Please select your home edition
Rooster 2023 - LEADERBOARD

49th St. Thomas International Regatta Day 1

by Carol Bareuther 24 Mar 19:07 PDT March 24-26, 2023
St. Thomas' Peter Corr's Blitz team on the rail on day 1 of the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta © Dean Barnes

Like the cork popping on a bottle of champagne, nearly 50 hot racing yachts shot over the start line this morning on the first day of racing in the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta.

Courses set along the islands, rocks, and cays off St. Thomas's south side proved competitive in winds blowing an idyllic 13 to 15 knots from the east-northeast, albeit increasingly shifty in the afternoon. The fleet, racing in CSA handicap and one-design classes, spanned from 24- to 70-foot vessels with skippers and crews hailing from the Caribbean, USA, Europe, and Australia. As the sea spray settled at the close of competition, early class leaders emerged and set themselves as the boats to beat during the next two days of racing.

Class Recap

The team aboard Stark Raving Mad IX, the USA's Jim Madden's Carkeek 47, concluded the three-race day happily in the lead of the two-boat Spinnaker Racing 0 class.

"Many of the events we do are windward-leeward courses around the buoys. It's like NASCAR, all left turns, and it can be boring. Round the islands racing is much more fun," says Anthony Kotoun, tactician aboard Stark Raving Mad IX.

In Spinnaker Racing 1, St. Thomas' Peter Corr's Summit 40, Blitz, ended the day with three first-place finishes in as many races.

"The first race today was the best, most steady wind we had. It was a nice and clean race. Race two, another short one, went well too, but the wind started to get shifty. The third race was a long one, up off the south side of St. John and ultimately around Moravian Point. That's a natural mark and as in past years, there was no wind. Plus the seas were really choppy, but once we rounded that point, the wind filled in right to the finish."

Flying Jenny, the USA's Sandra Askew's Cape 31, which won its class in Thursday's Round the Rocks Race, held true to top the Spinnaker Racing 2 class today. The real story of the day was how the lone Melges 32, Puerto Rico's Jaime Torres' Smile & Wave, landed in second in this four-boat fleet with three Cape 31s.

"We had our first taste of racing against a Cape 31 last year in the BVI Spring Regatta," tells Torres. "What I think was incredible about today is that we beat Flying Jenny in the second race by less than a minute on corrected time. It was that tight. What that means for us now is that we know we can beat them, so the pressure is on us to do that. It's really all about sailing at the very top of your game in a class like this."

In Racer-Cruiser CSA 3, it was the Dominican Republic's Joan Rodriguez' Beneteau First 40.7, Lady M, that topped the scoreboard in this 12-boat class. Rodriguez last sailed this event two decades ago. Finishing mid-fleet in 6th in this sizable class was Puerto Rico's Fernando Montilla, who has raced in this regatta for over 30 years.

"The main strategy was to stay away from land and out further in the ocean where the wind was stronger," says Montilla, who skippered his Tartan 10, Timon II. "But the thing we liked best was the start. We had so many boats on the start line and there was so much energy."

Finally, racing was razor sharp in the one-design IC24 class with St. Thomas' Cy Thompson and his Bill T team posting four first-place bullets in five races. While not first, St. Maarten's Frits Bus is glad to be back after last sailing STIR in 2017.

"The wind was up and down, especially in the last race. It provided something for everyone. In a class like this, one wrong move or getting caught in no wind means several boats can pass it. It's that close," says Bus, who helmed Island Water World/Desperado.

Schedule of Events

Racing continues Saturday and Sunday with the first starts at 11 a.m. Racecourses will be set off the southeast, northeast, and east of St. Thomas and in Pillsbury Sound between St. Thomas and St. John, with specific courses for each class designated daily by the Race Committee based on weather.

To follow the action and see photos from the day's racing, check out STIR on Facebook (, Twitter @stirvi, and Instagram #STIRVI.

Real-time results for STIR are located at

Strong Sponsor Support

STIR organizers thank the USVI Department of Tourism; The Moorings; Cardow Jewelers; Bacardi Rum, Milagro Tequila, Stoli Vodka, and Leatherback Craft Beer, distributed by the West Indies Company, and Carib Beer and Coors Light, distributed by Bellows International; Ocean Surfari; and The K3 Company for strong sponsor support.

For more information, visit

Related Articles

Early entry discount ends May 1
For 30th International Optimist Regatta, Clinic & Team Race Want to tune-up for the Optimist North American Championships in Antigua & Barbuda in July? Or learn new tactics for a summer of racing? Posted on 18 Apr
49th St. Thomas International Regatta overall
Privateer, Blitz, Flying Jenny, Lady M, Bill T & FiDeLa Class winners Mark Your Calendar Now – 50th Anniversary STIR – Easter Weekend – March 29-31, 2024 Posted on 27 Mar
49th St. Thomas International Regatta Day 2
Leads taken, leads lessened & leads lengthened Leads taken, leads lessened and leads lengthened summed up the second day of racing in the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta. Posted on 26 Mar
St. Thomas Round the Rocks Race
Flying Jenny & Chili Pepper win classes Over a dozen sleek sailing yachts raced counter-clockwise around the neighboring island of St. John under a mix of sun, squalls, and winds blowing 18 to 20 knots from the northeast in today's Round the Rocks Race. Posted on 24 Mar
2023 St. Thomas International Regatta interview
We talk with Pat Bailey about the 2023 St. Thomas International Regatta Sail-World checked in with Pat Bailey, regatta co-director of the 2023 St. Thomas International Regatta, via email, to learn more about this exciting Caribbean regatta. Posted on 21 Mar
STIR-Up the Fun!
2023 St. Thomas International Regatta starts this week Sailors from around the Caribbean and World are ready to STIR-up the fun this week at the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Nearly 50 yachts are expected to race in this 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Regattas' set for March 24-26. Posted on 20 Mar
Newcomers & Returning Racers set
For 2023 St. Thomas International Regatta It's a must-do! The 49th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) will see a mix of newcomers and returning racers, underscoring this 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Regatta's' bucket-list attraction. Posted on 10 Mar
New entries, new trophy, new prize bags from K3
The countdown is on for the 2023 St. Thomas International Regatta The countdown is on! The first horn on the start of the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) is only five weeks away. Some 50 yachts are expected to race in this event, set for March 24-26, 2023, and hosted at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC). Posted on 14 Feb
IOR 2023 at St. Thomas YC registration open
International Optimist Regatta, TOTE Clinic & TOTE Team Race set for June 12-18 Registration is open! The 30th anniversary International Optimist Regatta (IOR), the TOTE Clinic, and the TOTE Team Race will take place from June 12-18, 2023, at the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Posted on 30 Jan
St. Thomas International Regatta Early Discount
Enter before January 31 to benefit Check the box on your Bucket List today! Enter the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), set for March 24-26, 2023, Pay only US $170, or 50% off the regular entry fee, until January 31, 2023. Posted on 18 Jan
Doyle Sails 2020 - Redefining Boundaries 728x90 BOTTOMC-Tech 2020 Battens 2 728x90 BOTTOMSOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 Bottom