Near Record Fleet Set to Sail in Puerto Rico Heineken International Regatta

 Sailors from throughout Puerto Rico and the northern Caribbean have converged in Palmas del Mar Yacht Club & Marina for the Puerto Rico Heineken International Regatta and Puerto Rico International Dinghy Regatta.

“This is exhilarating,” said regatta director, Angel Ayala, as skippers continued to register. “We have exceeded our expectations in terms of number of boats. For example, there are 10 to 12 Hobie Cats, the biggest fleet of IC24s that I’ve seen here at around 10, and we’re up to 34 of the bigger monohulls so far.”

Skippers and their crews hailing from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten and more, will be sailing in six classes:

Racing, Racer-Cruiser, Performance Cruiser, Jib & Main and one-design classes for J/24s and IC/24s.

“We’ll offer a mix of windward-leeward courses for the one-design and racing classes,” says Ayala. “There will be courses with reaches for the cruising classes. We may run a distance race to Vieques for some classes.”

Racing begins Friday with the first start at 10 a.m. The forecast calls for northeast winds at 10 to 15 miles per hour.

Registration for the Puerto Rico International Dinghy Regatta will take place on Friday. This event will be based at adjacent Punta Candelero and include Optimists, Lasers and Snipes as well as Kite-boarding.

The Palmas del Mar Yacht Club is located inside the resort community of Palmas del Mar, in Humacao. The 162-slip marina is managed by Island Global Yachting and offers state-of-the-art facilities for yachts up to 200-foot.

The Puerto Rico Heineken International Regatta is the second leg of the Cape Air Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit (CORC), which started in February with the St. Croix Yacht Club Hospice Regatta, continues with the International Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas, March 25 to 27, and concludes with the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, March 28 to April 3 out of Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola.

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