St Thomas Yacht Club @ Mon Jan 7 09:44:00 2008
The Notice of Race and on-line entry for the 2008 International Rolex Regatta, scheduled for Friday, March 28, through Sunday, March 30, are now available at www.rolexcupregatta.com. (Entry before March 6 avoids a late fee.) The web site also has helpful travel information such as lodging options in St. Thomas and passport and Visa needs.
This year, there are two new reasons for sailors to plan a stay in the islands for the International Rolex Regatta.
IRC in the Spotlight
IRC will make a big splash in the Caribbean this year. The International Rolex Regatta joins the Presidente Cup and BVI Spring Regatta in offering IRC and CSA classes. These three events make up the southern circuit of the hotly contested 2008 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series (GSS
- www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=163).-the most popular being the home-grown IC24, which always has an impressive turnout.
“There will be competitive racing under both the IRC and CSA rules. With the addition of IRC for 2008 we are encouraging a larger international fleet,” said John Sweeney, co-director of the International Rolex Regatta. “We’ve had positive feedback from both State-side and European boats.” Dockage for the deeper-draft IRC boats can now be accommodated by the new Yacht Haven Grande in Charlotte Amalie, USVI (www.yachthavengrande.com)
Sweeney added that the International Rolex Regatta caters not only to handicap yachts but also to Beach Cats and one-design sailboats of 24 feet and longer
“The regatta’s popularity is attributable to its professional race management, dependable trade winds and varied and challenging schedule of races — including a mix of round-the-buoys and round-the-islands courses that make for serious competition,” said Sweeney. After racing, beachside social activities blend St. Thomas Yacht Club’s island-style hospitality with the outstanding camaraderie that hundreds of participants have come to expect each year.
Virgin Islands Race Week
Giving sailors and their families another good reason to put the International Rolex Regatta on their holiday calendar is the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Virgin Islands Race Week, presented by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. VI Race Week bridges the International Rolex Regatta (March 28-30) in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival (March 31- April 6), hosted out of Tortola & Virgin Gorda, creating a “10-day holiday” that offers both intense racing and quality family time. Sailors can customize their vacations by mixing and matching hard core racing, just-for-fun racing, and leisurely cruising with family activities such as shopping and golf outings on St. Thomas.
Those interested in VI Race Week should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no additional fee for entering, and prizes will be awarded to the top overall IRC and CSA yachts competing.
@ Mon Mar 26 11:18:00 2007
A third day of perfect trade winds and pleasant sunshine helped wrap up the International Rolex Regatta, where sailors on 87 boats have been competing in seven classes. The event, in its 34th year and hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club, is the oldest of the Caribbean’s popular Spring racing events and counts as the favorite for many, with its unique blend of around-the-buoys and through-the-islands racing mixed with lively local flavor and camaraderie ashore.
“This is one of the best island regattas because of the venue, the course selection, and the winds,” said defending champion Martin Jacobson (Greenwich, Conn.), whose Swan 44 Crescendo won today’s Pillsbury Sound distance race and added the victory to three others in his six-race series to secure victory in the Spinnaker Racing Cruising class. “It’s why we come back.” Jacobson’s class, along with four others on the Ocean Circle, sailed three windward/leeward courses on opening day and two middle-distance races (from the east end of St. Thomas to Charlotte Amalie and back) on Saturday. Today’s race, a navigator’s delight, totaled 21 miles and took about three hours for Crescendo to complete. Straight bullets marked the overall regatta performances of three winning teams, whose skippers were awarded with Rolex Steel Submariner timepieces as prizes.
One of those teams was Doug Baker’s (Long Beach, Calif.) Olson 30 J Bird 4 in Spinnaker Racing Class 3. About today’s racing, tactician Keith Kilpatrick (Newport Beach, Calif.) said a good start combined with the longer length of the course enabled his team to put more distance on the fleet than in the previous races. "Our strength is buoy racing, because there is not as much local knowledge involved " said Kilpatrick, adding that the boat’s southern California crew gets plenty of experience in that discipline from regularly sailing Baker’s Andrews 80 Magnitude. “Today on the first beat, we really didn’t know which way to go – but it was all fun.”
For Chris Stanton (St. Croix, USVI), who strung his victories together like a perfect pearl necklace in Spinnaker Racing Class 2, today’s winds, rather than local knowledge, helped put his Melges 24 Devil 3 ahead. “It seemed to start out light, but it got every bit as windy as the last few days,” said Stanton. “It was more southerly than usual, so the waves were not as steep as they can be in the Sound – it helped us in the smaller boats.” Sailors dubbed racing in this class the “battle of the Melges boats,” since three other Melges 24s and two Melges 32s also competed.
In the Non-Spinnaker class, which sailed only one race through the islands on opening day to include four races instead of six in its scoreline, it was Christopher Lloyd (Tortola, BVI) and his Beneteau 442 Three Harkoms who won all the races to easily defend his crown. “Nobody stopped working the whole time – that was the secret,” said Lloyd.
Carlo Falcone (Antigua), the winner of Spinnaker Racing Class 1 on his Vallicelli 44 Caccia Alla Volpe, today continued focusing on his closest competitor Clive Llewellyn (Paris, France) aboard the Grand Soleil 48 Mad IV. He finished second to Llewellyn’s first, but it was enough to edge Llewellyn out of first by two points. “We stayed close but had a bit of a cushion today,” said Caccia’s mainsheet trimmer Karl James (Antigua), who has represented Antigua twice in the Olympics in the Laser class.
The IC-24s, a fleet indigenous to the area, completed 13 races in their series, using this final day to complete five windward-leeward races on a separate racecourse instead of participating in the Pillsbury Sound race. Tieing on point scores were Mio Broadband’s Robby and Michael Hirst (Tortola, BVI) and Orion’s Fraito Lugo (Ponce, PR), with the tie-breaker going to Mio Broadband.
“On the last day you get more defensive if you have the lead, and it’s better to be on the offensive,” said Robby Hirst, who was the British Virgin Island’s Olympic representative in 1996 and has won the IC-24 class here now three times in a row. “We had very mixed results today, and we could see that Fraito was very focused.” Going into today, Orion was 12 points behind Mio Broadband, having made the major mistake of missing a mark of the course in yesterday’s second race and suffering dearly for it after having to turn back to re-round. Today, however, Lugo – who has won this event five times in a J/24 and another time in a Melges 24 – did a stellar job of “putting boats between us,” but it was just not good enough for the overall victory.
Enrique Figueroa and crew Jorge Hernandez, two names synonymous with Olympic sailing, easily won the race today and the Beach Cats class overall with their 20-foot Tornado Suzuki/Red Bull. The duo, which represented Puerto Rico in the Tornado class at the Athens Games and hopes to do so again at Quingdao in 2008, blew away their competition, but it was expected. Figueroa, either with is wife Carla or Hernandez, has won this regatta at least a dozen times. “It took us two hours to cover 37 miles today at an average boat speed of 15 knots,” said Hernandez, “and we smoked the big boats.” Hernandez said he and Figueroa used the regatta for testing equipment before heading off to Mallorca tomorrow for an international regatta. "When we sail in some beautiful place in Europe, and someone says what a nice day, I say ‘no, no, you haven’t seen a nice day until you’ve sailed in the Caribbean!’
The International Rolex Regatta is part of the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series 2007.
International Rolex Regatta – Day Three
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Skipper’s Name, Hometown, Results, Total Points
IC-24 (One Design – 19 Boats)
1. Mio Broadband, IC-24, Robby & Michael Hirst, Tortola, BVI – 1, 2, 3, 1, 3, 10, 1, 1, 1, 4, 5, 3, 12; 47
2. Orion, IC-24, Fraito Lugo, Ponce, PR – 2, 4, 6, 2, 1, 6, 3, 11, 2, 3, 1, 1, 5; 47
3. Bambooshay, IC_24, Chris Rosenberg, St. Thomas, USVI – 4, 1, 1, 5, 8, 5, 4, 10/SCP, 14, 1, 2, 4, 2; 61
Spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA – 6 Boats)
1. Caccia Alla Volpe, Vallicelli 44, Carlo Falcone, Antigua – 1, 3, 2, 1, 2, 2; 11
2. Mad IV, Grand Soleil 48, Clive Llewellyn, Paris, France – 4, 1, 1, 3, 3, 1; 13
3. Yeoman XXXII, Rogers 46, Barry Lewis, San Francisco, CA, USA – 2, 2, 3, 5, 1, 4; 17
Spinnaker Racing 2 (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Devil 3, Melges 24, Chris Stanton, St. Croix, USVI – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1; 6
2. Crash Test Dummies, Melges 32, Tim Kimpton, Diego Martin, Trinidad & Tobago – 2, 4, 5, 2, 2, 2; 17
3. Expensive Habit, J/100, Robert Armstrong, St. Croix, USVI – 3, 2, 2, 4, 4, 4; 19
Spinnaker Racing 3 (CSA – 17 Boats)
1. J Bird 4, Olson 30, Doug Baker, Long Beach, CA, USA – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1; 6
2. The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Kirby 25, John Foster, St. Thomas, USVI – 4, 6, 2, 4, 4, 2; 22
3. SP MRI & CT Center/Tax Return, J/24, Carlos Feliciano, Caguas, PR – 5, 4, 3, 8, 2, 3; 25
Non-spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA – 17 Boats)
1. Three Harkoms, Modified Beneteau 442, Christopher Lloyd, Tortola, BVI – 1, 1, 1, 1; 4
2. Affinity, Frers 49, Jack Desmond, Marion, MA, USA – 2, 5, 2, 2; 11
3. El Presidente, Thomas 35, Jeffrey Fangmann, St. Croix, USVI – 3, 4, 3, 3; 13
Spinnaker Racing Cruising (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Crescendo, Swan 44, Martin Jacobson, Greenwich, CT, USA – 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1; 8
2. Team Paul Mitchell, Beneteau First 40.7, Mark Palermo, Slidell, LA, USA – 3, 2, 2, 3, 4, 2; 16
3. Shamrock V, J/120, Thomas Mullen, Campton, NH, USA – 1, 3, 3, 5, 2, 3; 17
Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 12 Boats)
1. DRD/Suzuki/Red Bull, Tornado 20, Enrique Figeroa, San Juan, PR – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1; 6
2. Heineken, Hobie 16, Francisco Figueroa, San Juan, PR – 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2; 12
3. Fitness Warehouse, Hobie 16, Dennys Junco, Carolina, PR – 6, 3, 3, 4, 3, 4; 23
@ Fri Mar 23 10:22:00 2007
Blue skies, warm water and steady trade winds have reserved a presence in St. Thomas, USVI, where 87 teams are preparing for tomorrow’s opening races of the 34th International Rolex Regatta, the oldest and most revered of a string of popular Caribbean regattas spanning the Spring racing season. Hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club, the event runs for three days and includes handicap and one-design buoy racing in open water as well as around the picturesque islands and cays of Cowpet Bay and Pillsbury Sound. Caribbean-style beach parties and live music rule the afternoons and evenings, leading up to the Rolex Prizegiving, where – in keeping with more than three decades of tradition – the winning skippers in each class receive a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepiece.
“We have our traditional range of boats and mix of sailors, from weekend warriors to rock stars,” said co-chair John Sweeney, “but the level of friendly international competition in a laid-back atmosphere is what I believe draws sailors to our shores.”
The Ocean race circle will host three Spinnaker Racing classes and a class each for Spinnaker Racing Cruising and Beach Cats, while the Jersey Bay race circle, plotted closer to shore, will host the IC24 One-Design class and a Non-Spinnaker Racing class. Friday the boats will complete multiple around-the-buoys races, except for the Non-Spinnaker class, which will sail a single race through the islands. Saturday will serve up an all-classes distance race, along the south side of St. Thomas and finishing inside Charlotte Amalie Harbor, in the shadows of the cruise ships, creating a colorful spectacle for spectators. The fleet will then restart for a second race, reversing course back to the East End. On Sunday, a middle-distance race in Pillsbury Sound will provide more incredible vistas and a challenging course for the racers.
Defending champions in the spinnaker classes are Robert Armstrong (Christiansted, USVI) skippering the J/100 Expensive Habit; Martin Jacobson (Greenwich, Conn.) with his Swan 44 Crescendo, and Gliberto Rivera (Guaynabo, PR), sailing his J/24 Urayo.
In the Non-Spinnaker class, nine-time regatta winners Ellen and Tony Sanpere (Christiansted, USVI), with their Soveral 27 Cayennita, will attempt to keep their 2006 crown, while perennial Beach Cat class favorite Enrique Figueroa (San Juan), Puerto Rico’s multiple world champion and four-time Olympian, plans to add to his own string of Rolex victories aboard his Tornado Suzuki/Red Bull.
“I have been coming to the Rolex Regatta since 1979; it captivated me as a teen,” said Figueroa, whose Olympic crew Jorge Hernandez is crewing for him. “Racing around islands on little catamarans was really exciting for a 15-year-old, especially sailing back to PR (alone) after the event was over. Now we try to make it a family event since the location is ideal for the kids.”
Six-time Rolex winner Fraito Lugo (Ponce, Puerto Rico) returns to race an IC-24 (.Orion,) at the event for the first time. Unique to the Caribbean, the IC-24 is a hybrid design, constructed from an old J/24 hull with a new deck mold similar to the Melges 24. The class is extremely competitive and has attracted 19 entrants.
According to IC-24 skipper Anthony Kotoun, a St. Thomas native who also calls Newport, R.I., home, good local knowledge in this class will go a long way. “Everyone will have their hands full. You’ve got to be heads up on the distance courses, where there’s plenty of current, dead spots behind the tall islands and windshifts bending around all islands.”
Live results by Interactive Creations ( www.intercreate.com) will be posted on www.rolexcupregatta.com, where hometown rosters, nightly reports and photos also can be found. Daily video coverage will be available on demand by 9 p.m. each night at www.t2p.tv or by clicking on the TV icon on the regatta web site.
A.H. Riise, Official Retailer of Rolex watches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, takes an active role in sponsorship of the event. The St. Thomas duty free shop is one of the largest in the Caribbean and is located on the historic waterfront of downtown Charlotte Amalie. Rolex is known for sponsoring high quality events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds.
@ Wed Feb 21 10:20:00 2007
Going south for the winter has taken on new meaning for those entered in the International Rolex Regatta in the U.S. Virgin Islands. From March 23-25, 2007, the finest yachtsmen and women from around the Caribbean, United States, and Europe will indulge in three days of world-class racing on the warm, clear waters surrounding St. Thomas Yacht Club, the event’s host for 34 years. The culmination of the lively competition, which includes handicap and one-design racing around buoys in open water as well as through the picturesque islands and cays in Cowpet Bay and Pillsbury Sound, will be the presentation of a coveted Rolex timepiece to each class winner.
“With a month to go before registration closes,” said Event Co-Chair John Sweeney, “we are expecting our usual mix of veterans and an influx of new talent.”
Perennial competitor Bill Alcott (Detroit, Mich.), owner of the Great Lakes-based Andrews 70 Equation, will charter a Swan 60 for the competition. “I do what I call the trifecta – the International Rolex Regatta, the BVI Regatta and then down to Bitter End. It’s the best ten days of my life – it has been for decades, and I’m not stopping now.”
Doug Baker (Long Beach, Calif.), owner of the record-breaking Andrews 80 Magnitude, will sail an Olson 30 at the event with St. Thomas native Ben Beer aboard to serve as “local knowledge.”
Returning to the event is John Gallo (Princeton, NJ) and his crew aboard the J/41 Rivoli. Rivoli won the Around the Island Race in St. Thomas two years ago, and formerly, as Dazzler, won the Newport to Bermuda Race.
“We have quite a bunch of characters on our boat,” said crewmember Susan Wolterbeek. “John is an entrepreneur, pilot and former jockey; his captain, Jean Braure, is a three-time sailing Olympian and alpine guide.”
The USVI’s own Olympic aspirant in the 49er class, Anthony Kotoun, plans to skipper an IC/24 (20 of the indigenous boats are expected) or possibly switch to a Melges 24. “The International Rolex Regatta was the first pinnacle event I ever sailed in,” said Kotoun, who is fund raising in St. Thomas and his “other” hometown of Newport, R.I. “It was great when I was a kid, and it’s still great; with so much buoy racing I have to do, I still love ripping around the islands.”
Kotoun pairs with another local long-time International Rolex Regatta sailor Cy Thompson in his quest for Olympic gold; however, Thompson has collegiate sailing team commitments that are expected to keep him from competing this year in St. Thomas.
OnDeck, a company that runs excursion races in St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie harbor aboard its charter fleet of ocean racing yachts, will enter one of its Farr 65s with a supplied crew and offer another as a race-ready bareboat charter. The boats are likely to join Jim Muldoon’s (Washington, D.C.) Custom 70 Donnybrook and Clive Llewellyn’s GS50 Mad IV from France on the starting line.
The Governor’s Cup, supported by newly elected USVI Governor John deJongh and the V.I. Office of Tourism, will be awarded to the boat and crew that has traveled the farthest to race in the event. The winners will receive free accommodations at the Frenchman’s Reef Hotel for the 2008 running of the International Rolex Regatta.
Yachts will be divided into classes according to their ratings under the CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association) Rating Rule (www.caribbean-sailing.com), with special classes accommodating one-designs, multihulls and Beach Cats, as needed.
Volunteers Join the Fun
On the beaches of Cowpet Bay, the volunteers and staff of the St. Thomas Yacht Club will again demonstrate the personal touch and generous hospitality for which the International Rolex Regatta is famous. “Sailors and their families will renew old friendships and make new ones while experiencing the very best in food, parties, and entertainment,” said St. Thomas Yacht Club Commodore Thomas Moore.
Co-chairing the event are Sandy Symkens and John Sweeney, in charge of shoreside and on-water action, respectively. Denis Comment is Honorary Chairman, with Arthur Wullschleger and Ruth Miller serving as Chief Judges and David Brennan serving as Principal Race Officer.
Committee Chairs are:
Tara Ashmore – Treasurer
Joyce Bailey – Committee Desk
Shep Barrows – Race Committee
Walter Bostwick – Public Relations
Bill Canfield – Trophies/Awards
Rob Carlin – Parking
Gordon Hackstaff – Race Equipment
Terry Hudson – Dock Master
Dr. Carolyn Jones – EMS
Bill Newbold – House Committee
Frannie Newbold – Committee Desk
Lyn Reid – Registration
Ansen Sligar – Web Master
Amanda Symkens – Merchandise
Sandy Symkens – Events Coordinator
Christine Thompson – Sailing Liaison Officer
Barbara Vilmanyi – Beverages
Deadline for all entries is Monday, March 19, 2007.
For information on the International Rolex Regatta, contact Bill Canfield at email@example.com or 340-775-6320. The regatta web page is www.rolexcupregatta.com where further information and online-entry forms can be found.