The Caribbean regatta season kicks-off with the St. Croix International Regatta, set for November 15 to 17. It’s a perfect occasion to get boats back in the water after hurricane season and polish crew skills for a great race season ahead. Entries already registered include Annick, helmed by regatta founder Nick Castruccio, the BVI’s Richard Wooldridge on Triple Jack, Robbie Ferron’s Katzenellenbogen out of St Maarten and, continuing the longest running multihull racing rivalry in the Caribbean—at 25 years and counting—Joe San Martin on Piglet and Llewellyn Westerman aboard his locally-built Mongoose 37, Charis+.
New this year, explains regatta organizer Karen Stanton, “We will offer two regattas in one. A two day regatta for those sailors who love to race but can’t take the time for a three-day event, and a three-day regatta for those who don’t want to travel all the way here for just a two-day event. The entry fee is $150 for all.”
The St. Croix International Regatta starts with the Commodores Race on November 15. Several races are planned for this day with great prizes for the top three boats in each class. Then, on November 16 and 17, there’s the traditional racing for a prize of the skipper’s weight in rum for all classes with seven or more boats. Last year, out of a fleet of 24 boats divided into four classes and hailing from the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, it was St. Croix’s Jack Bishop who drove his J/100, Bad Girl to a first in the highly-competitive Spinnaker Class and won his weight in rum. The first three finishers in all classes will receive awards at the beachfront ceremony on November 17. Courses include point-to-point racing in Buck Island harbor for the race boats and a course set into Christiansted Harbor for the cruising boats. Results will be posted live on the regatta’s website as well as on a wide-screen TV set up at the host St. Croix Yacht Club, in Teague Bay.
Shoreside festivities include the Welcome Rum Party, plus live bands all weekend. The Heineken Barge will motor up from Christiansted to the yacht club docks for Friday and Saturday entertainment. This means live music from the water so sailors can listen while relaxing on the beach and watching fire dancers perform.
Condos are available near the yacht club very inexpensively on a first-come, first-serve basis. To find out more and to register online, visit: www.stcroixyc.com
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.