The St. Thomas International Regatta weekend in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a high point for many yachtsmen and yachtswoman from around the world. Known as the “Crown Jewel of the Caribbean” it represents an opportunity to shake off the winter dust in preparation for a hard summer’s racing.
For others, it is a chance to mix sailing and racing with a family vacation in one of the Caribbean’s favorite locations. Whatever the reason, once experienced, the St. Thomas International Regatta becomes an annual mark on the calendar. The warm clear waters, beautiful surroundings and excellent competition draw you back year after year.
A Historical Perspective
St. Thomas Yacht Club
The St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) was organized in 1964 by racing sailors and it has a rich history of promoting quality racing for both big- and small-boat sailors. In its early years the Yacht Club sponsored the Caribbean Midwinter Regatta, the first-ever Sunfish World Championship.
In 1964, yachtsman Rudy Thompson applied for admission into Olympic competition; the U.S. Virgin Islands was subsequently accepted as an Olympic nation. Two years later, Thompson and John Hamber won a Silver medal in the Flying Dutchman class at the Caribbean and Central American Games. The next year, the Virgin Islands entered its first Olympic Sailing Team in the Olympics in Mexico. Rudy and John raced in the Flying Dutchman, Per Dohm in the Finn.
In 1988, Peter Holmberg added to the history books by bringing glory home to the Virgin Islands with a Silver medal in the Finn Class. In 2000 he entered the America’s Cup domain, leading his own America’s Cup campaign for the Virgin Islands, and for the 2003 America’s Cup, he was helmsman for Larry Ellison’s Oracle BMW Racing campaign. Holmberg is currently a member of Team Alinghi, the America’s Cup defender for the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain.
Since 2000 our junior sailing program has developed into one of the best in the US. Our young sailors have won 6 high school national championships and have contributed to numerous college programs. This year alone 12 of our members are sailing on ranked college teams. A few years ago Ian Barrows won a gold medal at the first IOC Youth Olympics. This past year, Taylor Canfield was ranked as the #1 match racer in the world by ISAF and also was the youngest to win the World Championship in match racing.