Early years 1972-1980
I learned to sail in the early 70’s from my father on our family’s boat, a C&C 41. Soon after, I did my first delivery at 12 years old sailing our Swan 44 from Annapolis to Puerto Rico in 1974. At that time, my everyday boat was a Sunfish. In 1976, I got on a Hobie 14 and I discovered the joy of racing. During the late 70’ I raced many different boats including Solings, 470s, Hobie 16s, 470’s and crewed on my dad’s various race boats (Swan 44, C&N345, Tartan Ten) doing foredeck work. We scored so many wins at the Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas, the BVI Spring Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week and many others. But as soon windsurfers show up in our beach I converted from boats to boards and rarely looked back.
During college, I continued racing on 420s, and Lasers but I fell in love and embraced windsurfing, gravitating to wavesailing as well as slalom and course racing. I went on to get a college degree with a minor in Yacht Design while working for Hall Spars and North Sails Newport during the year and North Sails St. Thomas in the summer. Naturaly, I moved to Hawaii as soon as i graduated and went to work alongside famed designer Barry Spanier of Maui Sails. When I moved back to PR in 1986, I started my own service sail loft. While doing that, I also served as race official for the Professional Windsurfing Association on several occasions and as vice president of the US Windsurfing Association. I organized nearly every single windsurfing event held in PR and plenty of professional and amateur windsurfing regattas in the Caribbean and South America. I spent over 20 years of my life racing windsurfers all over the Americas and Hawaii and converted that experience into Velauno, a huge watersports business that started with windsurfing, evolved into kiteboarding and ended with paddleboarding. It was 1999 and my life changed again when I brought the first kite kit to PR. All my friends laughed hysterically at my first body drags and excrutuatingly bad attempts to ride a board hanging on to a two line Wipika kite I could not depower. I got it eventually and it was the beginning a new phase for me. About 5 years later I discovered stand up paddleboarding and changed my life and business again!
The business front end was retail and rentals but was supported with strong distribution business for major brands such as Dakine, Thule, GoPro, Surftech and many others.
I rediscovered my passion for sailing thanks to my friend Jose Santiago who invited to take a new stab at keelboat racing as crew aboard Tom Hill’s Titan, one of the most successful maxi-yacht racing programs in the mid 2000’s. After many race events and quite a few deliveries, I realized I wanted to drive my own sailboat and organize my own race program. In 2010 I purchased and commissioned a new Beneteau First 40 and the Smile and Wave Sailing Team was born. I campaigned this boat successfully throughout the Caribbean as the driver and team manager. We won plenty of events during the three seasons we raced this boat enabled in part to the commercial sponsorships I solicited and obtained. Between races, I did lots of double-handed deliveries among all North Caribbean islands and PR.
I was sad to realize that my love for sailing was incompatible with me running a business. Choice had to be made and I closed down Velauno after over 20 years to dedicate myself fully to sailing. Like the end of an era for my family, my clients and me. It was a tough decision to make but the right one.
I traded the First 40 for a smoking-hot Melges 32 and raced against the best of the best in this competitive class in the US and British Virgin Islands. One of the best investments i made was to hire Marty Kullman as coach to bring the whole team up to speed. We benefited greatly from his leadership but more importanly, I realized the massive gains to me made from professional coaching on performance. I have not stopped learning every day!
I put this phenomenal training experience to great use when I was hired to work as owner’s rep for several race charter companies in Antigua and St Martin. Happy returning owners have requested my service often and some have invited me to race their boats on their home countries. To this day, one of my greatest joys is to step aboard a well equipped boat full of skill hungry intermediates. I simply love teaching and teaching sailing is by far one of my greatest joys.
The one-design bug bites hard and the most competitive One design keelboat in the Caribbean is the IC-24. I purchased and rebuilt one of the oldest IC24s and I have climbed to the top of the rankings in PR and the VIs in this tough class.
To keep myself sharp, I have gone full circle returning to the Sunfish where I compete in PR, South America and the US. I raced in the 2016 NAs finishing 20th and improving to 11th on the 2017 edition. Currently ranked #2 in Puerto Rico. When not racing, I dedicate myself to making the sport grow by volunteering at all events, organizing races, coordinating event promotion and working as Vice-President of the Caribbean Sailing Association.
Top owners and charter companies continue to engage my services for crew work covering every position on the boat from foredeck to driver and everything in between. My latest reinvention is has been to a professional career as a captain, completing dozens of overnight deliveries island to island in the Caribbean and stateside.
In the summer of 2018 I was the Yacht Master at a private yacht club in Fire Island. I managed and maintained a fleet of 30 one-design dinghys, coordinated adult lessons, ran a classic yacht charter business and skippered a classic yacht in Saturday Series racing.
2019 and Beyond
The future is everything! More racing, more long distance deliveries, more flying on foilboards, more fun, more happiness, more love, more health.
I am so stoked on everything that is happening! I’ve been sailing on some phenomenal boats, meeting the best people, riding the most amazing foilboards, and getting my joy on teaching lovely folks how to sail, to cruise and to foil. I hope that I can make you part of the Smile and Wave story!
2018 activities include:
- Captain, Multiple inter-island Caribbean deliveries
- Race Charter Captain, Beneteau First 40, Grenada Sailing Week
- Race Charter Captain, BC Carbon GP42, Heineken Regatta Sint Marteen
- Tactics and Coaching, Melges 32, St. Thomas International Regatta and BVI Spring Regatta
- Tactics and Crew Boss, BC Carbon GP42, Antigua Sailing Week
- Delivery Captain and Sailing Trainer, San Juan, PR to Brunswick, Georgia, Leopard 46 Catamaran
- Private Yacht Club Manager, Fire Island, NY – All summer long
- Delivery Captain, Miami-Annapolis – Bavaria 37
- Racer, 23rd out of 75 – Sunfish Worlds
- Delivery Captain, Miami-Annapolis – Bavaria 37
2019 activities include:
- Delivery Captain and Sailing Trainer, Savannah Georgia to USVI, Leopard 46 Catamaran
- Delivery Captain, Grenada-St. Maarten – Lagoon 45
- Delivery Captain, Grenada-St. Maarten – Reflex 38
- Delivery Captain, St. Maarten-St. Thomas – Reflex 38
- Delivery Watch Leader, Havana-West Palm Beach – TP52
- Delivery Watch Leader, Cabo San Lucas-Newport Beach -Tripp Custom 57
- Delivery Captain, BVI-St. Maarten – Reflex 38
- Delivery Captain, Miami-Annapolis – Bavaria C57
- Delivery Captain, Annapolis-Miami – Bavaria C57
- RYA Yacht Master Offshore Certification
- RYA First Aid
- RYA VHF Radio License
- RYA Personal Survival
- RYA STCW Certification
- Certified Windsurfing, Kiteboarding and Stand Up Paddleboarding Instructor
- World Sailing Technical Course for Coaches Level 1
Some Worthy Skills and Good Personal Qualities!
- Very skilled sailing and motoring on every size boat from small dinghies to 60 foot monohulls and catamarans
- Strong in communication and training
- I can cover any crew position on a boat
- General boat maintenance including sailmaking and basic rigging
- Fluent in English and Spanish
- Fit, Non-smoker, No drugs
- I am a very good team player, easy going and have a relaxed personality
- I get along with people extremely well
- I profoundly enjoy teaching, coaching and serving others
- Strong computer skills: Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Graphic design programs/Social Media
- Excellent writing and public speaking skills
- 40 years of experience in the watersports retail/wholesale/service business including: import/export, accounting, marketing, online sales, and brick and mortar retail and wholesale sales