While the memory of Carlos Aguilar is embedded in the hearts of family
and friends, it will forever be inscribed on the Caribbean sea. It is there
that his mentoring is played out again and again by the young sailors he
counseled and loved. Since his death in October 2007, they continue to
sail themselves to new heights and undoubtedly will pass down his nautical
wisdom to their own children one day.
For Carlos, there could be no better tribute. Sailing was in his blood. As a
young boy growing up in El Salvador, he spent many a weekend sailing on a
nearby lake. His competitive spirit came from his father, who sailed for El
Salvador in the 1968 Olympics.
Carlos found himself in the Virgin Islands after graduating from college in
Kansas with a degree in architecture. He answered an ad from an architectural
firm on St. Thomas, and decades later, the island remained his home.
Friends appreciated his generosity and attention, often expressed through
his talents as someone unusually clever with his hands and gifted with
keen instincts. Bill Canfield will never forget Carlos pushing aside Bill’s
efforts to remodel his home, changing the dwelling into one that truly
made sense for a person of limited mobility. Just days after Carlos died,
Beth and Bruce Marshall moved into the home he had designed for them,
finding carefully placed notes on exactly how they should use their space.
To many, Carlos was a quiet presence - an enigma – dignified, handsome in
his polo and khakis, always willing to return a smile, respond hello – but
never one to insinuate himself or spend his conversation on casual
acquaintances. He stayed in the background. Except when it came to
young people. He had a natural gift that endeared them to him. He was
salty, and he challenged them. But he was kind, and always ready to have
This regatta is a tribute to the type of sailing that Carlos most loved, and to
the spirit and loyalty he engendered in those he touched.
Here’s to sailing, and to his mantra that friends and loved ones regarded as
his signature wisdom… “let it go.”