Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

What a day, what a race, what a yacht – Lionheart has won the America’s Cup J Class Regatta. The win comes after her triumphant performance in the America’s Superyacht Regatta where she was awarded the Boat International America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta Trophy. And we couldn’t be prouder to see her take the titles.

21 juni, 2017 – It was a fierce bout of racing on the final day of competition, with the record fleet of seven J Class yachts all determined to come away with the title. Going into the final day, it was Hanuman and Ranger at the top of the leaderboard with seven points apiece, with Lionheart just behind them and primed to pounce on eight.

The crew of Lionheart showed their big-hearted courage as they came back from a flat-footed start to roar down the last run. A penalty for a rules infringement as she approached the last buoy saw Hanuman’s hopes for the title dashed, while Lionheart kept focused in the fickle breeze.
Overhauling the leader, Topaz, and with Velsheda winning the second of the two races of the day, Lionheart was named the winner of the regatta – clear in front by three points.

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography.

Last week, she also won the earlier J Class regatta, competing among a wider fleet of 20 superyachts racing across several classes in the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta. Her strong performance was enough to not only be named winner of the J Classes, but winner of the America’s Cup Superyacht Yacht Regatta overall.

Congratulations to all onboard Lionheart who have worked tirelessly in the lead up to the regatta. It’s the latest in a string of titles for the much-loved beauty, including the Menorca Maxi J Class, Palma’s Superyacht Cup and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for the J Class.

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.comingrid@ingridabery.com+447768 698 316Strictly for a one-off social media usage by Claasen Shipyard only 21st June 2017. Not for third party usage. Not for re-use by Claasen or any third party at any time without prior permission and payment at Ingrid Abery Photography’s page rate.

From here, the 40.3 metre which we completed in 2010, will head to the J Class World Championships in Newport in the hope of adding to her list of wins.

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

Silencio: Ketch_Perini Navi_Perini_50.0m  Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

Silencio: Ketch_Perini Navi_Perini_50.0m
Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race1 (Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi)

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This morning, dockside at The Bucket, it sounded rather funny for sailors to be talking about a “Not So Wiggley Course” with such reverence, but when the day was done and a second of three races had entered the 2014 regatta history books, it was quite clear why. Mademoiselle, Elegante and Gazelle classes took on the long version (27.1 nm) of the course, which started on the west side of St. Barths and wound its way around smaller islands and rocks to the north, while the Grande Dames sailed the shorter version (22 nm) in winds that were a few knots less than yesterday’s yet just as feisty. The “not so” in the course description was obviously tongue-in-cheek, as the 38 superyachts -ranging in size from 27.5m/88′ to 66.7m/216′-zigged and zagged more than the usual number of times while crews executed numerous sail changes as well as spinnaker hoists and takedowns, alternately winding their charges up to gain advantage, then dialing them down to safely share close quarters at rounding marks with their magnificently sized competitors.

Saint Barth Bucket 2014  Gustavia Port in Saint Barth Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi — at Saint Barth.

Saint Barth Bucket 2014
Gustavia Port in Saint Barth Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi — at Saint Barth.

Leading in the Elegantes class after finishing third today and combining that with a first from yesterday is the 54 m/180′ Vitters Ketch Marie, whose tactician Tony Rey, in describing his day, was beaming like a little kid who had just gotten away with something bigger than he expected.

“Anybody who says superyacht racing is champagne and cocktails and taking it easy hasn’t been to The Bucket,” he said. “It’s an absolutely spectacular exercise in teamwork to get these things around the track.”

Rey said he was pleased with Marie’s start and the first third of the leg but then encountered the classic situation of gaining so much that suddenly the team was in the mix with way more boats than he was comfortable with. “It was just mildly terrifying, which is a typical feeling in the afterguards at Bucket Regattas,” said Rey, who counts this as his fifth Bucket Regatta aboard Marie. “This means we’re having a good day.”

Adele: Ketch_Vitters_Hoek_54.6m Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race 1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi  at Saint Barth.

Adele: Ketch_Vitters_Hoek_54.6m
Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race 1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi at Saint Barth.

Marie’s crew had a few missteps with its maneuvers (including “breaking a spinnaker and putting it in the water”), but others in the class did, as well, and six boats were abreast coming around Roche Table.

“It was absolutely spectacular; there were 40 meters on each side,” Rey said, alluding to the International Superyacht Rule that requires boats to leave 40 meters in all directions between themselves and their competitors. “I didn’t need sun screen because there was shade from all the sails.”

 

Seahawk: Ketch_Perini Navi_Holland_58.6m  Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014Race1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi  at Saint Barth.

Seahawk: Ketch_Perini Navi_Holland_58.6m
Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi at Saint Barth.

Seahawk, in Grande Dames class, hit the rocks off Roche Table but was able to clear itself and sail to fifth, nevertheless, claiming the top spot on the leaderboard for a second day.

When Clan VIII briefly lost its steering at the same spot, it infringed on the rights of Zenji, causing Zenji to miss a turning mark, but, as is the case in most such Bucket instances, the Clan crew gracefully accepted its penalty and no doubt plans to supply some drinks to the Zenji crew at the Bucket Bash later this evening.

“This was the kind of day that taxes bow and mast teams first because of the physical hoists and drops,” said Jonathan Kline, the safety officer aboard Clan VIII, “then safety officers and tacticians second because of the close quarters of the ‘wiggly’ course, with the fleets converging and crossing.”

Silencio: Ketch_Perini Navi_Perini_50.0m  Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

Silencio: Ketch_Perini Navi_Perini_50.0m
Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

Cape Arrow won the Gazelle class today with less than six minutes separating her from second-place finisher Nilaya, but the two are inverted on the overall scoreboard for Nilaya’s advantage going into tomorrow’s final race.

 

Moonbird has the most consistent finishes (2-2) in Mademoiselle class to lead overall, with Bequia having fallen to second from first yesterday.

New to the 2014 Bucket –  The Golden Pineapple Award, Sponsored by Hotel St Barth Isle de France. The Bucket Directors have added this award to the 2014 edition of the St Barths Bucket to reward an essential element of the event, who will WIN THE PARTY?For more information, and the full list of entries, visitbucketregattas.com/stbarths/Racing concludes on Sunday March 30.Live race tracking by TracTrac enhances the Bucket experience for friends, families and fans of the Bucket. Access that link atbucketregattas.com/stbarths/dailyupdate

Whitehawk: Ketch_Neilson_King_28.0m  Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi — at Saint Barth.

Whitehawk: Ketch_Neilson_King_28.0m
Saint Barth Bucket Race 2014 Race1 Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi at Saint Barth.

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 The Bucket Directors are pleased to announce The Golden Pineapple Award. Since the very beginning, the Bucket Regattas have been focused on great sailing competition, seamanship, sportsmanship, a large dose of creative left-field fun and most of all, hospitality and sharing the joy of this magnificent sport among the fleet.This year our good friends aboard Yacht AXIA; the yacht that has shown up at past events as everything from fully clad Spartans in uniform, to the complete line-up of Greek Gods including Poseidon, Thor, a thunderbolt and live goat, pirates, spreader dancing sea horses and all manner of creative fun and frolic, have raised the bar once again. This year it seems that 007 will be lurking in the shadows of Gustavia and, who knows what havoc that may wreak!! Be forewarned, AXIA is locked and loaded to put yet another full spin on the Party concept! As you will see from the attached invitations to Friday’s “Yacht Hop”, they’re not going half-way!!Without a doubt, the challenge is on for quite simply, the best hospitality for the St. Barths Bucket Yacht Hop on Friday, 28 March. Aboard many yachts in the past the parties have been theme based on the full spectrum of fun but the simple question to be resolved is this: Who can throw the best party?? The Bucket Directors are somewhat abashed to admit that in many years of managing this event, we’ve failed to reward the most essential element of the Bucket. The last line in our sailing instructions says it clearly. . . WIN THE PARTY!!! Consider that problem solved. Since the very beginning, the Bucket Regattas have been fully focused on sharing the boundless fun of this magnificent sport, with hospitality among the fleet a core value. Hence, the Pineapple Logo, the symbol of hospitality. Therefore, this year in St. Barths, the yacht that puts forward the best “Open Boat” party spirit will be the recipient of the GOLDEN PINEAPPLE AWARD! Given the fact that we are a little short on time to grow a golden pineapple. . . Let’s say that the winner of this award will be “wined and dined” with eight guests at the Bucket’s expense, at the finest restaurant in St. Barthelemy. The judging in Bucket Tradition, will be ad-hoc but fair. Do note that as usual, the Open Boat Party is limited to race participants wearing event wristbands. Invitees are absolutely at the Owner’s discretion, as directed by those tending the boarding gate.

.New Launches to Compete 

The fleet will include a number of the latest launches from the world’s premier superyacht builders.Two recently launched Perini Navi yachts designed by Ron Holland will join the fleet: the newly designed 40m Sloop, STATE OF GRACE and a new 60m Ketch. SEAHAWK will be easily distinguished not only by her magnificent profile, but also by her crimson Aramid standing rigging by Future Fibers, supporting her towering spars.Making their Bucket debut are competing 2012 launches from the Royal Huisman Shipyard. The classic Spirit of Tradition 38m sloop, PUMULA and the 49m Ketch KAMAXITHA are both Dykstra Naval Architects designs.INOUI, the brilliant green 36m carbon fiber sloop by Vitters Shipyard will pace the fleet around the various courses. Also from Vitters, the 46m Sloop GANESHA will join us for her racing debut.These six new launches will join their thirty two competitors, most of which have sailed in numerous Bucket Regattas, to comprise yet another Bucket superyacht fleet of historic proportions.

Schedule Updates  Registration will open at 0900 on 27 March, with a “Rules Review” seminar beginning concurrently. After a day of practice sailing, learning and taming the ropes (lines), the Skippers Meeting, Welcome Party and Owner’s reception will follow.After Friday’s racing, at 1700 the Bucket will host a presentation by the Environmental Agency of St Barths and the NGO Megaptera, to educate the community on a concurrent scientific project, tagging and tracking whale migrations. The symposium will be followed by the Fleet Open House, a traditional highlight of all Bucket events.Saturday night will host the annual Bucket Bash on the Quay in Gustavia. With a tropical theme, there will be dining, dancing and music by the very popular Soley into the night!This year for the Sunday evening awards, the Government of St Barths has extended an invitation for the Awards Ceremony to be held on the grounds of the Hôtel de la Collectivité, the Government offices across the harbor from the Capitainerie. We have gratefully accepted the invitation and look forward to sharing Bucket Hospitality with the entire racing fleet and our friends in St Barths.

Racing and Awards  In the Bucket Tradition, racing will be pursuit style with the slowest rated yachts starting first and finishes determined by the order of finish. The fleet is divided into four classesLes Grandes Dames, Les Mademoiselles, Les Elegantesand Les Gazelles des Mers and we will continue the successful focus on competition within the classes. All yachts share the same starting and finishing line and sail the assigned course for their specific class. The starting times are structured, such that the classes finish at different times – in the interest of safety, the gap between class finishes will likely be approximately 10 minutes as it was last year.Live Race Tracking is an exciting addition to the race coverage. Details on how to connect and view the races will be provided in our next update and will be posted on the web site.Daily awards will be presented to the top finishers in each class. Handcrafted, limited edition Chelsea Clocks will be awarded to the four class winners, with second and third place in each class also receiving elegant trophies. The overall winner will be recognized as well. The yacht’s name will be added to the perpetual St Barths Bucket trophy and they will receive a beautiful crystal Bucket keepsake trophy.As usual, we will pay particular attention to the traditional Bucket discretionary awards for meritorious acts and the occasional eyebrow raising behavior that perpetuates the “je ne sais quoi” spirit of the event. These include the Wolter Huisman “Spirit of the Bucket Award”, the Vitters Seamanship and Sportsmanship Trophy, the Holland Jachtbouw Cool Crew Award and the coveted Skulduggery Cravat, for the yacht or crew that demonstrates the best and most fun, ‘left field non-adult behavior”.

St. Barths Charity Donation  Each year, the Bucket Regatta designates a portion of the entry fees for donation to a meaningful non-profit program in St Barths. This year the St Joseph School and their grounds improvement project will be the recipient of our donation.One of the oldest educational institutions on the island, The St Joseph School is a private Catholic institution that welcomes more than 200 students ages 3-11, from kindergarten through primary school. The school is in need of funds to improve the schoolyard/playground, where the clay coated sand is a health risk to the children and must be upgraded.The 2014 St Barths Bucket is pleased to be able to help the St Joseph School and allow the children to continue to learn and grow in a healthy environment.We are grateful to be joined by several new supporting sponsors. They will help us to continue the Bucket tradition that celebrates the superyacht industry and recognizes the yachts and their owners as they perpetuate this marvelous sport.Skuld Yacht brings a major marine underwriting firm to the superyacht arena with tremendous capabilities for innovation and tailoring coverage to our owner’s specific needs.Tradewind Aviation has also joined the Bucket fleet with generous support, while providing by far a most efficient way to get to our favorite Caribbean destination.

RACING CLASSES AND  ENTRIES


  
LES GAZELLES DES MERS  (8) HDCP   Max   SA/DP SA/DP
Yacht Rig Builder Designer (med) LOA (m) Draft (m) Displ (mt) DLR Up Down
Hetairos Ketch Baltic Dykstra NA 1.718 66.7 9.0 245 52.1 42.3 80.9
Visione Sloop Baltic Reichel Pugh 1.649 44.9 6.7 125 59.4 39.2 77.7
Saudade Sloop Wally Tripp 1.552 45.0 6.6 174 75.7 33.3 65.2
Kamaxitha Ketch Royal Huisman Dykstra NA 1.527 55.0 6.8 245 91.0 36.7 60.0
Inoui Sloop Vitters Briand 1.467 33.0 5.4 85 90.0 29.2 64.2
Nilaya Sloop Reichel Pugh Baltic 1.462 34.1 5.5 87 79.7 31.9 64.8
Rainbow Sloop Holland Jachtbouw Dykstra NA 1.388 40.0 5.0 237.1 29.8 46.4
Cape Arrow Sloop Souther Wind Farr-Nauta 1.235 30.0 6.7 64.8 92.4 28.5 48.8
  
LES ELEGANTES DES MERS (10) HDCP   Max   SA/DP SA/DP
Yacht Rig Builder Designer (med) LOA (m) Draft (m) Displ (mt) DLR Up Down
Ganesha Sloop Vitters Dubois 1.472 45.9 6.6 252 99.6 26.7 55.7
Ohana Sloop Fitzroy Dubois 1.360 49.7 5.5 361 110.6 23.3 45.1
Lady B Sloop Vitters Dubois 1.336 44.7 6.1 266 104.0 23.8 51.8
Varsovie Sloop Swan Frers 1.264 30.5 4.1 86 117.8 26.8 50.5
Unfurled Sloop Royal Huisman Frers 1.256 34.1 5.8 135 137.4 23.6 46.9
Marie Ketch Vitters Hoek 1.240 54.6 4.8 315 133.9 27.5 51.2
Hyperion Sloop Royal Huisman Frers 1.233 47.5 4.8 337 129.6 21.7 45.4
Twizzle Ketch Royal Huisman Dubois 1.202 57.5 10.9 562 123.5 26.2 39.0
Adele Ketch Vitters Hoek 1.176 54.6 4.8 340 133.0 25.7 45.8
Adela Schooner Pendennis Rest. Dykstra NA 1.138 54.9 5.0 285 150.2 25.9 41.8
  
LES MADEMOISELLES DES MERS (11) HDCP   Max   SA/DP SA/DP
Yacht Rig Builder Designer (med) LOA (m) Draft (m) Displ (mt) DLR Up Down
Pumula Sloop Royal Huisman Dykstra NA 1.259 37.4 5.0 128 157.7 17.3 29.9
Sarafin Sloop Oyster Marine Dubois 1.165 30.8 3.9 120 141.7 19.0 39.4
Moonbird Sloop Fitzroy Dubois 1.160 37.1 4.1 179 141.8 24.0 37.1
Lush Sloop Oyster Marine Humphreys 1.160 27.5 3.5 77.7 148.2 21.2 34.0
Axia Ketch Palmer Johnson S&S 1.143 37.6 3.7 168 155.4 21.2 34.1
Whitehawk Ketch Neilson King 1.057 28.0 4.5 77 156.8 23.8 40.4
Marama Ketch N2A Preslec 1.029 30.9 3.5 70 100.2 25.2 25.2
Bequia Yawl Brooklin BY Stephens 1.021 27.5 2.8 67 228.7 21.0 43.2
Genevieve Sloop Alloy Dubois 0.978 36.9 3.4 190 157.7 17.3 29.8
Blue Too Ketch Alloy Holland 0.977 33.8 3.5 143 196.3 21.6 30.9
Wavelength Sloop Pendennis Holland 0.938 27.4 3.3 81 222.5 19.2 32.4
LES GRANDES DAMES DES MERS (9) HDCP   Max   SA/DP SA/DP
Yacht Rig Builder Designer (med) LOA (m) Draft (m) Displ (mt) DLR Up Down
State of Grace Sloop Perini Navi Holland 1.130 40.0 9.0 233 160.2 24.5 34.9
Seahawk Ketch Perini Navi Holland 1.096 58.6 12.3 551 118.6 17.9 31.1
Clan VIII Sloop Perini Navi Holland 0.992 45.1 4.0 362 189.8 18.8 31.2
Meteor Schooner Royal Huisman Dykstra NA 0.965 51.6 4.3 315 176.3 24.7 36.3
Parsifal III Ketch Perini Navi Holland 0.917 54.0 4.5 469 141.9 22.8 35.4
Altair Sloop Derecktor S&S 0.914 29.2 2.7 112 204.2 15.6 25.6
Zenji Ketch Perini Navi Holland 0.910 56.0 3.9 530 137.5 20.5 27.6
Silencio Ketch Perini Navi Perini 0.882 50.0 3.2 422 183.7 16.6 22.4
Andromeda la Dea Ketch Perini Navi Perini 0.868 46.5 3.4 391 189.2 14.2 23.2

 

 

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ANTILOPE GBR 46N Willem Wester (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

ANTILOPE GBR 46N Willem Wester (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

The three-day International Rolex Regatta kicked off today with “town races” that took sailors from the east end of St. Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, to Charlotte Amalie, the island’s capital city. Once there, the fleet of 68 boats, split into six classes, turned around and headed back, but only after sharing some colorful action with tourists on the downtown waterfront and on two cruise ships in port as well as fans perched at different vantage points along the route. Gray clouds mingled with white all day, giving tacticians as much cause to look upward to anticipate wind shifts as they did downward to read the play of the sapphire blue Caribbean Sea beneath them.

“Both of the races today were very different from each other,” said Tony Rey (Newport, R.I.), tactician aboard Peter Cunningham’s (George Town, CAY) PowerPlay, which finished 1-2 today to edge out Willem Wester’s (Breskens, Zeeland, NED) Antilope, which posted a 3-1. “We owe 11 ½ minutes to Antilope in an hour of racing, so it’s not easy to beat them, but we love planing, and 8-10 minutes into the first leg of the first race, a storm cloud came and we were off and running. That’s how we got ahead — it was 16-18 knots for a while, and Peter did a fantastic job of driving.”

Rey explained that in the second race the wind laid down. It was then that Antilope, the heavier displacement boat, had the advantage. Bill Alcott’s (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) 65-footer Equation took line honors in both races and corrected out to third overall. Equation’s navigator Chris Clark (Detroit) was happy with the outcome, saying that the crew had been sailing together a long time but not on this particular boat, which Alcott only recently bought. “We are gaining confidence,” said Clark, “but the hard thing really is the boat draws 16 ½ feet, which is a lot.  Today around one of the islands, we were about 500 feet away from it; even in Charlotte Amalie Harbour we had to be careful — it’s hard to find the sweet spot for us on the course.”

A disappointment to all in this class was the dismasting of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) IRC 52 Highland Fling XII after a port spreader apparently failed. “It happened about five miles into the race after the first turning mark,” said Michael Giles (SA), the boat’s trimmer. “We had made some modifications after racing in Key West, and we were very happy because we knew they were the right changes. We were 100% sure we were winning, so it was unfortunate that it did come down.” With no way to repair the rig before the end of the regatta, the boat is out for the count.

“It’s absolutely a shame for a lot of reasons,” said PowerPlay’s Rey. “We were having a great race with them at the time when we heard a loud bang. She was a benchmark for us, and we were keen to see how we compared.”

CSA racing boats (three classes), one-design IC 24s, and Beach Cats also joined in today’s town races, with the IC 24s adding a third race afterwards.

“We actually had to take our spinnaker down in the first race,” said Latitude 38’s 18-year-old Nikki Barnes, who, with one of her all-girl crewmembers here (Augustina Barbuto, age 16) won a bronze medal for the Virgin Islands at last summer’s ISAF Youth Championships (in international 420s). “There were a lot of boats broaching in our (IC 24) class.” Though currently in 12th, Barnes says her experience in dinghy racing will serve her well over the next two days of racing, when the class will sail up to 14 more races. “We made so many mistakes in the long races; we are well practiced in short-course racing, and we will be so much better at that.” Currently leading the IC 24s is Carlos Sierra’s (Guaynabo, PR) Banana Boat/Fuataka.

Another young team of West Indian high school and sailing students is competing in CSA non-spinnaker class and currently sitting in second overall. They are led by Central High School (St. Croix) teacher Stan Jones aboard Tony Sanpere’s (St. Croix) J/36 Cayennita Grande, which has won this class several times.  Jack Desmond’s (Marion, Mass.) Swan 48 Affinity posted a 1-2 today to Cayennita Grande’s 3-1 to take the lead in the seven-boat class.

Jorge Ramos’s Hobie 16 Universal leads the Beach Cats, while Andrea Scarabelli’s (Cole Bay, St. Maarten) Melges 24 Budget Marine/GILL and Jaime Torres’s (San Juan, PR) Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave are leading CSA 1 and CSA 2, respectively.

Racing continues tomorrow with all classes but the IC 24s racing within viewing distance of St. John’s south shore.

WILD T'ING  ISV 888 Owner Lawrence Aqui (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

WILD T'ING ISV 888 Owner Lawrence Aqui (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

Results
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

IC 24 (One Design – 14 Boats)
1. Banana Boat/Fuataka, IC 24, Carlos R. Sierra , Guaynabo, PR, USA – 3, 1, 5, ; 9
2. Orion, IC 24, Fraito Lugo , Ponce, PR, USA – 1, 4, 4, ; 9
3. Cachondo, IC 24, Marco Teixidor , San Juan, PUR – 5, 2, 2, ; 9

CSA 1 (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Budget Marine/GILL , Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli , Cole Bay, St. Maarten, AHO – 1, 1, ; 2
2. Fire Water, Melges 24, Henry Leonnig , Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI – 2, 3, ; 5
3. Magnitude 400, Farr 400, Doug Baker , Long Beach, CA, USA – 5, 2, ; 7

CSA 2 (CSA – 13 Boats)
1. Smile and Wave, Beneteau First 40, Jaime Torres , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Lazy Dog, J 122, Sergio Sagramoso , San Juan, PR, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Dark Star, J 105, Jonathan Lipuscek , San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA – 1, 6, ; 7

CSA Non-Spinnaker (CSA – 7 Boats)
1. Affinity, Swan 48, Jack Desmond , Marion, MA, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Cayennita Grande, J 36, Antonio Sanpere , Christiansted, VI, USA – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Hotel California too, Cruising SC70, Stephen Schmidt , St Thomas, USVI, USA – 2, 5, ; 7

IRC 1 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. PowerPlay, TP 52, Peter Cunningham , George Town, CAY – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Antilope, Grand Soleil 46, Willem Wester , Breskens, Zeeland, NED – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Equation, STP 65, W.Alcott / E.Palm / T.Anderson , St Clair Shores, MI, USA – 2, 3, ; 5

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 10 Boats)
1. Universal, Hobie 16, Jorge Ramos , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Time Out, Hobie 16, John Holmberg , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
3. Zhik, Nacra 20, Trey Brown , Taylors, SC, USA – 4, 3, ; 7

U.S. and Caribbean Media Contact

ARETHUSA USA 4216  Phil Lotz  (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

ARETHUSA USA 4216 Phil Lotz (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

 

Overcast skies and light showers cooled things down today at St. Thomas Yacht Club in the USVI where hundreds of sailors on 68 teams are preparing for the 39th International Rolex Regatta.  The conditions, however, came with plenty of wind for practicing and did nothing to dampen the excitement building for the next three days of racing.

Right out of the box will be Stephen Murray, Jr.’s Carkeek 40 Decision, which has been designed to the newly developed HPR (High Performance Rule) and will headline in one of two CSA classes here that has no less than six other 40-footers “raring to compare.”

“There is no rating rule promoting the light (displacement) grand prix racing boats as a continuum between 30 and 70 feet,” said Sean Carkeek, the South African designer who has been working for a year on the rule as part of a technical committee developed specifically to fill this void.  According to Carkeek, the HPR will change all that when regattas eventually adopt dual scoring under the widely used IRC rule and HPR in classes where it needs to apply.  At the International Rolex Regatta, the likes of Michael Shlens’ (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.,) Blade and Doug Baker’s (Long Beach, Calif.) Magnitude 400, both Farr 400s,  are sure to spice up the competition among the 40 footers.  In addition, two Class 40 boats, which typically are outfitted for short-handed offshore sailing, are competing with accomplished skippers aboard.  Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) will take the helm of Icarus, while Berry Lewis (Mill Valley, Calif.) will steer 40 Degrees.

In IRC, it will be a trio of 52 footers– Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) Highland Fling XII, Ashley Wolfe’s (Calgary, AB, CAN) Mayhem, and Peter Cunningham’s (Georgetown, Cay) PowerPlay — and a Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley’s (Newport, R.I.) Privateer, that are likely to stand out, while the reborn 65-foot Rosebud, now called Equation, will be out for a first showing since bought by Bill Alcott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.).  Among the power names onboard these boats are America’s Cup notables Peter Holmberg, Mike Toppa, Tony Rey, and George Skuodas.  As well, Great Britain’s Brian Thompson, who layed to waste previous around-the-world speed records with his recent circumnavigation aboard the 130-foot trimaran Banque Populaire V, will be skippering the Safe Passage company’s Andrews 72 Safara, which is the largest boat competing here.

Willem Wester (Zeeland, The Netherlands), with Volvo Ocean Race veteran Boewe Bekking (NED) calling tactics, will attempt to repeat his IRC class victory from last year, sailing the Grand Soleil 46 Antilope.  With tomorrow’s winds expected to be between 15 and 20 knots, Bekking says this may be hard to recreate, however.  “When it’s windy the lighter displacement boats in our class this time should be going better,” said Bekking, “but if it’s light we can have a pretty fair race.”

 

For the USA’s Olympic medalist Charlie McKee (Seattle, Wash.),  who is serving as tactician aboard Mayhem, it is mostly about the experience of being here for the first time that has him “expecting crazy, wild, mixed up racing that’s super fun!”

The International Rolex Regatta is a cornerstone of the spring Caribbean racing schedule, and as such attracts top programs from around the world for its mix of buoy and point-to-point races. It also distinguishes itself by having multiple races a day for all classes.  “It’s all part of a unique mix of island-style fun and hard-core IRC, CSA and one design racing,” said Regatta Co-chair Bill Canfield, pointing out a massive, specially-constructed stage rising out of the water on the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s own beach. It is where a band will play on Friday and Saturday nights and where the Rolex Awards will wrap up the event on Sunday, when winners in select classes win coveted Rolex watches.

Spectators will get a treat tomorrow when all classes sail to Charlotte Amalie Harbor for their first race, then return to St. Thomas Yacht Club for their second (and some classes may have a third race).  On Saturday, spectators can watch IC 24s and Beach Cats sail as many as eight buoy races in Great Bay, while other classes sail longer courses on the south side of St. John. On Sunday, while the IC 24s sail up to six races in Jersey Bay, all other classes will sail two “Pillsbury Sound” races.

St Thomas (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

St Thomas (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

2011 Fleet Racing (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery )

2011 Fleet Racing (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery )

With the New Year in full swing, racing sailors are finalizing plans to compete in the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s 39th annual International Rolex Regatta, the oldest regatta in Rolex’s yachting portfolio and most venerable of Caribbean spring events.  A quick look at the roster of entries shows several hot new boats and first-time entries signed up for the three-day event, which begins Friday, March 23, and mixes island-style fun with hard-core IRC, CSA and one-design racing on courses that showcase the breathtaking coastlines of St. Thomas and nearby St. John.Stephen Murray, Jr.’s New Orleans entry, the recently launched Carkeek 40 Decision, will be one of the many intriguing boats competing.  It is one of the first designed to the High Performance Rule (HPR). Decision’s Program Manager William Gammell (Newport, R.I.) describes the rule as a “purely race-driven rating platform” that promotes building the fastest boats possible for owners who want an all out racer. He further explained that the HPR, as a pure measurement rule, allows owners and designers to determine their ratings as they design the boats, without the variability of subjective “black box” components of other rules.

“We are very excited about this new rating concept and the idea of a small, fast, seaworthy boat that can compete at the highest echelons of the sport and is relatively easy to transport to premier events around the world,” said Gammell, adding that the team will be sailing in the RORC Caribbean 600 and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta before arriving in St. Thomas for the International Rolex Regatta and then capping off the season with the Les Voiles de Saint Barth.

“The Murrays have decided to make the most of their time in the Caribbean by choosing the premier regattas in the region,” said Gammell. “The International Rolex Regatta was chosen due to the gorgeous surroundings on sea and land as well as the perfect wind conditions. And of course there is the possibility of winning a Rolex, which provides its own incentive!”

Calling tactics for the Decision team will be Steve Benjamin (Norwalk, Conn.), the chairman of the HPR Handicap Rules Committee who owns one of Decision’s two sister ships currently being built in China.  The team will round out with many of the same sailors—including father Stephen Murray, Sr.; the USA’s 2012 Olympic (Laser class) representative Rob Crane; and Olympic Silver Medalist (Tornado class) Johnny Lovell– who have been regulars on Murray’s previously owned TP52, also named Decision.

“The crew has changed over the years as the program has developed, but we always strive to keep the New Orleans roots,” said Gammell. “The crew has become more nationally and internationally diverse, yet we proudly maintain our Corinthian roots and spirit.”

Across the board, IRC competition will remain strong this year with the return of last year’s respective winners of class 1 and 2: Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah) and Willem Wester (Zeeland, The Netherlands).  Swartz will sail his famously fast IRC 52 Vesper with a seasoned crew that includes past America’s Cup helmsman and tactician Gavin Brady (Annapolis, Md./New Zealand), while Wester has traded up on his Grand Soleil 43 Antilope to a 46 footer of the same make and name.

“It’s a stock standard design, with lots of emphasis on the appendages and rig,” said Antilope’s tactician and veteran Volvo Ocean Race skipper Bouwe Bekking (The Netherlands), adding that the team has also entered Quantum Key West 2012, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the BVI Regatta.  “Last year, we had a good year in all the events we did, always finishing on the podium.  We made some changes in the autumn and we think we have made another good step performance-wise, but only time will tell.  We’re coming back to the International Rolex Regatta because we thought it was, by far, the best-organized event in the Caribbean. On top of that, it has fantastic race courses and a great race committee that provides superb racing.”

Entering his newly acquired Farr STP 65 Equation (formerly Rosebud, the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner) into the IRC competition will be International Rolex Regatta veteran Bill Alcott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.), who last year chartered a Swan for the event but for many years prior steered his Andrews 68 “sled”–brought down from the Great Lakes—in the competition.  Highland Fling XII, an IRC 52 owned by Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay (Monaco) and launched late last year, is another of the high profile new entries that all eyes will be watching.  Designed by Reichel/Pugh and built using advanced carbon pre-preg sandwich construction, it is expected to live up to legendary Highland Fling performances most recently perpetuated by Lord Laidlaw’s 82-foot Wally Highland Fling XI.

The St. Thomas Yacht Club is the Storm Trysail Club’s Caribbean station, and the International Rolex Regatta has a stellar reputation for race management, offering 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 the final day’s “sound race,” testing one’s determination on complex courses around the cays of Pillsbury Sound.  Or for testing one’s mettle, there are up to 18 windward/leeward races on the one-design circle. Like the IC-24s, a one-design class can be established with a minimum of six boats.

Rolex St..Thomas Yacht Club (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery  )

Rolex St..Thomas Yacht Club (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club /Ingrid Abery )

GENUINE RISK, Sail No: USA 8390, Owner: Hugo Stenbeck, Home Port: Kings Point, NY, USA, Design: Canting Keel Maxi, Division: IRC 1 (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )

GENUINE RISK, Sail No: USA 8390, Owner: Hugo Stenbeck, Home Port: Kings Point, NY, USA, Design: Canting Keel Maxi, Division: IRC 1 (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )

    

Topping off three days of sun-drenched racing in the International Rolex Regatta, over 700 sailors on 77 teams mixed it up today on Pillsbury Sound, completing distance courses that explored the cays and islands off St. Thomas, where the event has been hosted for 38 years by St. Thomas Yacht Club. Big guns, such as Boewe Bekking, Gavin Brady, Ed Baird, Steve Benjamin, Richard Clarke and Chris Larson were in abundance aboard the keelboats that competed, but it by no means took the calling cards of professional sailors to guarantee victory—or a good time—in the eight classes, which included two for IRC, four for CSA, and one each for IC 24s and Beach Cats.

“This has been one of the best groups of boats and sailors we’ve ever had,” said Regatta Director Bill Canfield. “Sailors came from around the globe, and each class had a good number of boats with impressive depth of competition.” Canfield explained that the largest keelboat competing was the 90-foot Genuine Risk, the recent Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race winner, with Hugo Stenbeck (SWE) steering, while the smallest were 24-footers. (Melges 24s sailed in a CSA Spinnaker class that was populated by sport boats, while IC 24s came in numbers large enough to earn their own One-Design circle.) Ages ranged from in the single digits to mid 70s, and included newcomers, returning veterans and everything in between.

With today’s two victories to add to an already perfect score line, Willem Wester’s (SUI) Grand Soleil 43 Antilope made an impressive showing in the nine-boat IRC 2 class, earning Wester a Rolex timepiece as prize. (Timepieces were also awarded to IRC 1 class, the top performer among CSA Spinnaker classes and IC 24 one-design class.)

“This was our first time to this part of the world,” said Wester, who has won Cowes Week the last two years aboard Antilope and sailed with a crew from Belgium and Holland that included veteran Volvo Ocean Race skipper Bouwe Bekking, who called tactics, and Olympian Philippe Bergmans, who steered. “The whole atmosphere here was fantastic, with the Race Committee setting some wonderful courses; Bekking is a bit of a slave driver (laughs), but a nice one, and he raised the level of the team.” 

Bekking gave credit to good starts, letting the crew do its work and keeping a cool head during the challenge of negotiating Friday’s “town races” to and from Charlotte Amalie; Saturday’s distance races skirting the south coast of St. John island; and today’s exceptionally intriguing “Pillsbury” courses set between St. Thomas and St. John. “I’d say by far, it is the best of the events I’ve sailed in the last couple of years,” said Bekking.

Antilope’s closest competitor, Phil Lotz’s (Newport, R.I.) Club Swan 42 Arethusa, fell to third today with two fourth-place finishes, while James Hudleston’s (St. Petersburg, Fla.) Oceanis 44 Three Harkoms snagged second, just one point ahead, on merit of a 3-2 today.

Prizegiving at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, and the winners are Left to right: Mark Plaxton, Ben Beer, William Bailey, Jeff Price, Willem Wester and Lionel Schürch, Rolex Geneva (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

Prizegiving at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, and the winners are Left to right: Mark Plaxton, Ben Beer, William Bailey, Jeff Price, Willem Wester and Lionel Schürch, Rolex Geneva (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

For Ed Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.), being a seasoned professional didn’t take anything away from his experience here.  The winning skipper from the 2007 America’s Cup (Alinghi) crewed aboard Richard Oland’s (New Brunswick, CAN) Southern Cross Vela Veloce while Canadian Olympian Richard Clarke steered. The team finished second in IRC 1 class, conceding to Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah) TP52 Vesper/Team Moneypenny, which won all but one of six races.

 “It’s the first time either Richard (Clarke) or I have raced here,” said Baird. “We’ve both sailed all over the world but never with so many islands and rocks in close proximity; it was challenging, not knowing what the wind would be doing around the next corner. “

Baird described the top-three boats in his class, all 52 footers, as “locked in battle” the whole regatta. “Vesper (with New Zealand’s America’s Cup veteran Gavin Brady replacing Jim Swartz on the helm today) had a speed advantage, especially upwind, so they could usually sneak out to a strong position and stay ahead, but we went back and fourth with Interlodge (Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s entry from Newport, R.I.)”

Vesper and Interlodge have both sailed this event before,” said Brady, “so when we’d gain a little near the shore, they’d come back at us, maybe using some local knowledge they had. We figured that by the end of the regatta, we’d be really ready for next year!”

Though their expectations in CSA Spinnaker 3 class were modest in the beginning,Timothy Molony’s (New Orleans, La.) Southern Yacht Club team aboard Wild at Heart proved unbeatable in the end. Only on day one were they not at the top of the scoreboard, but today was to still be a test with only two points separating them and Kike Gonzalez’s (San Juan, PR) J/80 Otrakosa, which wound up second overall. 

“We won both of today’s races by exactly two minutes and 25 seconds, which is pretty remarkable,” said Molony, who counts this as his first time to race in the islands. “We ended up with one second and five firsts, while Otrakosa had one first and five seconds.” (Paul Davis’s St. Thomas entry Mag 7 took third overall.)

“We’ve all sailed together since we were kids, so it’s like a family quarrel when we call tactics,” joked Molony, who chartered Wild at Heart from a company in Germany “that took care of everything and perfectly prepared the boat.” 

It was a young William Bailey (St. Thomas), skippering Team INTAC JV, who won the Rolex timepiece in the 16-boat IC 24 class. The high school senior, age 18, endured 17 around-the-buoys races that were reserved especially for this hotly contested one-design class and counted among his crew 2010 College Sailor of the Year (from Yale) Thomas Barrows, a fellow St. Thomian. 

Before racing the last six races today, Bailey knew he had to stay in the top three as much as he could. A bad start in the first race buried him, but he calmly scratched back to win handily, then continued with a string of finishes that were fourth or better.

“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” said Bailey, who was duly impressed when he was told he’d be awarded the newest model of the Rolex Explorer, which accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on his famous ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953.

Second-place finisher, a full 24 points behind, was Fraito Lugo’s (Ponce, PR) Orion, followed by Chris Cuerreri’s (St. Thomas) Soggy Dollar BVI in third.

Team Intac TEAM INTAC, Sail No: IVB 39, Owner: William Bailey, Home Port: St. Thomas, VI, USA, Design: IC 24, Division: One Design (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

Team Intac TEAM INTAC, Sail No: IVB 39, Owner: William Bailey, Home Port: St. Thomas, VI, USA, Design: IC 24, Division: One Design (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

From day one, Mark Plaxton’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Team INTAC/CROWLEY established his lead in the six-boat CSA Spinnaker 1 class. After posting two victories today, he showed nothing higher than a second-place finish in his six-race score line, which also kept Andrea Scarabelli’s (St. Maarten, AHO) Melges 24 Budget Marine and David West’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Jurakan in second and third, respectively, for the entire event.

Plaxton was awarded the Rolex watch as the top performer among the CSA spinnaker classes and was philosophical about it. “I was a Junior A hockey player from Canada where I learned ‘stick on ice, head up and pass the puck.’ Basically, that means it’s not about the watch or winning, it’s about peace, love and boat speed and helping out the next generation.” (It is no coincidence that William Bailey’s winning IC 24 team of young sailors shared the same boat name.)

Things sorted out just fine today for Calvin Reed’s (Tampa, Fla.) Beneteau First 40.7 Elandra of Hamble, yesterday’s leader in CSA Spinnaker 2 class. With finish positions of 2-2 they fended off who they considered their #1 competition, Richard Wesslund’s (Miami, Fla.) J/120 El Ocaso, which slipped to third place overall after posting a 5-4 today. Rising from fourth place yesterday to second place, with a 1-3 today, was Jaimie Torres’s (San Juan, PR) Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave.

In the 10-boat CSA Non-Spinnaker class, James Dobbs’ (Antigua) Lost Horizon turned in a 1-2 today to tie on point score (10) with Tony Sanpere’s (St. Croix, USVI) J/36 Cayennita Grande but win the class after tie-breaking rules were applied.

Lost Horizon was definitely the sleeper of the regatta, arriving with an incomplete crew and adding to it to finish third overall after the first day of racing. On the second day, the team managed to rise through the ranks to second overall behind Cayennita Grande then top them in the finale. Bernardo Gonzalez’s (Dorado, PR) Beneteau First 35s5 Bonne Chance, maintained its third from yesterday.

In Beach Cats, with nine boats competing, Jorge Ramos’s (San Juan, PR) Hobie 16 Universal had only to finish today’s two races to win his class’s five-race series. He not only finished the races but also won them both, just as he had won his two previous races—by huge margins. “We are happy that the fleet was bigger this year,” said Ramos, considered to be one of the top five cat sailors from his country. “There was some attention lost for a few years, but now we are hoping that the class will build again and this regatta will become a primary focus for us.” Giving Ramos a run for his money with a 2-2 today was last year’s winner John Holmberg (St. Thomas), also sailing a Hobie 16, Time Out, with his 12-year-old son Kai. In third was Teri McKenna’s (St. Thomas) Hobie 16 Island Girl.

The International Rolex Regatta, considered the “Crown Jewel” of the traditional spring Caribbean regattas, is the third of the four-part Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit (CORC), which also includes major regattas in St. Croix, Puerto Rico and Tortola. Sailors are treated to a mix of short-course and long distance races that take place off St. Thomas Yacht Club and along the waterfronts of St. Thomas and St. John. Parties are legendary, including a Saturday evening reggae party at Yacht Haven Grande marina, which adds exotic flair to the activities. 

The International Rolex Regatta has been hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club since 1974, making it the oldest regatta in Rolex’s portfolio of international sailing events. Rolex is known for sponsoring famous offshore and grand-prix events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.

A.H. Riise, Official Retailer of Rolex watches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, takes an active role in sponsorship of the International Rolex Regatta.  The St. Thomas shop is one of the largest in the Caribbean and is located on the historic waterfront of downtown Charlotte Amalie.

FINAL RESULTS

International Rolex Regatta 2011

Day 3

IC 24 (One Design – 16 Boats)
1. Team INTAC JV, IC 24, William Bailey , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 6, 3, 3, 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 6, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, ; 51
2. Orion, IC 24, Fraito Lugo , Ponce, PR, USA – 5, 2, 7, 2, 11, 8, 1, 2, 5, 3, 7, 3, 9, 4, 2, 3, 1, ; 75
3. Soggy Dollar BVI, IC 24, Chris Cuerreri , St. Thomas , USVI – 2, 8, 2, 12, 3, 4, 4, 7, 1, 12, 9, 4, 2, 1, 3, 2, 6, ; 82

CSA Spinnaker 1 (CSA – 6 Boats)
1. Team INTAC/CROWLEY, Melges 32, Mark Plaxton , Sea Cows Bay, Tortola, BVI – 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, ; 9
2. Budget Marine/GILL , Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli , Cole Bay, St. Maarten, AHO – 3, 1, 4, 1, 2, 4, ; 15
3. Jurakan, Melges 32, David West , Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 2, 3, 1, 4, 4, 3, ; 17

CSA Spinnaker 2 (CSA – 11 Boats)
1. Elandra of Hamble, Beneteau First 40.7, Calvin Reed , Tampa, FL, USA – 3, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, ; 12
2. Smile and Wave, Beneteau First 40, Jaime Torres , San Juan, PR, USA – 6, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, ; 17
3. El Ocaso, J 120, Richard Wesslund , Miami, FL, USA – 4, 1, 3, 2, 5, 4, ; 19

CSA Spinnaker 3 (CSA – 6 Boats)
1. Wild At Heart, JOD 35, Timothy Molony , New Orleans, LA, USA – 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Otrakosa, J 80, Kike Gonzalez , San Juan, PR, USA – 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, ; 11
3. Mag 7, J 27, Paul Davis , Charlotte amalie, VI, USA – 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, ; 21

CSA Non-Spinnaker (CSA – 10 Boats)
1. Lost Horizon, J 122, James Dobbs , Falmouth, ANT – 5, 1, 1, 1, 2, ; 10
2. Cayennita Grande, J 36, Antonio Sanpere , Christiansted, VI, USA – 2, 2, 2, 3, 1, ; 10
3. Bonne Chance, Beneteau First 35s5, Bernardo Gonzalez , Dorado, PR, USA – 1, 3, 3, 2, 3, ; 12

IRC 1 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, James Swartz , Park City, Utah, USA – 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Vela Veloce, Southern Cross 52, Richard Oland , Saint John, NB, CAN – 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, ; 14
3. Interlodge, JV 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen , Newport, RI, USA – 1, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, ; 17

IRC 2 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. Antilope, Grand Soleil 43, Willem Wester , Breskens, Zeeland, NED – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 6
2. Three Harkoms, Oceanis 44, James Hudleston , St. petersburg, FL, USA – 2, 4, 2, 4, 3, 2, ; 17
3. Arethusa, Club Swan 42, Phil Lotz , Newport, RI, USA – 3, 2, 3, 2, 4, 4, ; 18

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 9 Boats)
1. Universal, Hobie 16, Jorge L Ramos , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 6
2. Time Out, Hobie 16, John Holmberg , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, ; 12
3. Island Girl, Hobie 16, Teri McKenna , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 5, 3, 5, 3, 3, ; 19

 

Fleet (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )

Fleet (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery )

(Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery)

KIALOA V / SPS and PIPE DREAM (Photo by Rolex / St.Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

An excursion to downtown Charlotte Amalie is a high point of any proper vacation in St. Thomas. Duty free shops, a colorful outdoor “Vendor’s Plaza” and a working waterfront, complete with cruise ships, ferries and freight boats, unite locals and tourists and create a harmonious blend of sights and sounds. Today, sailors on 77 teams at the International Rolex Regatta made the obligatory trip downtown not by Safari taxi but by boat–actually, their own race boats. The first of today’s two “town races” went from the eastern end of St. Thomas, where the regatta’s host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, to Charlotte Amalie Harbour, giving spectators an eyeful as they watched from scenic overlooks and other vantage points along the island’s hilly coastline. After a rainbow of spinnakers graced a downwind finish, the fleet turned around and headed back from where they came, counting the return trip as their second race.

“We went with a spinnaker almost all the way to town…like a party!” laughed Kike Gonzalez (San Juan, PR), the skipper of the J/80 Otrakosa, who posted a 1-2 in CSA Spinnaker 3 class for second place overall. “Mag 7 (a J/27 skippered by St. Thomian Paul Davis) was winning, but in the last 15 minutes of the race we made the right decision, and we were able to pass them.” Back at the dock, Gonzalez had calculated that he would be at the top of the scoreboard and pointed out Timothy Molony’s (New Orleans, La.) Wild at Heart as a good upwind design that he’d have to watch for, along with Mag 7, tomorrow. When overall scores were posted, however, Wild at Heart proved itself more of an immediate threat than Gonzalez had thought. Its score line of 2-1, the reverse of Otrakosa’s, was also good for three points and the fleet lead as well, after tie-breaking rules were applied. (Mag 7 finished third overall.)

 

 Kyle Smith, a crew member aboard Wild at Heart, explained before racing this morning that his fellow crew mates were all from Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans. “We don’t have big expectations,” he said humbly, “because it’s a chartered boat and this is our first time to race it in the islands.”

In CSA Spinnaker 1, Mark Plaxton’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Team INTAC/CROWLEY finished 1-2 today to lead, leaving second to Andrea Scarabelli’s (St. Maarten, AHO) Melges 24 Budget Marine and third to another Melges 32, David West’s (Tortola, BVI) Jurakan.

“Budget Marine is always, always a boat to think about on the race course,” said Ben Beer (St. Thomas), crew aboard INTAC/CROWLEY. “It’s difficult, however, because we can’t race boat-for-boat with them because of their smaller size, and we have to race boat-for-boat with the other Melges 32. It’s a balance of racing the boat next to you and watching the other boats in the fleet—if you’re not careful, you can fight the battle but lose the war.”

Beer added that he is involved in developing a plan to entice the large group of Melges 32s in the States to put Caribbean racing, including the International Rolex Regatta, on their one-design class racing schedule. “The class is highly competitive, it’s a technical boat–fast, well sailed–and we would get our own one-design start. I mean, look around; it doesn’t matter if you are sailing an IC 24 or a TP52, it’s the best sailing in the world here.”

Other Classes

In CSA Spinnaker 2 class, two Floridians hold first and second place in the 11-boat fleet: Richard Wesslund’s (Miami) J/120 El Ocaso has five points after finishing 4-1 today, while Calvin Reed’s (Tampa, Fla.) Beneteau First 40.7 Elandra of Hamble also has five points, on merit of a 3-2.

interlodge

Interlodge (Photo by Rolex / St.Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

Three TP52s took podium positions after cumulative scores were tabulated in the six-boat IRC 1 class. Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah) Vesper/Team Moneypenny holds three points over the five posted by Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s (Newport, R.I.) Interlodge. (Richard Oland’s Canadian entry Vela Veloce, in third place, also accumulated five points.)

Antilope, Willem Wester’s (NED) Grand Soleil in the nine-boat IRC 2 class, is leading after winning both races today. In second, with finishes of 3-2 is Phil Lotz’s (Newport, R.I.) Club Swan 42 Arethusa.

Bernardo Gonzalez’s (Dorado, PR) Beneteau First 35s5 Bonne Chance is leading the 10-boat CSA Non-Spinnaker class after posting a 1-3 today, worth four points, while Tony Sanpere’s (St. Croix, USVI) J/36 Cayennita Grande is in second, also with four points, after finishing 2-2.

The IC 24 One- Design class, with 16 boats, added one more short distance race to its schedule today after finishing the “town races.” Jorge Santiago’s DonQ Cristal, leads with 12 points, but both the second- and third-place finishers share the same point score. They are Chris Cuerreri’s (St. Thomas) Soggy Dollar BVI and William Bailey’s (St. Thomas) Team INTAC JV.

In Beach Cat class, Jorge Ramos’s (San Juan, PR) Hobie 16 Universal posted a 2-1 to lead a nine-boat fleet.

Vesper (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

Vesper (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)

Racing continues tomorrow (Saturday) with as many as eight windward/leeward races for the IC 24s, while all other classes will sail a combination of island and/or distance races on the south side of St. John. Sunday features as many as six races for IC 24s and two races for all others on Pillsbury Sound. Racing starts at 10 a.m. each morning.

The International Rolex Regatta is the third of the four-part Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit (CORC), which also includes major regattas in St. Croix, Puerto Rico and Tortola. Sailors are treated to a mix of short-course and long distance races that take place off St. Thomas Yacht Club and along the waterfronts of St. Thomas and St. John, and those lucky enough to win the top classes here can also take home a Rolex watch as a prize. Parties are legendary, including a Saturday evening reggae party at Yacht Haven Grande marina, which adds exotic flair to the activities.

The International Rolex Regatta has been hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club since 1974, making it the oldest regatta in Rolex’s portfolio of international sailing events. Rolex is known for sponsoring famous offshore and grand-prix events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.

Harbor Start Of Class IRC 2 (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery)

Harbor Start Of Class IRC 2 (Photo by Rolex / St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery)

PROVISIONAL RESULTS

International Rolex Regatta 2011

Day 1

Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

IIC 24 (One Design – 16 Boats)
1. Team Maximus – DonQ Cristal, IC 24, Jorge Santiago , Ponce, PR, USA – 3, 1, 8, ; 12
2. Soggy Dollar BVI, IC 24, Chris Cuerreri , St. Thomas , USVI – 2, 8, 2, ; 12
3. Team INTAC JV, IC 24, William Bailey , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 6, 3, 3, ; 12

CSA Spinnaker 1 (CSA – 6 Boats)
1. Team INTAC/CROWLEY, Melges 32, Mark Plaxton , Sea Cows Bay, Tortola, BVI – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Budget Marine/GILL , Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli , Cole Bay, St. Maarten, AHO – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Jurakan, Melges 32, David West , Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 2, 3, ; 5

CSA Spinnaker 2 (CSA – 11 Boats)
1. El Ocaso, J 120, Richard Wesslund , Miami, FL, USA – 4, 1, ; 5
2. Elandra of Hamble, Beneteau First 40.7, Calvin Reed , Tampa, FL, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Pipe Dream, Sirena 38, Peter Haycraft , Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 1, 6, ; 7

CSA Spinnaker 3 (CSA – 6 Boats)
1. Wild At Heart, JOD 35, Timothy Molony , New Orleans, LA, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Otrakosa, J 80, Kike Gonzalez , San Juan, PR, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
3. Mag 7, J 27, Paul Davis , Charlotte amalie, VI, USA – 3, 3, ; 6

CSA Non-Spinnaker (CSA – 10 Boats)
1. Bonne Chance, Beneteau First 35s5, Bernardo Gonzalez , Dorado, PR, USA – 1, 3, ; 4
2. Cayennita Grande, J 36, Antonio Sanpere , Christiansted, VI, USA – 2, 2, ; 4
3. Lost Horizon, J 122, James Dobbs , Falmouth, ANT – 5, 1, ; 6

IRC 1 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, James Swartz , Park City, Utah, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Interlodge, JV 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen , Newport, RI, USA – 1, 4, ; 5
3. Vela Veloce, Southern Cross 52, Richard Oland , Saint John, NB, CAN – 3, 2, ; 5

IRC 2 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. Antilope, Grand Soleil 43, Willem Wester , Breskens, Zeeland, NED – 1, 1, ; 2
2. Arethusa, Club Swan 42, Phil Lotz , Newport, RI, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Three Harkoms, Oceanis 44, James Hudleston , St. Petersburg, FL, USA – 2, 4, ; 6

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 9 Boats)
1. Universal, Hobie 16, Jorge L Ramos , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Time Out, Hobie 16, John Holmberg , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Island Girl, Hobie 16, Teri McKenna , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 5, 3, ; 8

Shamrock VII , Cayennita Grande and Bonne Chance

Shamrock VII , Cayennita Grande and Bonne Chance (Photo by Rolex / St.Thomas Yacht Club / Ingrid Abery)