Top Honors at Sailing Week for Tiburon’s El Ocaso

As this classic Tim Wright photo shows, racing at Antigua is serious business, with hot boat-for-boat action in every class.

© Tim Wright /photoaction.com

Tiburon’s Richard Wesslund must still be pinching himself to be sure he isn’t dreaming. Not only did he and an international crew aboard the J/120 El Ocaso win their division at both St. Maarten’s Heineken and the BVI Spring Regatta, but they just made headlines in Antigua, winning Antigua Sailing Week’s CSA 3 class with seven straight bullets. That jaw-dropping feat earned them the prestigious Lord Nelson Trophy for the best overall performance within the 105-boat fleet.

If it sounds like they were a sure favorite to win their 11-boat class at Antigua, think again. They won several races by only a few seconds, and most by less than a minute. "It has been our best season ever, and winning The Lord Nelson Trophy really caps it off," said Wesslund after the prize-giving. "This has been the most competitive regatta by far; we have been pushed hard in every race."

Action was equally close in other classes, and, of course, not an inch was given to any competitor, large or small. Friday, in fact, a mid-race collision left the Farr 65 Spirit of Isis with a large bite taken out of her transom. Imagine the crew’s horror as the huge Oyster 82 Starry Night bore down on their stern — then plowed right into it at hull speed. Luckily, there were no serious injuries.

Look for more on ASY in the June Latitude 38. For complete results, see the ASY website.

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Compared to other regions, such as the Pacific Northwest, there’s a dearth of quality cruising destinations on San Francisco Bay, so when one of them is threatened, boaters need to band together to save it.
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