“The St. Croix Hospice Regatta is a different experience from the other Caribbean regattas, each of which has its own flavor,” says Regatta Director Julie San Martin. She hopes the Cruzan flavor will appeal to many different kinds of racers during the regatta, February 19-20, 2010, and highlights some of the factors that go into it:
The Site. Unique in the Caribbean, the St. Croix Yacht Club is located on six beachfront acres on Teague Bay, a residential neighborhood on St. Croix’s east end. All activities, including Optimist racing, are on the beach, as is the clubhouse and 120’ dock. In addition to 32 dock slips, the large mooring field, easily accessed inside a protective reef, can accommodate up to 100 boats. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol attend on Friday, so that arriving visitors can complete their entry and exit documentation along with their regatta check-in conveniently. The Optimist sailors have their own clubhouse area in the event tent, as well as games on the beach and volleyball court.
The Sailing. Just about all sailing vessels are welcome at this regatta, from hi-tech racing machine to heavy-displacement cruiser, beach cat to live-aboard multihull, 19-foot keelboat to Optimist dinghy. Teague Bay, the Buck Island Channel and the vast Caribbean provide perfect venues for one-design racing, windward-leeward courses, and mid-distance racing, as well. The Race Committee endeavors to give a start to any class that requests it.
The Volunteers. The entire Yacht Club membership is involved in the regatta, either staffing the various committees or providing housing for visiting officials and many visiting Optimist sailors. This is our annual opportunity to host sailors from other islands, and we turn out for it. The visiting officials are also volunteers, and many have donated their time for decades. On-site first aid and hand-holding is provided daily by volunteers from the local hospice and medical communities.
The Activities. On shore, adults mix it up with the 8- to 16-year old sailors. During the racing, non-racers’ favorite activity is liming on the beach while watching the Optimists and the one designs go around the buoys. Tasty food and refreshing beverages from the Club caterer are available from dawn to dusk, and breakfast is free for competitors on Saturday and Sunday.
In the interest of getting them back on the water promptly, midday meal service is provided to the younger generation as part of the Opti entry fee. The rest of the time, they mix freely with the other competitors and Club volunteers, giving the event the feel of a family outing.
On-site entertainment happens nightly, and the all-volunteer hospitality staff can recommend local restaurants and arrange transportation for those who would like to see a bit of our lovely, off-the-beaten-track island. Wild parties? You’re as likely to see a 5-year old on the dance floor as a 20-, 40-, or 60-something.
Optimist prize-giving is first, featuring the winner on the giant scale for his or her weight in sports drink. Adults are encouraged to participate: the kids are high energy, full of surprises, and it’s a great opportunity to recruit crew from the up-and-coming. Later, the adult awards are presented, and the CSA Spin-1 winner gets his/her weight in Cruzan Rum.
“Our goal is family sailing and family attendance in an atmosphere of a community get-together,” says San Martin. “The Club volunteers attempt to welcome each competitor as if the regatta was held just for them. Extending the hospitality of St. Croix to visiting yachtsmen is part of our charter, and we take it seriously!”
Visit our website, www.stcroixregatta.com. Check out 2009 regatta photos and results; find information about the island, hospice, volunteering and sponsorship opportunities; then register to race – it’s free (entry fees aren’t due until check-in) – and isn’t that different!
More regatta info:
The St. Croix Yacht Club Hospice Regatta will be held February 19-21, 2010. Inspired by Competition ~ Enhanced with Compassion, the organizers aim to raise funds and awareness for hospice on St. Croix. Continuum Care, Inc. is a Medicare-certified USVI company providing hospice care in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Fiscal non-profit sponsorship, provided by the St. Croix Foundation, offers donors 501(C)(3) tax deductible sponsorship options at several levels.
The competition promises to be inspiring, with one-design and dinghy racing in Teague Bay and CSA handicap racing in the Buck Island Channel. Cruisers, live-aboards, and heavy displacement vessels with Simplified CSA ratings (to comprehend cubic feet of onboard refrigeration, drinkable canned goods and wine cellars) are invited for Hospice Class racing along the beautiful north shore of St. Croix.
For more information on the regatta, hospice, St. Croix, and sponsorship opportunities, see www.stcroixregatta.com, or contact Julie San Martin, Regatta Director, T-(1)340-690-9040, [email protected].