The Very Best in Caribbean Racing

On March 25-27, the St. Thomas Rolex Regatta marked its 38th anniversary with three days that represented the very best in Caribbean racing. Steady breezes building from 12 knots to the high teens throughout the event, sunny afternoons, a varied and highly competitive fleet, excellent race committee work and parties that were neither too big nor too small, but just right: it
Author:
Publish date:
Rolex-Kialoa-V


On March 25-27, the St. Thomas Rolex Regatta marked its 38th anniversary with three days that represented the very best in Caribbean racing. Steady breezes building from 12 knots to the high teens throughout the event, sunny afternoons, a varied and highly competitive fleet, excellent race committee work and parties that were neither too big nor too small, but just right: it would be hard to imagine a better sailing experience.

Among the many standouts in this year’s 77-boat fleet—which included everything from the 90-foot maxi Genuine Risk to a group of nine hardy beach cat crews—were a number of charter boats crewed by sailors from Safe Passage Sailing, Girlsforsail and Ondeck. More than just bareboat charters, these companies make dreams come true by allowing sailors from all walks of life to experience the kind of sailing typically only available to the wheeled-heeled or pros.


For the St. Thomas Rolex, Safe Passage had two boats on hand. The first, former maxi champion Kialoa V, was under the leadership of America’s Cup veteran Rich Stearns and British pro Brian Thompson, recently returned from Banque Populaire V’s failed Jules Verne round-the-world record attempt. The second, the Swan 51 Northern Child, was under the leadership of Suzette “Hau’oli” Smith, a veteran of the America’s Cup boat Mighty Mary.

On Deck had Spirit of Juno, one of its veteran Farr 65 sloops, on hand, and Girlsforsail’s all-female crew sailed the Elan 37 Diamonds Are Forever.

Other standouts in this year’s regatta included Willem Wester’s Grand Soleil 43 Antilope, which swept IRC 2 with straight bullets, and Jorge Ramos’ Hobie 16 Universal, which won all but one race in the beach cat class. The TP52 Vesper did equally well in IRC2, taking a second in the first race and then all bullets from then on. It was the same thing in the CSA Spinnaker 3 Division, which went to Timothy Molony’s chartered JOD 36 Wild at Heart.

"This was our first time to this part of the world," said Antilope’s Wester, who sailed with a crew from Belgium and Holland that included veteran Volvo Ocean Race skipper Bouwe Bekking and Olympian Philippe Bergmans. "The whole atmosphere here was fantastic, with the race committee setting some wonderful courses."

For more on this year’s St. Thomas Rolex Regatta, click here.

Related

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more

Allures-459-2018

Boat Review: Allures 45.9

Allures is not a name on the tip of many American sailors’ tongues, but it should be. After the debut of its 39-footer last year, the French company has made another significant entry into the U.S. midrange market with the Allures 45.9, an aluminum-hulled cruiser-voyager with ...read more

ZP-Sail-Away-pic-No

Jury-Rigging on Charter

A little know-how goes a long way on vacationThey say cruising is just fixing your boat in exotic places. Maybe that’s why so many people prefer to charter. After a week of sailing you pack your bags and step off your charter boat without another care in the world, leaving the ...read more

shutterstock_673678240

Chartering in Cuba, A Study in Contrasts

It was a bit of an unexpected flashback. After all, it had been decades since I lived in the old Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and yet the feeling that bubbled up was the same. I stuck my camera out the bus window to capture yet another of a dozen billboards dotting the ...read more

TRINKA-OVERTURNED_final

Experience: Misadventures in the Med

After crossing the Atlantic in 2011 and spending two leisurely years crossing the Med, I found a homeport for my Crealock 34, Panope, in Cyprus. In 2000, we had completed a villa in Tala and the little pleasure/fishing port in Latsi was a scenic 40-minute drive away.The ...read more