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April to June Spring Regatta Preview 2010

Regatta season in the Caribbean continues to be ‘hot’ as winter gives way to spring in April, May and June. There are events in the north and south, for hard-core racers and cruising racers, as well as accompanying parties in every port. Here’s a preview of what’s happening (see www.allatsea.net for our January article on the first quarter’s races and a full calendar.)

March 25-28: St Barthelemy Bucket. The Bucket is an invitational regatta, open to yachts over 100 feet (31 meters) L.O.A., organized by The Bucket Association, St. Barth, FWI. The event is affiliated with and sanctioned by the Federation Francais de Voile (FFV). www.bucketregattas.com

March 29-April 4: BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Over 100 racing yachts are expected to compete in the April 2 to 4 BVI Spring Regatta, which follows the three-day Sailing Festival, a low-key warm-up to the main event. “In the exotic, big and sexy department we have word that a number of new boats will be joining us,” says Linda Phillips, press director. Bella Pita, a Trip 75 with a deep lifting keel complimented by 1250 liters of seawater ballast; Ran 2, a 72-footer owned by Skype founder, Niklas Zennstrom; and Titan 15, Tom Hill’s new Reichel Pugh 75, are a few of the new entries. “The big boats will be doing a lot of island touring with all of the classes having a say in what types of courses they sail,” says Phillips. New this year, are the addition of the BVI Windsurfing Championship; the International Yacht Club Challenge, where yacht clubs from around the world are invited to send teams; and an additional Performance Cruiser class. www.bvispringregatta.org

April 1-5: Around Guadeloupe Regatta. Sail around the archipelago of Guadeloupe and enjoy a party in every port, while sampling the folklore, customary Ti Punch and traditional Zouk music of this French West Indian island over the Easter holiday. “We expect between 45 to 60 boats, everything from mono and multihulls to sport boats like Hobie 18s,” says Jean Michel Marziou, president of the Triskell organization. The event departs from Marina Bas Du Fort, Pointe a Pitre. www.triskellcup.com

April 2-5: Bequia Easter Regatta. A record 50-plus yachts, everything from one-design sport boats to a fleet of sprit-rigged double enders from Bequia and the Grenadines, will compete in this annual holiday regatta. “What’s new and exciting for this year is the J24 Southern Caribbean Champion being crowned in Bequia,” says Nicola Redway. The J24 Class, started in 2005, has become a magnet for J24s throughout the region. Like last year, there will also be a one-design class for the 26-foot French Surprise, which draws many entrants from Martinique. Festivities include daily prizegiving at local venues and live music. Layday fun includes the popular crazy craft race and sandcastle building competition for the kids. www.begos.com/easterregatta

April 6-11: Les Voiles de St. Barth. Classic, Superyachts, Racer-Cruisers and Racing Multihulls will converge on St. Barth for this inaugural weeklong event. “We hope that for this maiden event that no fewer than a hundred of the greatest yachts will be appearing here,” reports race director Luc Poupon. America’s Cup skippers like Peter Holmberg and Russell Coutts will drive some of the most spectacular yachts, while famed photographer Patrick Demarchelier will catch the action. On shore, there will be a special village for nightly festivities. www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com

April 15-20: Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Serious racers and family cruisers come out for this classic yacht regatta. “We will probably have between 50 and 60 yachts this year,” says chairman, Kenny Coombs. www.antiguaclassics.com

April 24-30: Antigua Sailing Week. A new tweaked format reintroducing lay day and the Dickenson Bay Beach Bash is what sailors will find this year. Serious big boat racers will especially enjoy the Ocean Series, a three-race series that includes the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race (April 23), Yachting World Round the Island Race (April 25), and Round Redonda Race (April 28). Key players such as ICAP Leopard and Sojana have already indicated interest. This year, three British Services Transglobe 67ft steel-hulled, former BT Global Challenge yachts, will also compete. www.sailingweek.com

May 7-9: Anguilla Regatta. Both traditional wooden race boats and fiberglass production boats are featured at this event. Sailors can go ‘mix up’ and try racing a type of boat they’ve never sailed before. www.anguillaregatta.com

May 13-16: 25th Annual Mount Gay Boatyard Regatta, Barbados. Racing, cruising, J24 One-Design and Multihulls are invited to race in the annual event, sailed in Carlisle Bay. Enter and earn the right to wear the distinctive red cap. www.sailbarbados.com/events_MG.html

May 28-30: Puerto Rico Vela Cup. Some 50 yachts are expected to compete in this third annual event at the Yacht Club Palmas del Mar, ranging from big boats to Snipes and Hobie Cats. All registered sailors receive a free boat slip and breakfast. “Each class will be very competitive, but only one sailing crew will win the Cup,” says Ivonne Paniagua. Festivities include live music, a fashion show, raffles and Puerto Rican Rum and wine tasting.

June 25-27: Statia and Nevis Offshore Regatta. “This is fun because the race officers fly to Statia and Nevis in their own planes,” says Petra Gilders, of the host St. Maarten Yacht Club. “Last year, a seriously fast catamaran, Karibuni, actually beat the planes to their destinations!” This regatta is open to all classes. www.smyc.com

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