A Caribbean Championship of Champions

Published on November 5th, 2019

The Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship pitted top teams from the 2019 NOOD regatta series into 47-foot charter boats for six days of inter-island races. An unexpected twist on the final day delivered a surprising outcome. Report by Dave Reed of Sailing World:

A protest hearing in paradise. A regatta should never end this way, but there sat two sun-kissed protagonists, astride at the aft salon table of the Sunsail 454 race committee catamaran. Rick Harris, the laid-back California skipper, and Andy Camarda, the energetic Chicagoan who won PHRF 3 at the St. Petersburg NOOD, faced the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD Championship’s PRO and umpire, Sue Reilly, to present their versions of a little pre-start port-starboard bump in the day’s first of three races.

While crews of the annual regatta’s six teams frolicked above and below the waters of the British Virgin Island’s Norman Island, protest proceedings got underway with complimentary Painkillers for the protestors. Over the next hour or so, facts were found, witnesses summoned, and when it was all said and done, Reilly ruled both boats were in the wrong: Harris, the port-tacker for failing to heed right of way, and Camarda for failing to avoid contact.

Call it draw, perhaps, but the outcome of the protest had the surprising effect of then vaulting the third-place team to the top of the score board. No one saw it coming, especially the Championship’s defender, Team Juhnksho, skippered by Vancouverite Kirk Leslie. Full report.

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