Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

St. Thomas International Regatta - Thrills and spills on day 1

by Carol Bareuther on 30 Mar 2014
The USA’s Rick Wesslund’’s crew battles with the spinnaker aboard the J/122, El Ocaso. Dean Barnes
Boom or bust was the big story for the 69-boat fleet racing on the first day of the 41st St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Thirty-plus knot guests tested the mettle of equipment and crews as the fleet sailed along the island’s south shore into scenic Charlotte Amalie harbor and back again amidst a mix of sun and squalls.

'The winds were great today. We loved it,' says Australia’s Robert Date, at the helm of his RP 52, Scarlett Runner, with a 15 strong crew. Date set sail last July on a circumnavigation to race some of the world’s great regattas. He chose three events in the Caribbean – the STIR, Les Voiles de St. Barth and Antigua Sailing Week. Scarlett Runner finished fourth in the six-boat CSA Racing 0 Class, where the lead is tied on points between Near Miss, Switzerland’s Franck Noel’s TP 52, and Tonnerre de Breskens 3, the Netherlands’ Peter Vroom’s Ker 46.


The team aboard El Ocaso, the USA’s Rick Wesslund’s new J/122, also enjoyed the brisk breeze as well as finishing at the top of the 10-boat CSA Racing 2 Class. 'It went well. We had a good day,' explains Kyle Jones, primary trimmer. 'The course was fun and the squalls make it extra difficult. All and all it was good, especially since this was only the third time we sailed the boat in competition. The first was Key West Race Week and the second the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.'

Puerto Rico’s Angel Ayala wasn’t as happy when a squall blew at the start and caused his J/80, Sun Bum, to broach and snap the boat’s shrouds in the process. 'We feared the mast might go, so we sailed in under jib,' explains Ayala, who hopes to race Saturday after rigging repairs. Meanwhile, fellow Puerto Rican sailor, Francisco Figueroa, aboard his J/24 Colibri, leads the CSA Racing 3 Class.

In the unmeasured ToT (time-on-time), a new fun class added this year, St. Croix’s Tony Sanpere was ready for the start aboard his Catalina 30, Nauticayenne. Unfortunately, Sanpere’s high hopes came crashing down along with his mast some 150 feet off the dock. 'It has arthritis,' Sanpere joked about his 1976-built boat. Sanpere has won his class many times in this event over the past four decades. Kastor Polux, a Moorings 4300 sailed by the USA’s Jerzy Poprawski, leads this class.

In other classes, St. Croix, USVI’s Morgan Dale, aboard his Melges 24, Boogaloo, tops the CSA Racing 1 Class; the BVI’s Jon Charlton, driving his C&C 41, Reba – Team Red Stripe, is in the lead in the CSA Non-Spinnaker Class; and Puerto Rico’s Marco Teixidor, at the tiller of his Cachondo, is winning the highly-competitive one-design, 15-boat IC-24 Class. Finally, USVI’s sailors John Holmberg and Terri McKenna finished strong and the front-runner in the Beach Cat Class aboard their Nacra 17, Flight Risk. Holmberg and McKenna hope to represent the USVI in the 2016 Summer Olympics in the Nacra 17.

Racing continues Saturday off the southeast side of St. Thomas. The Captain Morgan Yacht Haven Grande Party, with Spectrum Band on stage, takes place from 6:30-11 p.m. Sunday features the final day of regatta competition. Up for grabs is who will take their place on the podium. Music by Full Circle greets the fleet from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The Regatta Awards Ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. on the St. Thomas Yacht Club beach, followed by the Final Fling party with Ah We Band playing from 7-11 p.m.


Weather Routing Inc. (WRI) is the Official Weather Provider for the STIR and will provide forecasts by 6 a.m. daily during the regatta. These forecasts are available here. Weather maps and products specifically created for this event are also available at this link.

For more information about the STIR and real-time results, click here or, follow for the latest information on Facebook, Instagram #IRRSTYC and Twitter @IRRSTYC.

Insun - AC ProgramWildwind 2016 660x82KZRaceFurlers

Related Articles

Oman Air team looks to Madeira to boost them up the ESS rankings
The crew of Oman Air are hoping next round in Madeira will give their campaign momentum to win Extreme Sailing Series. The crew of Oman Air are hoping the next round in Madeira will give their campaign momentum to win the globe-straddling Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Queen Mary 2 leaves French four in her wake but resists luffing
Queen Mary 2 powered into commanding lead of over 250 miles after 24hrs of racing in The Bridge Centennial Transat race After enjoying a magnificent start from the place of its birth in St Nazaire on Sunday, the Queen Mary 2 has powered into a commanding lead of over 250 miles after 24 hours of racing in The Bridge Centennial Transat race. She has left the four giant trimarans in her long wake.
Posted today at 4:52 am
America's Cup final day action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from America's Cup - Finals and prize-giving. Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from America's Cup - Finals and prize-giving.
Posted today at 4:12 am
73rd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Entries open
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) today released the Notice of Race for Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2017 The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) today released the Notice of Race for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2017, inviting eligible yacht owners to enter what is widely regarded to be one of the world’s toughest offshore racing challenges.
Posted today at 2:43 am
Maserati Multi70 back in action ahead of Transpacific Yacht Race
Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 Maserati Multi70 is back on the water in San Francisco after a two-month overhaul It is the fourth major offshore challenge for Maserati Multi70 in the last 10 months - following on from the Rolex Middle Sea Race and RORC Transatlantic Race in 2016 and the RORC Caribbean 600 Race earlier this year.
Posted on 26 Jun
Heading south for the second event of the GC32 Racing Tour
Having finished fourth in the first event on Lake Garda in Italy, Team ENGIE descends on the Mediterranean for a rematch All the competing GC32 teams are eager to try out racing at this new sailing venue. Measuring up against Sébastien Rogues’ Team ENGIE, the other teams, who come to Sardinia in peak form, will leave the French team little room for manoeuvre.
Posted on 26 Jun
America's Cup Match – Kiwis at Match Point and banter continues
I caught up with Peter Burling, just before he had to run off to be drug tested, and I recap the highlights While James Spithill was again missed in the mix zone for most except for ACEA related media and CNN (he does have a bit on!!!), while filming my Nautical Channel piece (out in a few hours) and my summary I also caught up with Tom Spithill.
Posted on 26 Jun
Queen Mary 2 takes on trimarans as Centennial Transat begins
Many thousands lined the harbor and shore to welcome the Queen Mary 2 into the Brittany harbor where she was built. This time the cannon shots were sounds of fraternity to begin the race between the Queen Mary 2 and four of the largest and fastest trimarans in the world. The start to ocean races are always emotive affairs but rarely are they so loaded.
Posted on 25 Jun
Ran Racing wins at the Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series
First across the finish line in the first race was Bronenosec, who got their first first place finish at this event A final day that saw Niklas Zennstrom's Ran Racing on the top step of the podium followed at just one point by Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec. Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing finished in third place.
Posted on 25 Jun
52 Super Series Audi Sailing Week – Rán Racing rise to win
Without question this fourth regatta of the 52 Super Series has been an emotional roller coaster for many teams. While there was elation for the ice cool Swedish owner-driver and his hard working crew there was huge disappointment for Quantum Racing and for Provezza who both within minutes of each other had one hand on the top prize, before gear failures successively dropped them from contention.
Posted on 25 Jun