA) and her team are among the top ranked WIMRA teams returning to the warm Caribbean waters for one of the few ISAF Grade I Women's Match Racing events in North America. Marie Rameris (POR) and Renata Decnop (BRA), Katy Pilley-Lovell (USA), Julie Brossard (FRA) and Kelly O'Brien-Uszenski (ISV) and her all Virgin Island crew will round out the international fleet.

In the open event, Virgin Island sailing and match racing legend, Peter Holmberg has an all Virgin Islands team. Holmberg's trusted tactician, trimmer and bowman for many years, Maurice Kurg, Morgan Avery and Ben Beer, bring more local knowledge and seasoned IC 24 boat-handling skills to the team.

Holmberg won the USVI's first and only Olympic medal and continues to inspire Caribbean sailors. His protégés love trying to take races and matches off of the America's Cup skipper and former #1 match racer in the world. Taylor Canfield (USVI), winner of the 2008 Carlos Aguliar Regatta, will field a strong team to defend his title. Team COORS-LIGHT, with Frits Bus at the helm, Andrew Rapley as tactician, Chuck Pessler as trimmer and Tommy Koyskin as bowman have won many Caribbean regattas on their Melges 24 are up for the challenge as are; Juan Carlos Escobar (ELS), Collin Rathbon (IVB), Fraito Lugo (PUR), Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) and Dave Perry (USA).

The new Olympic quadrennium has kept Dave Perry busy giving rules seminars, being a rules consultant and working with USTAG women's match racing teams, including Genny Tulloch and her colleagues. His boathandling skills have improved with his participation in many match racing events. He goes into the Carlos Aguilar Match Race regatta with his international match racing ranking is well below his age. Perry's team includes US Coast Guard coach, Doug Clark and William Bailey. Perry is fresh off of an exciting Grande Finale Match against Bill Hardesty at the US Match Racing Championship.

St. Thomas Yacht Club and the Virgin Islands Sailing Association are hosting the Carlos Aguilar Match Race along the city front of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, USVI. Ulysee Nardin, Trident Jewels & Time, U.S. Virgin Islands and Tourism Association and CK Advertising & Design Group will be adding their sizzling spice to one of the first regattas of the Caribbean sailing season.

For team and regatta information, please visit http://www.carlosmatchrace.com/