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Chicago Sailor Three-Peats as British Virgin Islands Event Champion

By Justin Breen | April 20, 2015 6:25am

CHICAGO — Dave Clasen lives to sail.

Aboard his 33-foot-long Tartan 10 sailboat called Windemon, the Lakeview resident, his wife, Debbie, and a crew of five others three-peated as British Virgin Island Spring Regatta champions.

"We were all elated to win again," Clasen, 53, said of the three-day event, which, unlike many sailing challenges, has boats race around islands instead of floating buoys.

Clasen and his wife split their time between a pair of Lakeview condominiums and their home on Tortola, an idyllic, beach-filled British Virgin Island that's known for its perfect sailing conditions.

"Having a home in the BVI makes it easy to go sailing there, but it also helps out tremendously when we have brutal winters in Chicago," Clasen said.

The couple have been sailing for about 20 years, first from Belmont Harbor and the Chicago Yacht Club and eventually the British Virgin Islands. They've owned Windemon — pronounced "wind-ee-mon" — since 2000.

They fell in love with the sport when first visiting the BVI on their honeymoon a little more than two decades ago.

"We were sailing neophytes at the time, so we hired a local captain to take us sailing around the BVI for 10 days. We were hooked," Clasen said.

Clasen gave credit to his crew, including Chicago residents Perry Lewis and Scott Melanson, for the victory.

"Yacht racing is a team sport, and we couldn't do this without our world-class crew," he said. "They deserve all the credit for Windemon's successes."

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