Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

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.

Zhik Dinghy 660x82NaiadT Clewring AC72

Related Articles

Azzurra wins the second day of the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
The second day of racing at the classic regatta hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda saw a big shakeup in positions. The day’s very light breezes forced the Racing Committee to substitute the scheduled coastal race with a windward/leeward race that began at 2:00 PM in light and unstable breezes that tended to shift towards the right.
Posted today at 6:26 pm
Underdogs and top dogs sniff out the best breeze at 52 Super Series
In a shifting light-breeze which kept tacticians on their toes, home favourites Azzurra scored their first race win. The gentle breeze moved 50 degrees right over the duration of the race, requiring successive changes to the course axis on each leg of race three of the series. It proved a good day for the underdogs too as XIO and Paprec, two of the oldest boats in the fleet, scrapped over the early lead.
Posted today at 5:29 pm
2016 TP52 Super Series – Race three images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three
Posted today at 4:51 pm
My Road to Rio – Part 5 – Maria Erdi
Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Following nervously back in Balatonfured, Hungary was father Gabor, mother Gabriella and siblings Julia, Anna, Gabriella and Janos.
Posted today at 4:36 pm
Three extra places for the Vendée Globe 2016
At a meeting held today with the organisers and skippers, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement. At a meeting held today (Wednesday 29th June) in Les Sables d'Olonne with the organisers and skippers competing in the eighth edition, Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement.
Posted today at 4:14 pm
Volvo Ocean Race - Change to Leg 3 and Asian stopovers announced
Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced a change to the route posted on the Official Noticeboard Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced a change to the route posted on the Official Noticeboard, and the effect is to have the fleet sail the almost the complete length of the Southern Ocean from Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn. The fleet will now spend three times the amount of time in the Southern Ocean than enjoyed in the previous two editions of the race.
Posted today at 2:07 pm
Volvo Ocean Race to be contested over longest distance in history
Tough, intense, and featuring almost three times as much Southern Ocean sailing as the previous edition The 43-year-old race around the world – the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors, against each other across the world’s toughest oceans – will start from Alicante in late 2017 with a 700nm sprint to Lisbon, Portugal that will provide the first test of the form guide.
Posted today at 12:48 pm
Rio 2016 - Southern Spars makes move into sports composite engineering
Cycling New Zealand has partnered with a world-leading composite design and construction specialist, Southern Spars. Cycling New Zealand has partnered with a world-leading composite design and construction specialist, Southern Spars. Southern Spars is better known for designing and manufacturing masts and rigging for the world's fastest race yachts and most luxurious superyachts. The North Technology company will be providing wheels to the 2016 New Zealand track cyclists at the Rio Olympics in August.
Posted today at 12:41 pm
Brakes off as strong westerly propels the Clipper Race fleet forward
LMAX Exchange is in second place with Derry~Londonderry~Doirechasing hard now just 10 nautical miles behind in third. ClipperTelemed+ is leading the fleet again after emerging from its Stealth Mode cloak of invisibility last night; and boat speeds have been high throughout the fleet as the teams enjoy steady trade wind conditions with spinnakers flying in building winds.
Posted today at 11:52 am
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted today at 7:42 am