Home » Sail » Caribbean Regatta Preview: January to March

Caribbean Regatta Preview: January to March

Hard on the wind during Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week
Hard on the wind during Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week

Resilience is a great way to describe why this list of winter/spring Caribbean regattas is as big as it is! Organizers and volunteers, especially those in the hurricane hit northern Caribbean, are bouncing back and ready to welcome visiting sailors. No storm can take away what the Caribbean offers and that’s the best sailing in the world!

 

Perfect conditions for Tony Lawson’s MOD70, MS Barbados Concise10 to really show her true colors
Perfect conditions for Tony Lawson’s MOD70, MS Barbados Concise10 to really show her true colors

January 16 – 24
Barbados Sailing Week
Formerly the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, this week-plus event starts with three days of coastal racing, ends with the Ocean Passage Race to Antigua and in-between is the 82nd Mount Gay Round Barbados. “The 60-nm Round Barbados Race offers speed sailing enthusiasts a chance to enjoy spectacular sailing on a race circuit with uninterrupted winds and an opportunity to win their skipper’s weight in rum if any of the 20 records are broken,” said press officer Sue Pelling, in a release. www.barbadossailingweek.com

January 29 – February 3
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week
Thirty-five to 40 entries are expected, ranging from the swift-sailing RP 37, TAZ, to classic Alfred Mylne 65, The Blue Peter. “New, will be a south coast start, with the scenic Secret Harbour Marina as welcome host venue,” says organizer Rosie Hoggarth. “Thereafter, the fleet moves to the west coast to the Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina and The Victory Bar for the last two days of racing and the grand finale party and prize-giving.” grenadasailingweek.com

 

Super Yacht Challenge, Antigua. Photo: Emma Louise Winn Jones
Super Yacht Challenge, Antigua. Photo: Emma Louise Winn Jones

January 31 – February 4
Superyacht Challenge Antigua
The 105-foot sloop, Danneskjold, 112-foot Spiip and two Hoek designs: the 90-foot cutter, Arcadia and 172-foot ketch Elfie are among entrants. “The eighth edition features five races held over four days,” says press officer Louay Habib. Shoreside parties are a key part of this regatta for yachts 80-foot-plus. Held in historic Nelson’s Dockyard, these include a Welcome Cocktail Party at the Boom Restaurant, themed Cook Off and prize-giving at the Admiral’s Inn. www.superyachtchallengeantigua.com

 

Winners in the Pan Pepin International Dinghy Regatta, Club Nautico de San Juan. Photo: Virginia de los Reyes/Club Nautico de San Juan
Winners in the Pan Pepin International Dinghy Regatta, Club Nautico de San Juan. Photo: Virginia de los Reyes/Club Nautico de San Juan

February 3 – 5
Pan Pepin International Dinghy Regatta
Optimists, Lasers, 420s and Sunfish are among the classes that race in this event hosted by the Sailing Academy at Club Nautico de San Juan, in Puerto Rico. “We hope to have greater participation than last year, including sailors from the U.S. Virgin Islands, USA, Mexico and Guatemala,” says sailing director Pedro Fernández. www.academiadevela.com

February 6 – 10
The Round Martinique Regatta
Set for the week before the island’s carnival celebrations, there’s a new five-day format, says organizer Claude Granel. “Four days of sailing from Tuesday until Saturday with a day off. On land, everything will be concentrated around the capitol city of Fort de France.”  www.theroundmartinique.com

 

Jolly sailing at the Jolly Harbour Valentine Regatta
Jolly sailing at the Jolly Harbour Valentine Regatta

February 9 – 11
Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Valentine’s Regatta, Antigua
More than 30 boats, including UK entries Northern Child, Southern Child and Scarlet Oyster as well as local boats Huey Too, Full Monty and Cricket, are entered. “The club is introducing new courses which take the boats further off island,” says Commodore Grahame Williams. “This allows participation of larger keel boats. We’ll also have a fun race Friday afternoon, so boats see the location of the marks.” jhycantigua.com

 

French West Indies – Schoelcher International Sailing Week
French West Indies – Schoelcher International Sailing Week

February 9 – 13
Schoelcher International Sailing Week
Sailors from Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Barth, St. Lucia and Martinique as well as France, Switzerland and Norway are registered. “The Laser Standard class, which has been absent for many years, will be back and give a new impetus to this series,” says director Michel Zougs. Optimists and windsurfing are other classes. www.cnschoelcher.net

February 17 – 19
Sweethearts of the Caribbean & Classic Yacht Regatta, BVI
Based out of the loyal West End Yacht Club’s new home, Admirals Marina, in Soper’s Hole, this event is known for its sailing and camaraderie. “We will attempt to open up all races for greater participation and fun, with interesting, sometimes challenging courses, entertainment, good venues and a new generation,” says WEYC commodore Louis Schwartz. www.facebook.com/groups/weycbvi

 

The race that took the Caribbean by storm – RORC Caribbean 600. Photo: Emma Louise Wyn Jones
The race that took the Caribbean by storm – RORC Caribbean 600. Photo: Emma Louise Wyn Jones

February 19
RORC Caribbean 600, Antigua
Over 40 yachts, everything from maxis to multihulls, racing to cruising yachts were entered for this 10th anniversary 600-mile 11-island race by last November. “This includes three Gunboats from the U.S. competing for the first time,” says press director Trish Jenkins. “These are Arethusa, skippered by NYYC Commodore, Phil Lotz; Flow, sailed by owner Stephen Cucchiaro, and Elvis, skippered by two-time Melges 32 World Champion Jason Carroll. caribbean600.rorc.org 

 

World famous St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Photo: OceanMedia
World famous St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Photo: OceanMedia

March 1 – 4
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
On the sea, there won’t be any changes for the expected 120-plus yacht entries. That is, the winning format of multiple start areas with their own Race Committee, Friday’s Around the Island Race and all finishes in Simpson Bay will stay the same. On land, “we’re building a regatta village that will serve as a centralized location where competitors can socialize, have a beer, eat foods from many of the island’s restaurants and enjoy performances by regional and international artists,” says regatta director Michelle van der Werff. heinekenregatta.com

March 15 – 18
St. Barth Bucket Regatta
The 108-foot Ribelle, launched in 2017, will make her St. Barth debut in 2018, as will My Song, a newly built 130-foot Baltic yacht. “Plus, there will again be the magnificent J Class yachts,” says event manager Jeanne Kleene. “There will be an extra day of racing for these yachts on Thursday. The well-received Corinthian Spirit Class debuted in 2017. The ORC is the rating rule for this class and makes it easier for these essentially ‘non-spinnaker’ yachts to enter and compete.” www.bucketregatta.com

 

Hot racing in the USVI – Saint Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Photo: Dean Barnes
Hot racing in the USVI – Saint Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Photo: Dean Barnes

March 23 – 25
St. Thomas International Regatta
The theme for the 45th STIR is simplicity, meaning great racing by day and beachside toes-in-the-sand barbecues at night. “Fleets of IC24 from the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are expected to be strong, with charters of these homegrown vessels available for racing teams from the St. Thomas Sailing Center, at the St. Thomas Yacht Club,” says regatta director Chuck Pessler. www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com

 

Wave on a wave – BVI Spring Regatta. Photo: Todd VanSickle
Wave on a wave – BVI Spring Regatta. Photo: Todd VanSickle

March 26 – April 1
BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival
New is the ‘Full Moon Race, 64 Islands – One Brilliant Night’, on March 27. “This race will be added to the Round Tortola race,” says regatta director Judy Petz. “After completing the anticlockwise circle around Tortola, boats will continue on to circumnavigate the BVI sailing through the moonlit night over 165 miles.” The rest of the week follows with the Sailing Festival and main event three-day spring regatta. www.bvispring regatta.org

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