'Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay won the IRC Division at the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s International Rolex Regatta in 2012'
Rolex/Ingrid Abery ©
St. Thomas Yacht Club’s 2013 International Rolex Regatta will be different. First, the event will get underway a week earlier than normal, on Friday, 22nd Match and will run through Sunday, 24th March. This is in order to accommodate holistic shifts on the Caribbean regatta calendar that have been planned jointly by various event organisers to give sailors a better flow to their Spring racing vacations in the Islands.
Second, it will be the International Rolex Regatta’s 40th Anniversary, which guarantees some extra surprises and celebrations that will follow the event’s successful formula of matching up laid-back beachfront fun with a sophisticated touch by Rolex. And third, the Melges 32 class, one of the most competitive in the world, has made the event a destination for its new three-event Caribbean series in 2013.
This is good recognition from a strong class,' said International Rolex Regatta Chairman Bill Canfield, 'and the fact that we are the only event that is not stand-alone in this class’s Caribbean series speaks volumes about our professional race management team.'
Canfield added that the St. Thomas Yacht Club is the Storm Trysail Club’s southern station, and its race management team has a stellar reputation. For handicap (IRC and CSA), One-Design and Beach Cat classes, the International Rolex Regatta traditionally offers a variety of courses ideally configured to test a sailor’s skills while showcasing the stunning shoreline. Included are the first day’s 'Harbor Races' from the club to Charlotte Amalie Harbor and back, testing everyone’s focus; the second day’s 'Island Race,' testing navigational nerve by sending competitors short tacking the length of St. John’s south shore and back; and the final day’s 'Sound Race,' testing one’s determination on complex courses around the cays of Pillsbury Sound.
For the IC-24 class, which has been part of the regatta since its inception 15 years ago, there are up to 18 windward/leeward races held over Saturday and Sunday to replace the longer races that the other boats sail. Like the IC-24s, a one-design class can be established with a minimum of six boats.
While The racing is serious (the International Rolex Regatta remains a part of the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series), nightly beach parties and an unforgettable send-off on Sunday by title sponsor Rolex lend more spirit and color to the occasion than a Mocko Jumbie at Carnival.
'Reliable winds every day, terrific competition, a challenging mix of courses, and of course plenty of camaraderie, good food and drink at great parties every day—the 40th Anniversary of the International Rolex Regatta will be a regatta to remember in 2013!' said Canfield.
by Barby MacGowan
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5:11 PM Thu 16 Aug 2012GMT
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