Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

International Rolex Regatta - 2012 edition the most diverse yet?

by Barby MacGowan on 16 Mar 2012
Class IC 24 off St. Thomas - International Rolex Regatta 2011 St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery
The International Rolex Regatta reflects in its name a tradition of attracting sailing teams from around the world. From this perspective, its 2012 edition will prove to be the most diverse ever, with entries from the USA, Russia, Sweden, The Netherlands, Monaco and beyond. The 2012 edition is set to get underway on 23 March and will be hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club.

The three-day event, scheduled for March 23-25, is hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club, which for 39 years has devoted itself to producing this regatta’s famed offerings: three days of high-quality racing and serious fun in an inspiringly scenic island atmosphere.

The International Rolex Regatta is one of only two in a line-up of several springtime Caribbean regattas to host dedicated racing under the internationally recognized IRC handicap system, which results in some of the world’s best sailors and grand-prix racing machines finding their way to the starting line.

Among them this year will be Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Monaco and his new 52-foot Reichel/Pugh designed Highland Fling. Sailing with him will be America’s Cup notables Peter Holmberg, who is serving as tactician and also is renowned as St. Thomas’s homegrown Olympic medalist, and the USA’s Matt Wachowicz and Mike Toppa, serving as navigator and trimmer, respectively. The remainder of the crew hails from Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, with most counting this as their first time competing at the International Rolex Regatta.

'We are a brand new boat, and a good result would be a bonus,' said Holmberg, confirming that his team is looking forward to racing around the islands with the other 52-footers entered, including Ashley Wolfe’s (CAN) Mayhem and Peter Cunningham’s (Cayman Islands) PowerPlay.

'The other 52s are more refined and sorted, so I expect them to have the advantage. That being said, some smart ideas were put into our design, and hopefully they will start showing their merit.'

Also racing under IRC will be International Rolex Regatta veteran Bill Alcott, who will be sailing his newly acquired Farr 65 Equation (formerly Rosebud, the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner).

'We are still basically an amateur-sailed boat,' said Alcott, who thinks his new Equation is a 'bucking bronco' compared to the Andrews 68 Equation he owned prior to this, 'but necessarily, there are a few more professionals onboard to supplement the same gang I’ve been sailing with for years. Racing the world’s best 52 footers is going to be tough, but it’s hard to call; more than likely, the game is going to go to who makes fewer mistakes.'

Also in IRC, an international team from Russia will be led by Alexander Markarov aboard the chartered X-65 Karuba 5. 'We have some very experienced sailors, but we have intermediate and beginners, too,' said Markarov. 'We’re looking forward to joining the permanent crew on Karuba 5 and hope she will perform well in competition with the other very serious crews and great boats.'

One of Karuba 5’s main competitors will be Bob Erixon’s (SWE) 81-foot Maxi Rothmans. Originally built to compete in the 89-90 Whitbread Round the World race, the legendary yacht has been restored to its original form and will be skippered by Sweden’s Klabbe Nylöf, with navigator Torsten Ulfeld and tactician Patrik Salén joining Erixon in the afterguard.


'The expectations of this regatta are to get in some fun and interesting races, with great winds in nice weather conditions,' said Veronica Widell, a spokesperson for the team. 'What attracted the team to this event was that they have heard a lot of good things about the regatta. The event has a great reputation, and Klabbe Nylöf has participated in the Rolex Regatta before; he had a great time and wanted to do it again.'

Currently, the St Thomas Yacht Club anticipate dividing the fleet into two IRC classes, four classes for CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association) handicap racing and one each for IC-24s and Beach Cats. There is an 1100 AST start time for each day, beginning with Friday’s picturesque and traditional distance races from the east end of St. Thomas to Charlotte Amalie Harbour and back.

The tactically demanding Pillsbury Sound Race in and among the cays of St. Thomas and St. John is Sunday’s highlight. This 'Sunday drive' has decided final standing in most classes in each of the last five years. The culmination of the International Rolex Regatta’s lively competition is a presentation on Sunday of coveted Rolex timepieces to winners in select classes.

International Rolex Regatta website

Naiad/Oracle SupplierProtector - 660 x 82Insun - AC Program

Related Articles

A Few Rays - When you think of sunscreen as a filter....
If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? Where the skin is exposed and a sunscreen is working for you, it is filtering UV rays. Some of those rays always get through. The percentage of the high energy UVB rays (said to cause sunburn) that get through to cells in the skin can be determined by the claimed SPF of the product you are using.
Posted today at 10:26 am
Charleston Race Week - Overall report
Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule for the Charleston Race Week 2017, it was the first time this system was used in a major North American regatta. Thirty boats raced in four separate ORC Classes at this event.
Posted today at 8:22 am
World Cup Series in Hyères – Racing needs to be fast, not the food
Spanish sisters, Carla and Marta Munté Carrasco, sail together in the 49erFX and know they have a problem. Many sailors will be brimming with confidence after browsing the weather forecast and will be striving for gold in Hyères. But it is a team small in stature that know exactly where they stand in terms of performance that intrigues.
Posted on 24 Apr
New addition to North Sail for Volvo Ocean 65 racing machines
Their sails have powered eight out of nine Volvo Ocean Race winners since 1989-90, with Steinlager 2. Instead of assembling cloth panels into a particular sail shape, the Volvo Ocean Race sails are composites. This means that 3Di material 'tapes' are laid in a specific arrangement, offering stable structure to the sail where it is needed most.
Posted on 24 Apr
Experience is key as Team Oman Air prepare for Extreme Sailing Series
Team Oman Air skipper Phil Robertson says his crew's unrivalled experience could prove vital to victory in second round Known worldwide for hosting sailing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Qingdao is notorious for its ability to catch crews off guard with a fickle breeze that can go from next to nothing to gale force in a matter of minutes.
Posted on 24 Apr
FAST40+ Spring Regatta - Preview
The second event in a busy FAST40+ season will be the FAST40+ Spring Regatta, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The second event in a busy FAST40+ season will be the FAST40+ Spring Regatta, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. FAST40+ Race Director, Stuart Childerley, sets the scene for the event.
Posted on 24 Apr
Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race crew Zuzana Vybiralova
A first for Clipper Race, Zuzana Vybiralova will make history this year as first Czech Republican to take part in race A first for the Clipper Race, crew member Zuzana Vybiralova will make history this year as the first Czech Republican to take part in the race in eleven editions.
Posted on 24 Apr
Melges 24 European Sailing Series - And the winners are…
Maximum number of races sailed in almost perfect conditions was a result of three-day Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta Maximum number of races sailed in almost perfect conditions was a result of three-day Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta - the season opener both for the 2017 Melges 24 European Sailing Series and Melges 24 Italian Sailing Series. Andrea Racchelli and his team on Altea ITA722, the winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, were showing their superiority since the beginning of the regatta
Posted on 24 Apr
Champions crowned after tricky finale at Sperry Charleston Race Week
Charleston is known for its reliable spring seabreeze, but the Holy City’s coast outdid itself this year Charleston is known for its reliable spring seabreeze, but the Holy City’s coast outdid itself this year during the 22nd edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week. It wasn’t just the three race days either; from the first team’s arrival for practice more than a week earlier until the lengthy awards ceremony on Sunday night, reliable southerly winds buffeted the region, ensuring maximum racing
Posted on 24 Apr
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr