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Caribbean Regatta Preview – April through August 2012

The Caribbean’s regatta season shows no signs of slowing come the late spring and summer. You can still find a number of regattas for everything from big boats to dinghies, racers to cruisers, on islands from north to south. The following is a sample of these events.

APRIL

April 2nd – 7th: Les Voiles de St. Barth

Sixty-plus yachts are expected, including classic yachts like the 52-footer, Dorade. “We added a TP class and are thrilled to host Vesper, Power Play, Mayham and Highland Fling VII,” says organizer Annelisa Gee. “These boats boast some of the best crews. We’re also excited to see the likes of the new F class boat, Firefly.” Racing will be competitive, Gee continues, “with Rambler 90 trying for a hat trick.” Food, music and sport highlight the lay day. www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com

April 5th – 9th: Bequia Heineken Easter Regatta

Some 50 to 60 yachts, plus 30 to 35 local double-enders, are expected to compete. “The Bequia Sailing Club is delighted to welcome on board regional banking and investment group First Citizens as a Premier Sponsor of the Bequia Heineken Easter Regatta, and title sponsor of Easter Friday’s full day of racing,” says organizer Nicola Redway. On Saturday, the J/24s will be competing for the United Insurance three-race Challenge, while Sunday’s Single-Handed Race and Monday’s final day of yacht races are all are assigned to regatta title sponsor Heineken. “With varied and challenging courses for no less than five  Classes – Racing, Cruising I, Cruising II (liveaboard) and two one-design classes, one for the superfast French ‘Surprise’ boats and one for the J/24s –  there really is something for everyone!” says Redway. www.begos.com/easterregatta

April 5th – 9th: Montego Bay Yacht Club Easter Regatta

This holiday regatta features the Great Yacht Race from Mosquito Cove to Montego Bay on April 5th, followed by the two-to-three race per day Easter Regatta April 7th to 9th, with some races to Round Hill, others to Half Moon and still others in and around the bay. Nearly 10 J/22s will race in a one-design class and an equal number in the cruising class. “This year the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club in Kingston is planning a round island cruise to coincide with the regatta,” says organizer Richard Hamilton, who adds, “Montego Bay Yacht Club has a fantastic reputation for friendliness and offers full services to visitors and their boats.

www.mobayyachtclub.com

April 19th – 24th: Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

A record 60 boats are expected with the most exciting and largest entry to date, the new 183ft Andre Hoek-designed schooner, Athos. “Elena of London, a Herreshoff 180ft gaff schooner, is also returning for this year,” says chairman Kenny Combs. Races start and finish outside Falmouth Harbour and courses are 20-miles off the south coast. New this year is a question-and-answer talk on classic boat design by Halsey Herreshoff and Terry Nathan. www.antiguaclassics.com

April 29th – May 4th: Antigua Sailing Week

The new Yachting World Round Antigua Race will take place April 28th, just prior to Antigua Sailing Week (ASW). “It’s open to all boats including classics,” says organizer Alison Sly-Adams. “Entrants don’t have to take part in ASW; this race is scored separately.” Sailing week racing will take place on the south coast and all boats will return to marinas in English Harbour and Falmouth Harbor rather than at stop-overs such as Jolly Harbour or Dickinson Bay. www.sailingweek.com

May 11th – 13th: Anguilla Sailing Festival

Winds usually in the 13 to 18 knot range with challenging shifts rounding offshore keys make round the buoy racing exciting. Spinnaker, non-spinnaker, open, multihull, Anguilla racing boats and West Indies workboats are welcome. “All monies go to the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club,” says organizer Steve Donohue. “We have taught the sport of sailing to over 200 youngsters, with half on full scholarship. The school boasts its own clubhouse with over 30 boats including Opti’s, 420s, Lasers and Hobie Cats, along with a full time instructor, all made possible through the regatta and donations.”

www.anguillaregatta.com

May 18th – 21st: Captain Oliver’s Regatta

Forty boats in six classes are expected to compete. “We hope to attract local sailors who don’t have a boat of their own with a one-design Sunsail 44 class,” says coordinator, Rikke Speetjens. “We have a package that includes yacht rental and hotel stay.” Also new is Optimist racing in cooperation with the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. “The theme is ‘La Joie de Vivre’ and we aim to provide the ingredients for this at Captain Oliver’s Regatta,” says Speetjens.

www.coyc-sxm.com

May 16th – 20th: Tour de Guadeloupe

Forty yachts will leap-frog their way around Guadeloupe in this unique sailing event with nightly parties. The regatta starts and finishes in Pointe a Pitre, with stops at St. Francois and Les Saintes. “A new leg will be from Marie Galante to Dominica,” says organizer Jean Michel Marzio, president of the Triskell organization.

May 25th – 27th: Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta

To swell participation, a Classic Plastic open fleet was added for designs over 30 years old. “This means that folks from the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club, St Thomas and Puerto Rico, who have beautiful old boats can come over and enjoy an unusual race with good company,” says organizer, Mike Kirk. “Two races always make it a good day’s sailing, which we try to finish about 4pm in time for the prize giving and party.” For information, Email: martin@sailsistership.com

June 22nd – 24th: Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta

Eight-to-fifteen-year-olds from throughout the Caribbean, U.S. and world are expected to sail in this the largest youth regatta in the Caribbean. A three-day clinic, one-day team race and three-day regatta are highlights.

www.styc.net

July 7th – 8th: Firecracker 500 Race

This West End Yacht Club regatta features one long race from the Jolly Roger in the BVI’s Soper’s Hole, using the Thatches and Sandy Cay as rounding marks. This is one of four Gosling Cup Series events for 2012-2013.

For information, Email: martin@sailsistership.com

August 25th –26th: St. Lucia J/24 Championships

Up to sixteen races are planned for this competitive regatta where teams set sail in one of the St. Lucia Yacht Club’s six J/24s. “Like any one-design class, it’s ideal as everyone is on equal footing and it does not come down to how large your wallet is but rather how well you and your team sail. With so many races the odd mistake gets evened out over the series,” says the club. stluciayachtclub.com

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

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