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Thursday, February 22, 2024
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HomeSail50% Entry Discount Ends December 31, 2023 – 50th Anniversary St. Thomas...

50% Entry Discount Ends December 31, 2023 – 50th Anniversary St. Thomas International Regatta, March 29-31, 2024

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It’s a must-do! The 50th Anniversary St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) will see a mix of newcomers and returning racers, underscoring this ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Regatta’s’ bucket-list attraction. Over 50 yachts are expected to race in this Easter holiday event, set for March 29-31, 2024, and hosted at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC). Enter now (yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eid=16227) and save 50%! This offer ends on December 31, 2023. Everyone is invited! STIR 2024 invites CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association-handicap rule), racing, cruising, and bareboat classes; ORC; Large Multihulls; Hobie Waves; and One-Design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet.

“We invite you to enter now and celebrate with us at the 50th Anniversary of the St. Thomas International Regatta. What started as a casual two-day sail has grown into a major three-day regatta that attracts some of the best global sailors including Olympians and One-Design World Champions, to generations of podium-placing Caribbean teams. The friendly island-style vibe of a club-run event held beachfront combines with professionally set courses by some of the best race management to offer the best of both worlds,” says Pat Bailey, who co-directs STIR 2024 with Greer Scholes.

Pay only U.S. $200, or 50% off the regular entry fee, between now and December 31, 2023. Entry is $170 for IC24s and $100 for Hobie Waves. From January 1, 2024, the entry fee increases to U.S. $400, with IC24s entry at U.S. $340 and Hobie Waves at U.S. $200. A limited number of IC24s and Hobie Waves are available for charter.

Enjoy an extra day of racing by entering the Round the Rocks Race on March 28 at yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eid=16226 The entry is $50, and the course is around the beautiful neighboring island of St. John, home of the Virgin Islands National Park.

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Sneak Peek at Early Entries

Over a dozen boats are registered to date for STIR 2024 and feature a mix of newcomer and veteran teams.

“The boat and the majority of the crew have never been to St. Thomas before, so we are looking forward to the new experience,” says Mark Spearman, captain of the JPK1180, Dawn Treader, based in Hampshire, Great Britain, and sailing under the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. “We are a British team consisting of family and friends who like to also race at the top level around the world. We are looking forward to the warmth, wind, blue waters, and awesome hospitality that we have heard the STIR has to offer. We are also looking forward to the short distance, or non-windward leeward style of racing, as we are predominantly a boat that goes well reaching.”

M2, one of the Cape 31s that raced in STIR 2023, will return for a second year, says Hart Jordan, one of the team’s professional sailors. “Comprised of nearly all Northern California locals, we’re looking forward to being back in the warmer weather and good winds of St. Thomas. Coming off a successful end to our 2023 campaign in the San Francisco Big Boat series, we genuinely look forward to being back to where our 2023 season began.”

Fresh off a 9th place finish overall in the Sunfish World Championships against 100 boats from 15 countries, St. Croix, USVI’s Peter Stanton will be back racing his IC24, Big Island.

“My team will be comprised of my brothers, Scott and Chris Stanton, as well as Angelo Raimondi from St. John. We have all grown up sailing together and against each other in the USVI and have raced in many STIR regattas in the past,” says Stanton.

Asked if his recent Sunfish success gives him an edge in the one-design racing, Stanton says, “They are totally different boats, but sailing is sailing! That’s what’s great about our sport of sailing, you can jump from one class of boats to another. It may take adjustments here and there, but when it comes down to racing tactics it is all pretty familiar. You just have to eliminate mistakes as much as you can and make sure you, your crew, and your boat are prepared!”

Escapado, a Beneteau First 40.7, is a race charter team entered by the UK-based Sail Racing Academy. Company manager, Germaine Williams, will take the helm, assisted by the newest team member, Andy Parritt, along with apprentices, Oscar Ballentyne and James Bathurst.

“STIR tends to be one of our most popular races each year. With its diverse range of talent, it inspires our crew members who also join us with varying levels of experience. Our younger and newer sailors can see others in similar positions as them, but both they and our more proficient sailors can look up to the seasoned professionals,” says Anne Tyler Morgan, chief operations officer. “There’s a real sense of community and camaraderie amongst the various crews at STIR. With several friendships having started here in previous years, we’re excited to be seeing old faces and meeting new competitors.”

Calling all volunteers for the 50th Anniversary STIR! Help is needed on both land and sea, with volunteers receiving free STIR-logo shirts. Ocean Surfari, a 2012-founded charter company in the U.S. Virgin Islands, returns to sponsor the iconic STIR 2024 volunteer shirts.

“My wife Wendy and I have been sailing since 2008 and lived on our sailboats for 11 of the last 15 years. We have enjoyed regattas both here in St. Thomas and on other islands. We are proud to support both this year’s 50th Regatta and the St. Thomas Yacht Club that shares the sailing passion with so many young people in the USVI,” says Marc Blackburn, owner.

The Ocean Surfari Team, courtesy Ocean Surfari.

Ocean Surfari grew to four retail stores this summer with the addition of a store in Downtown, Charlotte Amalie, on the Waterfront. Three other locations are in Havensight and Red Hook, St. Thomas, and Cruz Bay, St John. Those looking for last-minute holiday presents can get the year’s hottest gift from Ocean Surfari, Fahlo animal tracking bracelets (shop.oceansurfari.com/us/search/fahlo/. Use the code Save20 to save 20% on the first order of all gear including the Fahlo bracelets.

STIR organizers also thank The Moorings and Cardow for strong sponsor support.

Get Ready, Get Set….

Bring your own boat (BYOB) or charter!

Caribbean Regatta Logistics, owned and operated by St. Thomas native Ben Beer, can assist owners and teams in bringing their boats to race. Call or Text (340) 998-6203; Email: benbeer13@gmail.com), or visit stthomasinternationalregatta.com/faq/caribbean-regatta-logistics/)

Chartering makes it especially easy to fly in, jump on a race-ready yacht, and sail! IC24s are available for race charter from the St. Thomas Sailing Center (STSC), visit stthomassailingcenter.com/st-thomas-international-regatta. New for 2024, the STSC is introducing its ‘STIR: Race with a Pro’ option. To learn more, visit stthomassailingcenter.com/stir-race-with-a-pro Or, Email: info@stthomassailingcenter.com, or call (340) 690-3681.

Additionally, the J/120, J-aguar is available for charter from www.caribbeanraces.com or Email: mrbenjelic@gmail.com.

LV Yachting, based in the UK, is offering five vessels for charter: Pata Negra (Marc Lombard IRC 46), El Ocaso (J/122), Panacea X (Salona 45), Emily of Cowes (Elan 450) and an XP50. To serve, visit www.lvyachting.com or Email: chris.b@lvyachting.com

The STIR Website is regularly updated regarding race charter opportunities.

For more information, visit www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com, Email: manager@stthomasyachtclub.org or Regatta Co-Director Pat Bailey at simpleislandboy51@gmail.com, or call (340) 775-6320. Check STIR out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/stirvi), Twitter @stirvi, and Instagram #STIRVI

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