Something to Suit Everyone at the 42nd St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Round-the-buoy and round-the-rock courses tested the talents of seasoned sailors and weekend warriors alike on the second day of racing in the 42nd St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), presented by TAG Heuer. The 62 yacht fleet split onto two different courses that maximized the enjoyment for crews of varying skill levels as well as the performance of assorted yacht makes and models. The result was a whole lot of racing going on and a ton of fun.

The IC-24 and Beach Cat classes sailed around the buoys in Great Bay, which fronts the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas resort.

“The ICs were a tough class today with some really close competition,” says Michael Royer, a native of Peabody, Massachusetts, who moved to Puerto Rico three years ago, took up sailboat racing and is now getting his feet wet by competing on other islands. “This is the first time our crew has sailed together. So, we’ve been working the kinks out and should have it all figured out by the last day.”

Puerto Rico’s Cachondo, Sembrador and Porfin 7, respectively, are in first through third in the IC-24 class.

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Puerto Rico’s Marco Teixidor’s Cachondo leads the IC-24 Class after two days of racing. Credit: Dean Barnes

Meanwhile, St. Thomas, USVI, sailors ranked at the top of the scoreboard in the Beach Cats. Flight Risk is first, followed by Island Sol and Whiplash.

The remaining six of the STIR’s eight classes sailed a course that wound around Great St. James to St. John and its offshore islands. This, combined with yesterday’s route to Charlotte Amalie and back, gave racers a chance to see the islands by sea as well as test themselves against the currents and wind patterns provided by rocks they rounded.

This type of course was perfect for entries such as Marcus Cholerton-Brown’s Sunset Child, a J/120 racing in the CSA 2 class that is owned and chartered by his US- and UK-based company, Performance Yacht Charter.

“Today was totally awesome. We have crew from the US, UK, Russia, Italy, Columbia and Portugal. Some have never raced before. Everyone gravitated to the position on the boat they were most comfortable with and it all worked out well,” says Cholerton-Brown, who is on the helm.

Corr’s Light Racing/Southern Child and El Ocaso, two other yachts chartered by Performance Yacht Charter, finished the day first and third, respectively, in CSA 2 followed by Dunder in second.

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White Rhino, the USA Todd Stuart’s Swan 56, flies downwind under spinnaker. Credit: Dean Barnes.

In CSA 3, the BVI’s Chris Haycraft, who is on the helm of his Sirena 38, Pipedream, found himself the odd man out in the class.

“All of the courses today favored asymmetrical spinnaker boats and we were the only non-asymmetrical. It’s a tough class, but we had some great racing,” says Haycraft, whose family has sailed in the STIR all 42 years.

Dark Star, which won the CSA 3 in the past, is in first, followed by Boogaloo and Solstice.

The four-member crew aboard Tony Sanpere’s Catalina 30, Nauticayenne, boasted over 150 years of sailing experience. What’s more, this CSA Non-Spinnaker entrant represents the VI Disabled Sailing Team and has both physically- and visually-challenged crew.

“Our goal is Rio 2016,” says Sanpere. “If we get there, and there is an 80 percent chance we’ll make it, we’ll set a record for being the oldest Paralympic team in history.”

Nauticayenne is third in the class, with Hotel California Too first and Avanti second.

A new class to the STIR this year is Non-Rated Cruising.

“This class is an opportunity for non-racing competitive boats with no professional crew to get an introduction and be part of the racing,” says the USVI’s Brian Emerich, who is helming his Beneteau 40, Augura, and is currently in third. “The long race around the islands gave us a chance to get trimmed out and enjoy the sailing too.”

Odyssey leads the Non-Rated Cruising class followed by Dawn Treader.

One of the winningest sailors in the Caribbean, Antigua’s Bernie Evan-Wong, sailed from Antigua to race in the STIR and is in the CSA 2 class.

“We had a good day, but we weren’t able to get the boat sailing up to its handicap,” says Evan-Wong, whose TAZ is a high-performance Reichel-Pugh 37. “Even so, what I liked best was a mix of round-the-buoy and round-the-island racing that this regatta offers. It’s the best of both worlds.”

In the remaining two classes, Spookie leads CSA 1, while Lazy Dog has taken over the frontrunner position in the one-design Melges 32 Class.

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Puerto Rico’s Sergio Sagramoso’s Melges 32 leads this one-design class. Credit: Dean Barnes.

Racing continues and concludes on Sunday. Music by Full Circle greets the fleet from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The Regatta Awards Ceremony starts at 6 p.m. on the STYC beach, followed by the Final Fling Party with Spectrum Band playing from 7-11 p.m.


Wild, Windy & Wonderful Racing on Day One at 42nd St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Spectacular broaches, inadvertent jibes, man overboard rescues and crazy capsizes created a dramatic start to the 42nd St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), presented by TAG Heuer. Some of the 62 yachts sailing in this March 27 to 29 event hosted out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) would have called the 20- to 25-plus knot breeze and 4- to 6-foot seas survival conditions if it were not for the brilliant sunny skies and 80 degree air and water temperatures. Others reveled in the ‘typical Caribbean’ conditions and enjoyed the ride on a course that took the fleet to the Charlotte Amalie harbor and back. Everyone, however, agreed that the first day of racing in the STIR delivered the bucket list experience they anticipated.

“The life line broke right before the first start and we had crew in the water,” explains Puerto Rico’s Ivan Aponte-Gonzalez, bowman on Luis Juarbe’s Melges 32, SOCA, one of four yachts in this one-design class. “We were able to pick him up, make the start on time and actually win the race. What was really cool was going 16 to 17 knots downwind into town.”

SOCA leads the Melges 32 class tied on points with Smile and Wave in second place and Lazy Dog third after two races.

Turtling upside down with hulls in the air was the order of the day in the Beach Cat Class. It wasn’t a capsize that took the USVI Hobie 16 entry of Nuts, driven by 18-year old Nicholas Gartner with the UK’s Ian Bartlett as crew, out of the first race.

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“We blew the jib before the start,” says Gartner, a senior at Antilles School who will attend either the U.S. Naval Academy or U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in the fall. “So, we came in, drove off to get another jib, rushed to put it on and then hauled off to the harbor. Thanks to the heavy wind we got there just in time to make the second race and finished third.”

Flight Risk leads the Beach Cat class, with Island Sol second and Caribbean Auto Mart third.

In the record 20-entry IC-24 Class, the BVI’s Jason Putley, on the tiller aboard CYM/INTAC, said it wasn’t so much the wind and swells as it was first day tactical issues that lead to a collision in the last of the classes three races.

“We led the first race all the way down the southside of the island (St. Thomas) until the last 25 seconds when two other boats beat us. We did pretty well in the second race, then in the third we hit another boat and our shrouds got locked together. The whole class passed us before we got untangled and got going again,” says Putley, an 11th grader at Tortola’s Cedar School, who plans to make an Olympic bid in the Laser for 2020.

Cachondo tops the IC-24 Class followed by Porfin 7 and Sembrador.

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Four of his crew had never sailed before, but that didn’t stop the UK’s Peter Scholfield from achieving solid mid-pack finishes aboard his HOD 35, Zarafa, in the highly-competitive CSA 3 Class.

“It was great fun sailing today even though we didn’t necessarily come in covered in glory,” says Scholfield, a retired major in the Royal Armored Corps, whose crew are all members of the Royal Dragoon Guards who have recently served in Afghanistan. “You could say the boys had a baptism by fire.”

Dark Star, Boogaloo and Solstice, respectively, are the top three leaders in the CSA 3 Class.

The CSA 2 sported the sleek race boats, among them Nantucket Yacht Club-based Kismet, a Morris 48 owned and helmed by David Southwell.

“The conditions today are what we expect when we race in the Caribbean,” says Southwell. “We’ve raced in the RORC Caribbean 600 two years and this is the first time we’re sailing in St. Thomas. It’s very competitive here and that’s what we really like.”

Corr’s Light Racing/Southern Child leads CSA 2 followed by Spike and El Ocaso.

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In the remaining three classes, yachts currently in first are Conviction/Team Varg in CSA 1, Hotel California Too in CSA Non-Spinnaker and Odyssey in Non-Rated Cruising.

Racing continues on Saturday off the southeast side of St. Thomas. Music by Flip Switch plays at STYC from 3-6 p.m. Then, from 6 p.m.-Midnight, party like at sailor at the STIR’s Yacht Haven Grande Party. Listen to Spectrum Band on stage, while dining and imbibing at nearby restaurants and bars.

Sailors cast off on the final day of regatta competition on Sunday March 29. Music by Full Circle greets the fleet from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The Regatta Awards Ceremony starts at 6 p.m. on the STYC beach, followed by the Final Fling Party with Spectrum Band playing from 7-11 p.m.


Sixty-Two Yachts Stir Up Excitement at 42nd St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Sixty-two yachts from the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe cast off Friday in the 42nd St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), presented by TAG Heuer. Hosted out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club March 27 to 29, this ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ boasts an impressive fleet ranging from 50- to 60-foot super hi-tech sport boats to lightening quick 16-foot beach cats. Up for grabs is the prestigious prize of a TAG Heuer Aquaracer Caribbean Limited Edition watch awarded to the skippers of the yachts that win each of the regatta’s eight classes.

“Sailors love our regatta and come from all over the world to sail here because we offer truly excellent racing,” says regatta director, Bill Canfield. “Our race committee are pros. They don’t make mistakes, so time is spent out racing rather than in redress.”

Two of the STIR’s eight classes, the one-design Melges 32s and IC-24s, are forecast to be among the most competitive and most exciting.

“The same four Melges 32s that raced last weekend in the Puerto del Rey Sailing Challenge will be racing this weekend, and last weekend it came down to the last leg in the last of six races to determine the winner. It was that close!” says Puerto Rico’s Jaime Torres, who helms his Smile and Wave. “The long windy downwind race to Charlotte Amalie on Friday is ideal for the Melges 32s and it’s a great way for us to start this regatta.”

A record 20 IC-24s are racing, with teams from the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The IC-24 is a locally-modified version of a J/24.

“We are really excited about this being a record class for the ICs,” says Puerto Rico’s Marco Teixidor, who will be driving Cachondo. “There will be tough competition and that will make it a lot of fun. If we win, that will make it even better.”

In other classes, CSA 1 will be a two-horse race between two speed machines: Spookie, a Carkeek HP 40 sailed by Heidi and Steve Benjamin of Norwalk, Connecticut, and Conviction, a TP 52 owned and driven by Clint Brooks and his team from Barbados.

The CSA 2 class features everything from a pair of J/122s to New York Gosia Rojek’s Swan 42, Better Than…and Antigua’s Bernie Evan-Wong’s Reichel-Pugh 37, TAZ. Evan-Wong is definitely one to watch as he has enjoyed numerous podium finishes including at the RORC Caribbean 600 and Antigua Sailing Week.

Caribbean and visiting rock stars make up the CSA 3 class. Among these is St. Thomas’ Paul Davis on his J/27, Mag 7.

“We’ve raced this regatta for 15 years,” says Davis. “If it’s blowing 15-plus knots like its forecast, look for us to be at the front of the pack.”

The CSA Non-Spinnaker Class hosts a couple of teams that come with fun stories. One is a group of students from St. Croix’s Central High School sailing with teacher, Stan Joines, aboard Joines’ J/36 Paladin. The STIR is an annual tradition for this team that often finishes in the top of its class. Fellow Crucian sailor, Tony Sanpere, will helm his Catalina 30, Nauticayenne, with a team that makes up the Virgin Islands’ entry to the Paralympic Olympic Games.

Finally, there’s a first-time unrated class of cruising boats and for the first-time in several years a strong nine boat beach cat class.

The racing starts at 11 a.m. on Friday with the course set to Charlotte Amalie harbor. In the afternoon, the Jump-Up Party kicks off from 5-11 p.m. at STYC. The John Gazi Band plays from 3:30-5:30 p.m., with the rhythms of the Ah We Bank taking over from 7-11 p.m.

On Saturday, racing is off the southeast side of St. Thomas. Music by Flip Switch plays at STYC from 3-6 p.m. Then, from 6 p.m.-Midnight, party like at sailor at the STIR’s Yacht Haven Grande Party. Listen to Spectrum Band on stage, while dining and imbibing at nearby restaurants and bars.

Sailors launch off on the last day of regatta competition on Sunday March 29. Music by Full Circle greets the fleet from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The Regatta Awards Ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. on the STYC beach, followed by the Final Fling party with Spectrum Band playing from 7 to 11 p.m.

Weather Routing Inc. (WRI) is the Official Weather Provider for the STIR and will provide forecasts by 6 a.m. daily during the regatta. These forecasts are available at: www.wriwx.com/clientproduct.php?id=4759. Weather maps and products specifically created for this event are also available at this link.

For more information about the STIR and real-time results, visit www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com or www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1219. Or, follow for the latest information on Facebook www.facebook.com/stirvi, and Twitter @stycvi


Strong Fleet Expected for 2015 St. Thomas International Regatta, presented by TAG Heuer – March 27-29

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. A sleek fleet of some 80 yachts is expected to compete in the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), presented by TAG Heuer. Set for March 27 to 29 and hosted out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club, entries include a spectacular mix of newcomers from abroad and regional favorites with crews ranging from Olympic and America’s Cup sailors to yacht club and family teams. Plus, it’s not too late to register!

Puerto Rico’s Jaime Torres’ “Smile and Wave”, one of five Melges 32s entered in the 2015 STIR.

 

A Sampling of Entries

Fresh off an IRC class win with an award for Best Performance Yacht in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race in January, Steve and Heidi Benjamin, will sail their Carkeek 40, Spookie, in St. Thomas. The Benjamin’s, from Norwalk, Connecticut, will race with 12 crew, including St. Thomas’ Peter Holmberg, an Olympic silver medalist and America’s Cup sailor, as strategist, and Detroit, Michigan’s Bora Gulari, two-time Moth World Champion, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and America’s Cup sailor, as navigator. Benjamin, who will helm, is himself an Olympic silver medalist. With his talented team behind him, Benjamin is a strong contender to pocket a TAG Heuer Aquaracer Caribbean Limited Edition watch, the prestigious prize for STIR’s class winning skippers.

Class wins in the Fastnet, Cowes Week and Round the Island (Isle of Wight) Race make Lymington, UK’s Peter Scholfield’s HOD 35, Zarafa, is definitely an entry to watch for a podium finish. “I am doing the Caribbean season so it was a given that I would compete in the St. Thomas International Regatta,” says Scholfield, whose Zarafa was designed by Rob Humphreys, has a wood epoxy hull and was launched in late 1997. His crew include members of the Royal Armored Corps Yacht Club. Scholfield is a retired major in the Corps as well as an experienced yachtsman.

Better Than…, a Swan 42 owned by New York Yacht Club member Gosia Rojek and husband, Andrzej, will race for the first time in St. Thomas after competing aboard their son’s friend’s Swan 45, Devocean, in 2006 and 2007. “I remember the great time we had sailing Devocean and was able to convince my husband to give up his passion for skiing to sail our own boat this year,” says Rojek, who organized an all-women crew for the Swan 42 Nationals in Newport, Rhode Island, in 2008 and 2009, and has since been one of the few female drivers in the IRC class. Better Than…, with Rojek driving, won its IRC class and overall in the Rye, New York-based American Yacht Club’s Spring Series in 2013.

More than 25 IC-24s will race with close competition expected.

Another first time entry is the TP 52, Conviction, owned by the Barbados Offshore Sailing Syndicate. The syndicate, founded by Bajan-born Clint Brooks, is an effort to raise awareness for the southern Caribbean’s sailors and regattas. Conviction will be sailed by an all Bajan crew. “Conviction is a new boat to us. Our first regatta was the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series in January where, with a youth team of 13- to 16 years onboard, we placed second in the series and set a record for the under 60-foot class in the Round the Island Race. We are incredibly pleased with the boat and look forward to the upcoming regatta,” says Brooks, who is no stranger to the U.S. Virgin Islands where he sailed with Peter Holmberg during the Team Caribbean America’s Cup days in the late 1990s.

This is the first year that Holland, Michigan’s Mitch Padnos and his crew from the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club will charter the J/122, El Ocaso. The boat, under a different skipper and crew, has participated in the STIR on several occasions and won its class in 2014. “We were attracted to this year’s event as the boat was available which allowed the Michigan crew an early spring tune up. In addition, the idea of racing in St. Thomas was too much to resist,” says Padnos. His Michigan crew has been active in buoy racing on the local Michigan scene, the Chicago NOOD Regatta and in the Harbor Springs Series hosted by Little Traverse Yacht Club as well as in distance races such as the Trans-Michigan Race, Queens Cup and many Chicago to Mackinac races.

Sunset Child, a J/120 in Performance Yacht Racing USA’s charter fleet, most recently competed in the Pineapple Cup to Montego Bay Race in February with a Jamaican team onboard. “This is the first time we will sail with her in St. Thomas,” says skipper Marcus Cholerton-Brown. “We have a whole family racing onboard, plus some PYR-USA crew and myself. We can’t wait to get stuck in.”

This is the second time that Lancelot II, a Beneteau First 40.7 owned by Britannia Events and based in Hamble, UK, will sail in the STIR. A first in class finish could definitely be in the cards as Lancelot II looks to defend its win from last year. “Our crew for this regatta is Team Boston who are a group of family and friends from the US who have sailed together on Lancelot II in the Caribbean for three years now. Their Martini glass logo on the masthead spinnaker will make them easy to spot downwind,” says event manager, Prue Nash.

The STIR’s one-design classes are expanding.

“We will have 5 Melges 32s – Smile and Wave, SOCA, Lazy Dog, Kick’em Jenny and Big Trouble – up from 3 last year,” says Puerto Rico’s Jaime Torres, owner/shipper of Smile and Wave. With a steady crew and a proven fast and reliable boat, Torres is the odds-on favorite to win the Melges 32 class at STIR. “STIR is the fourth stop in the 9-event Melges 32 Caribbean Championship Series,” says Torres. “The teams are all well-tuned and hungry for the ranking points up for grabs.”

Meanwhile, the homegrown IC-24 class is expected to be the largest of the regatta with 25-plus entries. “The best part about racing in the IC-24 class is the level of competition and how close the racing is,” says St. Thomas’ Mike Finley, who will sail his Ocean Potion. “Plus, we have fun racing and fun afterwards.”

Great Parties

Beach barbeques, nightly parties featuring Presidente beer and the Virgin Islands’ own Cruzan Rum, and live bands will take place at St. Thomas Yacht Club Thursday March 26, Friday March 27 and Sunday March 29. The Awards Ceremony takes place Sunday March 29 starting at 7 p.m. on the beach in front of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. On Saturday March 28, there’s the newest STIR tradition: the Yacht Haven Grande Party with Spectrum Band on stage. Have dinner and enjoy the best of St. Thomas restaurants and bars nearby Yacht Haven Grande while detuning after a day of racing.

Register Now!

Register online at www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1219 For more information about the regatta, visit www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com. Or, follow for the latest information on Facebook www.facebook.com/rolexregatta, Instagram #IRRSTYC and Twitter @IRRSTYC

The St. Thomas International Regatta, presented by TAG Heuer, is sponsored by; Cruzan Rum and Presidente, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors; Yacht Haven Grande; Little Switzerland; Switlik; the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; The Moorings; and Sunsail.

ABOUT THE SPONSOR

TAG Heuer is a Swiss Avant-Garde watchmaker founded in 1860. Its rich heritage is built on pushing boundaries and breaking rules, harnessing mental fortitude to overcome technology restraints and create daring watches and chronographs. Long-lasting partnerships with watersports teams and charismatic ambassadors drive it to break with watchmaking conventions, and as a consequence, master time with unparalleled precision. The brand’s watersport DNA, as well as the amazing athletes who belong to its dream team, reflect its core values of teamwork, mental strength, courage and ambition. Its slogan, DON’T CRACK UNDER PRESSURE, is far more than a claim–it is a mindset. TAG Heuer is exclusively sold at Little Switzerland and Jewels St. Thomas, including a TAG Heuer Boutique, on Main Street, in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. For information, call (248) 809-5560 ext. 10110


TAG Heuer Signs On As Presenting Sponsor of the 2015 St. Thomas International Regatta, March 27-29, 2015

Caribbean Exclusive Vertical posterSt. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Precision is a quality in great demand both in world-class yacht racing and in Swiss premium timepieces. Therefore, organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) are proud to announce that this year’s event will be presented by TAG Heuer.

“Our legitimacy in watersports has been inherent in our brand for many years now. The latest partnership with the America’s Cup winning Oracle Team USA made sponsorship of the St. Thomas International Regatta an obvious choice for us since many of Oracle’s key team members are also members of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Moreover, the intensity of high-caliber yacht racing applies very well to our brand motto, “Don’t Crack Under Pressure’. The St. Thomas International Regatta is a great opportunity for us to showcase what our brand stands for,” says Christian Weissbach, president of TAG Heuer for the Caribbean & Latin America.

TAG Heuer is recognized for its reliability, its avant-garde style and for pushing the boundaries of watch manufacturer for uses on land and at sea. In 1894, the company developed its first water resistant case. The brand started its close association with sailing in the 1920s, when its timepieces were used for regatta timekeeping on Lake Geneva. Sailing has inspired the company to use new materials and create new functions. For example, in 1950 TAG Heuer unveiled its patented Mareograph, a unique sailing chronograph derived from the earlier Solunar watch, which let fishermen know when the fish were feeding. Called the Seafarer in the United States, the chronograph was the first with a tide indicator and a five-minute countdown function for sailing competitions.

Class winning skippers in the 2015 STIR will be presented with an Aquaracer Caribbean Limited Edition watch. These models are equipped with key features such as stainless steel craftsmanship, water-resistance to 10,000-feet, screw-in crown and unidirectional turning bezel. The beautiful deep sea-blue dial is imprinted with a map of the Caribbean Islands in a gold tone. The men’s version comes in a 1.6-inch case and is equipped with an automatic movement and the ladies version comes in a 1.3-inch case. These limited editions are exclusively available in the Caribbean. They are numbered on the case-back with up to 1000 units for the men style and up to 500 units for the ladies.

The eight classes eligible to receive an Aquaracer Caribbean Limited Edition watch as prize include divisions of CSA, IRC, and Beach Cats.

“St. Thomas International Regatta organizers are excited about our new partnership with TAG Heuer and their world famous timepieces. TAG Heuer has a long history of sports marketing and we feel honored to have them involved in our sailing event. Their involvement places the STIR back at the top of Caribbean events and offers 8 more reasons to attend our regatta in Cowpet Bay home of the St. Thomas Yacht Club,” says regatta director, Bill Canfield.

The St. Thomas International Regatta, now in its forty-second year, is world-renown as the Crown Jewel of Caribbean yacht racing for its fantastic round the buoys and round the islands racing, first-class race committee and friendly can-do attitude towards its competitors. Over 80 entries, including more Grand Prix yachts and a fleet of over 25 one-design IC24s, are expected in 2015.

Register online at www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1219 For more information about the regatta, visit www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com. Or, follow for the latest information on Facebook www.facebook.com/rolexregatta, Instagram #IRRSTYC and Twitter @IRRSTYC

 

ABOUT THE SPONSOR

TAG Heuer is a Swiss Avant-Garde watchmaker founded in 1860. Its rich heritage is built on pushing boundaries and breaking rules, harnessing mental fortitude to overcome technology restraints and create daring watches and chronographs. Long-lasting partnerships with watersports teams and charismatic ambassadors drive it to break with watchmaking conventions, and as a consequence, master time with unparalleled precision. The brand’s watersport DNA, as well as the amazing athletes who belong to its dream team, reflect its core values of teamwork, mental strength, courage and ambition. Its slogan, DON’T CRACK UNDER PRESSURE, is far more than a claim–it is a mindset. TAG Heuer is exclusively sold at Little Switzerland and Jewels St. Thomas, including a TAG Heuer Boutique, on Main Street, in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. For information, call (248) 809-5560 ext. 10110


Cruzan Rum and Presidente Sponsor 2015 St. Thomas International Regatta, March 27-29, 2015

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St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta are proud to announce that Cruzan Rum and Presidente beer, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC, will provide major sponsorship in support for the 2015 regatta.

“Cruzan Rum and Presidente beer are a great fit to the sailing scene. Rum is the dominant beverage in the Caribbean and the US Virgin Islands is the home of Cruzan Rum. Presidente, which is produced in the Dominican Republic, has been exploding in popularity throughout the islands among sailors and non-sailors alike,” says Jon Charlton, vice president and general manager for the U.S. Virgin Islands of Glazer’s Premier Distributors, one of the largest distributors of wine, spirits and malt beverage products in the U.S. and headquartered in Dallas, TX.

Cruzan Rum, which is produced at its Estate Diamond distillery on St. Croix, was founded in 1760 and has been run by eight generations of the Nelthropp family albeit with changes in corporate ownership over the years. The company produces some 50 award-winning rum products in different flavors and ages. Skippers in the St. Thomas International Regatta will receive a commemorative 750 ml bottle of Cruzan’s flagship Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, a medium-to-full-bodied blend of vintage rums aged from 5 to 12 years. New this year too, the skipper winning the regatta’s most competitive class as judged by a trio of race officials will receive his or her weight in Cruzan Rum.  Continue reading…


Winners Named at 41st St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Top-quality competition, razor-close finishes and camaraderie that spanned decades for some and days for others proved that in spite of a new name, the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) has remained the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Caribbean yacht racing. Nowhere was this more apparent than on the third and final day of sailing. No one easily walked away with a win. Plus, the podium was filled with teams representing the Caribbean, U.S., and Europe.

First time racing in the STIR proved a charm for Near Miss, Franck Noel’s TP 52. The Switzerland-based team finished by winning every race but one in the CSA – Racing O Class. That defeat came at the hands of the Netherlands’ Peter Vroon aboard his Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, which finished second. “The racing was very good, good competition and the courses were very nice around the islands,” explains Benoit Briand, Near Miss team manager. “It would have been easy to make a big mistake and finish last in this class, but we sailed the boat properly and grew more confident as a team every day.” Continue reading…


Fast & Furious on Second Day of 41st St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Courses changed but the winds remained the blustery-same as the 69-boat fleet set sail on the second day of racing at the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Shorter round-the-buoy and round-the-island races off the island’s east end combined with 20-plus knots of breeze enabled the race committee to fire off as many as five and four races, respectively, in the beach cat and one-design IC-24 classes.

“We retired during the first race today. It was just too rough and windy at the top mark in Pillsbury Sound where the currents met and there were huge faces. The Nacra 17 sails on the surface, the boat almost planes, and that makes it more skittish to sail in heavy conditions,” explains the USVI’s John Holmberg, who ultimately skippered his Flight Risk to the top of the six boat beach cat class.  Holmberg and crew Terri McKenna hope to earn one of the 10 slots up for grabs for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the Nacra 17 class in September at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Spain. “We got back in and finished the other four races today and we won them all.”  Continue reading…