Guam wins 42nd Goodwill Regatta

ON THE OUTSIDE: Robin Branch, left, works his craft while Yamasaki Masanobu tries to gain the inside position during the Marianas Yacht Club 42nd annual Guam Japan Goodwill Regatta in Apra Harbor on Sunday. Branch took first place in the regatta. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Rough seas and strong winds nearly prompted the cancellation of last weekend’s Marianas Yacht Club 42nd annual Guam Japan Goodwill Regatta, but, after a brief postponement, Guam’s only sailing race finished without a hitch.

“On Saturday, we had really strong winds and had to cancel races,” MYC vice commodore Ginger Porter said. “Gusts were recorded at 33 mph.”

Competing in the race, eight sailors braved the waters in Apra Harbor - six from Guam and two from Japan.

Porter, with a score of 40-78, said this was the first time in four years that Guam defeated Japan.

Porter said that because of “breakage and two rescues,” the decision was made to move Saturday's afternoon session to Sunday. She added that all 10 races were completed.

Larry Williams, MYC race committee director, described the several courses used as windward-leeward, and triangle.

While all of the competitors raced in some variation of a Laser-sail combo, Robin Branch, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, was the fastest.

Branch, at the weather's mercy, said his Day 1 game plan was to “try not to break anything” and to minimize “any mistakes.”

After surviving Saturday's opening day intact, Branch distanced himself from the field.

“His starts were fantastic,” Williams said. “He was lightning fast. He is in his own league.”