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HomeSailGet Ready to STIR Up the Fun! 47th St. Thomas International Regatta...

Get Ready to STIR Up the Fun! 47th St. Thomas International Regatta Set for March 27-29, 2020

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Photo: J/121 Apollo racing in STIR 2018. Credit: STIR/Dean Barnes
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St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Register now and get ready to STIR Up the fun! The St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), set for March 27-29, 2020, is the place to be for world-class racing and the chance to trade tacks and tactics with America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean and Olympic crews on the water and off. What’s more, enter the Round the Rocks Race, a circumnavigation of the neighboring island of St. John on March 26, for an extra day of competition. Add the one-stop venue at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) and quintessential Caribbean vibe and it’s easy to see how STIR earned its motto, ‘We Love It Here’ You will too!

“STIR offers the best of Caribbean racing and it is all done out of STYC in Cowpet Bay,” says Bill Canfield, who co-directs STIR 2020 with Pat Bailey. “We are known as the ‘friendly regatta’ as we cater to your needs before and during the event. Join us in March and find out why ‘We Love It Here’.”

Every One & One-Designs Are Invited

Everyone is invited! STIR 2020 invites CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association-handicap rule), racing, cruising and bareboat classes; IRC; ORC; Multihull, Beach Cats and One-Design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet. Some of the hottest classes will be the one-design. Over 20 IC24s are anticipated to be on the start line for STIR 2020. The fleet of Hobie Waves is growing too.

Owners of the J/121 Apollo are already making plans to race in STIR 2020.

“STIR 2018 was a first for many of the crew on Apollo; what an awesome event,” says Denise Bienvenu, who captains the boat for owner and avid racer, Donald Nicholson, of Weston, MA. “I strongly believe that point-to-point racing using a mix of government marks and islands as turning points is such fun. The racing format, the quality of racing, the professionalism of STIR’s race officers, the hospitality of the St. Thomas Yacht Club and its members – all this helps to make STIR an event that should be on every Caribbean sailor’s schedule.”

Two entries that raced last year are looking at logistics for a hopeful 2020 return.

“What we really appreciate about STIR is the regatta’s ability to find the perfect balance of very intense racing and fun. We’d love to be back,” says Larry Huibers, who helmed Touch2Play, a Reflex 38 owned by Canada’s Rob Butler.

Last year, Salt Lake City, UT-based sailor and New York Yacht Club member, Sandra Askew raced her C&C 30, Flying Jenny, in STIR.

“I love St. Thomas. Races are run very well. I’d like to support STIR 2020 if I can,” says Askew, who has since purchased a new IC37.

BYOB or Charter

Bring your own boat (BYOB) or charter! Chartering especially makes it easy to fly in, jump on a race-ready yacht and set sail! Over half dozen outfits are offering vessels to charter either by the boat or crew spot for STIR 2020.

One of these is the St. Thomas Sailing Center (stthomassailingcenter.com), with its fleet of IC24s. These highly competitive converted J/24s are available for the 3-day STIR, a practice day and 30-day Bluewater Membership at the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Prices are $2200 for a boat with good sails and $2700 with new sails. To reserve, Email: [email protected] or call (340) 690-3681.

Photo: IC24s race in STIR 2019. Credit: STIR/Dean Barnes

For something bigger, Antigua & Barbuda-based Ondeck (www.ondecksailing.com) is chartering its Beneteau 40.7 (Ortac) and Farr 65 (Spirit of Juno) for STIR 2020.

“Racing in a Caribbean regatta like STIR is a bucket list item for many people and one that many believe is unattainable, but it is accessible even for non-racers, novices and cruisers looking to step into something new and exciting. Ondeck offers options from whole bareboat race charter to offering individual places. It’s wonderful seeing teams’ bond and work well on the water and party hard off the water,” says Peter Anthony, OnDeck director.

Beyond this, the J/120, J-aguar, is available by the yacht or crew spot from www.caribbeanraces.com as is the J/122, El Ocaso, from www.caribbeanyachtracing.com. Charter the Beneteau First 40.7, Escapado, from www.sailracingacademy.org or either the Beneteau First 47.7 (EH01) or Grand Soleil 43 (Jua Kali) from www.performanceyachtracing.com There’s a race charter for every type of sailor from LV Yachting (www.lvyachting.com): Swan 80 (Umiko), Volvo Ocean 65 (formerly Vestas 11th Hour), GP42 (Phan), Figaro 3 (production foiling one-design monohull), RP45 (Katsu), JPK 1180 (Sunrise), Sunfast 3600 (Jellyfish), Grand Soleil 50 (Sidney 2), Sigma 38, Beneteau First 40 and TS5 (Blackjack; 52-foot performance catamaran).

Book Flights and Accommodations Now!

Hands-down, STIR is the easiest to reach of all the Caribbean regattas. Host destination, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, welcomes daily non-stop flights on five major airlines from U.S. mainland gateway cities. These include:

● American Airlines (Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York and Philadelphia)

● Delta (Atlanta, New York)

● jetBlue (Boston, San Juan)

● Spirit (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando)

● United (Chicago, Houston, Washington Dulles, Newark)

For accommodations, there are some 2,500 rooms on St. Thomas, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, resorts, timeshares, etc. Plus, approximately 600 villa units and 200 charter yachts on St. Thomas/St. John. Airbnb listings number over 1,000 on St. Thomas. Airbnb ranked St. Thomas its No. 1 destination in 2018. For more information about the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit: www.visitusvi.com

50% Discount on Registration – Win Free Performance T’s

Register now for STIR 2020: yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=9666. Compete in CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association) Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker; IRC; Multihull; CSA Bareboat; Beach Cat or in One Design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet. Pay only US $150, or 50% off the regular entry fee, between now and January 31, 2020.

Early birds can win customized long-sleeve high-performance team shirts! The name of your registered vessel may be randomly drawn to win this highly coveted prize. The drawings will take place October 31, November 30 and December 31.

Also, sign up for the March 26 Round the Rocks (RTR) race (yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=9665). The course is a circumnavigation of the neighboring 19.6-square mile island of St. John. Entry $50 per boat.

World-class racing, the chance to trade tacks with America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean and Olympic crews on the water and off is what earns STIR its motto, ‘We Love It Here’ You will too!

For information, Visit: www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com, Email: [email protected], Call (340) 775-6320. Check STIR out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/stirvi), Twitter @stirvi and Instagram #STIRVI

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


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