The 2009 International Rolex Regatta hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club, with racing scheduled for Friday, March 27 through Sunday March 29, is lowering entry fees by 25% and offering IRC boats free dockage at two island marinas.
"There are plenty of great reasons to sail in the International Rolex Regatta," said Event Co-Director John Sweeney, noting that this is the 36th running of the event, "but every year we work to make it better, especially for those bringing their boats from greater distances.”With the economy as it is, providing logistical aid for visiting yachts and making the event more affordable this year feels like the right move."
The 25% cut equates to a $100 discount for boats sailing IRC, CSA and One-Design, and $50 off for beach cats. Organizers also are standing by to provide logistical assistance for owners and captains who are coming to the regatta.
"If you plan to stay on a mooring near the Club, we’ve got one with your name on it," said Sweeney, emphasizing the user-friendly aspect of the regatta. "If you want to drop your hook at nearby Christmas Cove, we provide free launch service. If you prefer to be on a full-service dock, American Yacht Harbor ( www.igy-americanyachtharbor.com) and Yacht Haven Grande ( www.yachthavengrande.com) are offering free dockage and space for containers on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested yachts must register and make a request to regatta directors, since availability is limited. Either marina is a short cab ride to the St. Thomas Yacht Club for the parties and a 20-minute motor out to the racing areas."
Shore-side parties are, of course, being planned. "Every night we have colorful live entertainment and low-cost options for dinner," added Sweeney. "The International Rolex Regatta remains a part of the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series and last year attracted the attention of campaigns from the States and Europe when it became the first Caribbean regatta to offer IRC racing classes."
The International Rolex Regatta is followed by the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival and links the two events to make Virgin Islands Race Week (VIRW), now in its second year. "VIRW offers eight days of racing in a 10-day period," said Sweeney. "You’ll experience two days of low-key, fun races and lay days bracketed by six days of more intense competition."
The regatta’s long time PROs are Dave Brennan and Dick Neville and chief judge is Arthur "Tuna" Wullschleger; all are from the Storm Trysail Club. They run a quality blend of around-the-islands and windward/leeward courses, with mid-morning starts right off the club.
A.H. Riise, Official Retailer of Rolex watches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, takes an active role in sponsorship of the event.
Preview submitted by International Rolex Regatta