Nov. 28, 2004 Denise Wright's On-line Vacations, a Cal 2-27, sailed home Saturday with the top prize in the 23rd annual Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta.
"It was our solid good crew who's been on board for years that made it possible," she said at the awards ceremony held at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant in Coral Bay, St. John.
The boat has won the regatta many times. Last year, Wright came in second, but in the two years before that, the boat, skippered by her late husband, Gary, took top honors.
"We did it for Gary," Wright said.
A total of 45 boats participated in Saturday's race for crewed boats. On Friday, 22 raced in classes for single-handed and gaff-rigged boats. The race took place in the waters just outside Coral Harbor.
While the rivalries are friendly, the competition is keen among the boaters in various classes.
One of the tightest races came between Rob Roy and Raggedy Ann, both racing in the Cruising III class.
St. John resident Dave Dostall, who skippered his Rob Roy, a 56-foot yawl, to first in this class, said that Raggedy Ann, a Beneteau 47 owned by Al and Bettie Trope of St. John, took the lead at the start. By the first tack, Rob Roy held the lead. Raggedy Ann took over on the next tack.
"They tried to sneak by us at Flanagan, but we caught them on the last leg to the finish," Dostall said, referring to Flanagan Island, located just outside Coral Harbor.
St. John resident Bucky Buchalter sailed onboard St. Thomas resident Bobby Danet's 18-foot sloop, Seanonda Rose.
After Danet noted it was good tactics that gave the boat first in the Traditional 40-foot and under class, Buchalter said that it was the only boat on a port tack at the start, which helped keep the boat on its victory course. He said Danet cut the reef off Johnson's Bay so close, he was relieved Danet was at the helm.
"And we flew wing and wing downwind," Buchalter said.
Buchalter and others said that conditions were perfect with 12- to 15-knot winds and smooth seas.
"It was a beautiful day," Wright said.
While the racers all went home with prizes donated by St. John merchants and businesses, Sarah Close won the 12-foot inflatable raft with a 15-hp Yamaha motor raffled off by the Coral Bay Yacht Club.
The Coral Bay Yacht Club formed back in the late 1970s or early 1980s when a group of boaters were building boats in Coral Bay.
"It was the boating community coming together and becoming friends," Breath skipper Peter Muilenburg, one of the founders, said.
Here's a wrap up of the winners:
Gaffers 35 feet and Under
1. Penelope, 34-foot schooner, Les Anderson, St. John, 3:17:20
2. Calibreeze, Cowhorn 37, John Costanzo, St. John, 3:24:29
Gaffers over 35 feet
1. Ushuaia, Custom 49, Morgan MacDonald, St. John, 3:14:01
Single-handed 30 feet and under
1. Willful, Bristol 27, Dave Geiger, St. John, 2:46:44
2. Sofia, Alberg 30, Nathan Craig, St. John, 2:50:44
3. Sil Starkist, Catalina 25, Lori Morelli, St. John, 3:28:32
Single-handed over 30 feet to under 40 feet
1. Tiger Maru, Gadansk 37, Julien Davies, St. John, 2:04:12
2. Windshift, Van DeStat 32, Ralph and Nina Fette, St. John, 2:26:04
3. Dream Tyme, C&C 34, Dana Cabini, St. John, 2:29:00
Single-handed 40 feet and over
1. Rob Roy, Rob 56, Dave Dostall, St. John, 2:12:03
2. For Pete's Sake, Down East 45, Peter Hoschl, St. John, 3:26:05
1. Cy Thompson, St. Thomas, 1:09:00
2. Tristam MacDonald, St. John, 1:13:44
3. Sky Dane, St. John, 1:22:10
1. Sonny, Brooklin 69, Ian Stuart, St. John, 2:46:40
2. Osprey, Luders 44, Larry Best, St. John, 2:47:25
3. Dance, J-35, John Rice, Boone, North Carolina, 2:53:30
1. On-line Vacations, Cal 2-27, Denise Wright, St. John, 2:43:58
2. Tiger Maru, Gadansk 37, Julien Davies, St. John, 2:44:06.
3. Windshift, Van DeStat 32, Ralph and Nina Fette, St. John, 2:47:22
Traditional over 40 feet
1. Seanonda Rose, 18-foot sloop, Bobby Danet, St. Thomas, 2:48:38
2. Penelope, 34-foot Schooner, Les Anderson, St. John, 2:57:35
3. Calibreeze, Cowhorn 37, John Costanzo, St. John, 3:06:21
Traditional over 40 feet
1. Liberty, Alden 52, Fletcher Pitts, St. John, 2:07:20
2. Ushuaia, Custom 49, Morgan MacDonald, St. John, 2:17:14
3. Snap, 52-feet, Robby Hoyt, St. John, 4:15:56
Cruising I (boats under 30 feet)
1. Willfull, David Geiger, St. John, 3:53:33
2. Frodo, 29-foot boat, Dan Davis, St. John, 3:57:42
3. Brightness, Morgan 29, Paul Gallagher, St. John, 4:09:10
Cruising II (boats 30 to 40 feet)
1. Naima, Dufour 35, Olivier Karcher, St. John, 5:38:27
2. Yankee, Rhodes 35, Brad Glidden, St. Thomas, 5:50:57
3. Glory B, O'Day 37, Max Harcourt, St. Thomas, 5:55:35
Cruising III (boats over 40 feet)
1. Rob Roy, Rob 56, Dave Dostall, St. John, 3:00:08
2. Raggedy Ann, Beneteau 47, Al and Bettie Trope, St. John, 3:02:26
3. Indigo, Alden 44, Lewis Alexander, St. John, 3:46:30
1. Wings, Newick 38, Dave Poole, St. John, 2:54:58
1. Ian Beam and Cynthia Swan, St. John, 3:15:29
2. Sean and Ryan Costanzo, St. John, 3:16:23
3. Richard Baranowski and Kaitlyn Bertolino, St. John, 3:26:40