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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"I have great faith in fools--self confidence my friends call it." -- Edgar Allan Poe

210--Antigua: Antrigua Sailing Week 2004
@ CherieSpotting     May 04 2004 - 12:19 PST
cherie writes: Antigua, one of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, was the sight for the Granddaddy of Caribbean Racing—the 37th Annual Antigua Sailing Week. Antigua is 14 miles long by 11 miles wide and is proud of its 365 beaches. “One beach for each day of the year,” the islands tourist brochures boast.

But Newport sailors didn’t travel to Antigua to lounge on the secluded beaches. They went to compete in what is considered by Chairman Andrew Michelin as “one of the top three sailing regattas in the world.”

Out of the 211 yachts racing in this year’s Antigua Sailing Week, the Newport Beach team, skippered by Phil Otis of Dana Point Yacht Club, took top honors in the bareboat fleet. After five days of intense racing DSD Carnival, a Beneteau 45f5 chartered from BVI Yacht Charters, bested 97 bareboats to win the coveted Governor General’s Cup.

(“DSD Carnival” stands for: Don’t Stop Da Carnival, an appropriate name for the yacht that dominated Caribbean racing this year.)

DSD Carnival’s team was comprised of a core group of Newport Beach sailors that also won the Columbus Cup in the 2004 Heineken Regatta. The team of back-to-back champion sailors were: Phil Otis (DPYC), his father Papa Otis, Arjan Stoof (CEO of BVI Yacht Charters), Carol Benassi and Cherie Sogsti (Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club.)

Other southern California sailors that crewed aboard the DSD Carnival for Antigua Sailing Week were Tom Lafleur (UK Sailmakers--Newport Beach), Dustin Fox, Jean Leitner, and Greg Retkowski.

Mark Crompton, a US Coast Guard 200 ton master, also joined the California team along with sailors Ken, Jean and Toni Hallen. Luke Vos, from BVI Yacht Charters, flew out to flex his muscles and grind for a few days of ASW racing.
“There’s nothing like winning against the best sailors in the world, and then jumping into 80 degree water to celebrate your victory,” said Retkowski, who operated DSD Carnival’s traveler for Antigua Sailing Week.

The ASW regatta was the site of both family bonding and sibling rivalry. Phil Otis and his father Papa Otis teamed up and won every Caribbean race they competed in this year—including the Heineken Regatta, Antigua Race Week, and the Bareboat Championship.

Tom Lafluer, owner of UK Sailmakers—Newport Beach, competed against his younger sister Monique Lafleur (also from UK Sailmakers) for the ASW regatta. The competition couldn’t have been tougher as Tom Lafluer raced on DSD Carnival (which took first in class in Antigua) and Monique Lafleur raced aboard Carrie On (which took second in class.)

Skippered by Justin Barton (Corinthian Yacht Club—San Francisco), Carrie On’s crew included Monique Lafleur, Valrie Lambert, Mark Roesenfeld, Jessamy Howorth, Lynn Griffiths, and George Hunt.

The rivalry between the two American boats was serious, but good natured. The Carrie On crew was comical. One morning before a race, Carrie On accosted the DSD Carnival crew with water balloons.

The DSD Carnival crew fought back with all they had onboard—eggs. Captain Otis instructed his crew: “Get close enough to scare them, but don’t get those eggs in their cockpit.” Dustin Fox, of DSD Carnival, hurdled the eggs it the air and they splashed around Carrie On like breakfast artillery fire.

With only 6 of the 97 bareboat teams being from the USA, the American teams of DSD Carnival and Carrie On were proud to be standing on stage accepting first place and third place in fleet after a week of intense competition at ASW. Rosco, a Swedish team skippered by Jan Soderburg, took 2nd place in the bareboat fleet.

This year was the first time Soderburg had lost ASW after being the defending champion for six years. Now Newport Beach’s Otis will have to return next year to defend his new title of 1st Overall Bareboat winner of Antigua Sailing Week.

“It was a pleasure to race against some of the best teams in the world. It was an even greater honor to win,” said Captain Otis. “Next year we’ll be back.”

To see official photos and results of Antigua Sailing week click on www.sailingweek.com. To charter a boat in the Caribbean contact BVI Yacht Charters at (284) 494-4289 or click on www.bviyachtcharters.com.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Led by Phil Otis, we raced DSD Carnival in Antigua Race Week.  NOt only did our team take first in our class, we bested all 97 bareboats in the entire fleet!

Led by Phil Otis, we raced DSD Carnival in Antigua Race Week. NOt only did our team take first in our class, we bested all 97 bareboats in the entire fleet!

Greg, the human whisker pole.

Greg, the human whisker pole.

Arjan, Dustin and Phil.

Arjan, Dustin and Phil.

Jean is all smiles.

Jean is all smiles.

Tom, Jean, Papa Otis and Greg.

Tom, Jean, Papa Otis and Greg.

The happy winners!

The happy winners!

Dustin can tail and drink at the same time.  According to him, this takes years of practice.

Dustin can tail and drink at the same time. According to him, this takes years of practice.

Phil is a happy boat driver.

Phil is a happy boat driver.

Let me introduce Luke.  His muscles can introduce themselves.

Let me introduce Luke. His muscles can introduce themselves.

The red shirts are coming!  The red shirts are coming!

The red shirts are coming! The red shirts are coming!

Jean and Carol.

Jean and Carol.

Cherie and Papa Otis.

Cherie and Papa Otis.

Quick!  Look like you are working!

Quick! Look like you are working!

Jean loves to race.

Jean loves to race.

Pulling into the lead.

Pulling into the lead.

Luke and Carol.

Luke and Carol.

Look at all those boats behind us!

Look at all those boats behind us!

Mark, Ken, Jean and Emma.

Mark, Ken, Jean and Emma.

Racers in Antigua.

Racers in Antigua.

Making it look easy is the hard part.

Making it look easy is the hard part.

Luke, Phil, Arjan, Dustin and Ken.

Luke, Phil, Arjan, Dustin and Ken.

Luke takes a photo.

Luke takes a photo.

Fun in the sun.

Fun in the sun.

Sail away.

Sail away.

Jean and Dustin.

Jean and Dustin.

Hang on Luke!

Hang on Luke!

Looking towards the finish line.

Looking towards the finish line.

Grind harder.

Grind harder.

Arjan can't help but smile when his boat is in first place.

Arjan can't help but smile when his boat is in first place.

The best always make it look easy.

The best always make it look easy.

Our crew t-shirts.

Our crew t-shirts.

Tom with the GPS.

Tom with the GPS.

Dustin searches for the mark.

Dustin searches for the mark.

Carol and Arjan.

Carol and Arjan.

Luke and Dustin.

Luke and Dustin.

Someone give Arjan a beer!

Someone give Arjan a beer!

Emma and Jean.

Emma and Jean.

Smiling is good for you.

Smiling is good for you.

A kiss for the winners.

A kiss for the winners.


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