PxPixel
The Very Best in Caribbean Racing - Sail Magazine

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

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more

Navy-Sand-Dune_1080

Tucket Footwear’s Giller Shoes

Just for KicksMove over Crocs, there’s a new plastic shoe in town. Unlike the aforementioned fashion crimes, Tucket Footwear’s Giller shoes are made for boating. Water will get in, yes, but it will also run straight out again via rows of “scuppers” in the uppers and a dozen drain ...read more

01-m3113_git170829-294

France’s Maxi-tri Ultime class

It’s hard to believe how far foiling has come since the Moth class figured out how to reliably take to the air in the early 2000s.Was it really only in 2013 that the America’s Cup was dragged kicking and screaming into the foiling world by Emirates Team New Zealand back in San ...read more

GGTobagoCays

Cruising: Guadeloupe to Grenada

Our Dream Yacht Charter delivery started as a “wouldn’t it be fun if” idea. Those are usually misguided, if not downright stupid. But a Bali 4.3 named Jumelles (French for “twins,” appropriately) needed to leave Guadeloupe to do heavier charter work in Grenada, and as soon as I ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comWhen I bought my boat it had 18 through-hull fittings. To reduce the number of holes in the hull (I ultimately cut them by half), I first re-plumbed the drain hoses from my sinks, scuppers, bilge pumps and ...read more

rokk

Scanstrut: ROKK Charge+

It RokksWith the increasing use of smartphones and tablets for in-cockpit navigation comes the issue of keeping these devices charged, since running nav software will drain those batteries in no time. Scanstrut has come to the rescue with the ROKK Charge+, the first-ever ...read more

GreenCove2-2048

Liveaboard Voting Rights Threatened in Florida

Bucking decades of precedent, a Florida elections officer is refusing to allow customers of a popular mail forwarding service to register to vote in his county. Since 1988, St. Brendan’s Isle of Green Cove Springs in Clay County has provided transient Americans with mail ...read more