2nd St. Thomas Yacht Club Invitational Regatta Set for May 14-16, 2021

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The second annual St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) Invitational Regatta will take place on May 14-16, 2021. Run out of the Club’s St. Thomas Sailing Center (STSC) in Cowpet Bay, this event will welcome 8 teams representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S.A., and Sweden. COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place per the USVI Government’s executive orders. For example, crews are limited to three in the IC24 and will race jib and main, thus eliminating extra crew needed to fly a spinnaker. Plus, competitors will social distance and wear facial buffs. Following on the heels of the successful St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) in March, the only major Caribbean regatta held so far this year, the STYC Invitational Regatta continues to promote safe marine tourism and the U.S. Virgin Islands’ signature assets of its warm steady tradewinds and surrounding seas. What’s more, the regatta by virtue of its fleet of Club-owned race-ready boats and St. Thomas having one of the best airlifts in the Caribbean continues its evolution to becoming a larger world-class international event in the future.

“Due to COVID, this year’s version of the STYC Invitational will not be an intensely competitive regatta where 11 clubs from the Caribbean and around the World send their best teams to compete for this Championship. Nonetheless, we will have eight teams including one from the Marblehead Yacht Club in Massachusetts and one from the Sunneskars Boatsellskap Club in Sweden. In addition, last year’s champion and this year’s STIR champion in IC-24s, the St. Thomas team of Chris Rosenberg, Cy Thompson, and Addison Caproni will be competing,” says Dave Franzel, director of the STSC.

Racing Preview

The 8 teams will compete in up to 16 round-the-buoy races over the three-day event. Racing will be in Jersey bay on the southeast of St. Thomas, making much of the racing visible from land.

“What I like about the IC-24 is that we have succeeded in creating a class in which the speed differentials between boats are small. The difference makers are teamwork, sail trim, and tactics which are the fundamentals of the sport. When you win an IC-24 event it feels good! Also, a major component of the class is its low cost. This opens up high caliber racing to a broad audience,” says Rosenberg.

Another St. Thomas-based team is headed by Mike Finley, who will be sailing with Morgan Avery and Chris Curreri.

“Hopefully, we sail smart and race clean against the other competitors. The best thing about one design be it an IC-24 or any boat it’s close racing,” says Finley, speaking about his team’s strategy for the STYC Invitational.

The Regatta will also commemorate a perpetual trophy awarded to the winning teams dedicated to Rudy Thomson and Dick Avery for their long-standing contributions to STYC and Olympic racing inspiring sailors of all ages.

Strong Sponsor Support

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is a strong supporter of sailing events as important contributors to the territory’s marine tourism sector. The DOT sponsors the STYC Invitational as well as STIR in March and the youth-focused International Optimist Regatta, set for June 14-20, 2021.

Regatta organizers are also pleased to announce that Michelob Ultra, Stoli, Milagro, and Bacardi Rum, distributed by the West Indies Company (WIC) are the event’s official beer and spirits. These premium branded beverages will be served according to COVID-19 safety protocols at the Club during the event. Signature drinks for the 2021 STYC Invitational include a Bacardi Rum Punch. Michelob Ultra will also provide coveted sailors bags, which include branded masks to keep sailors safe.

“We are pleased to sponsor the STYC Invitational Regatta as our premium brands pair perfectly with activities like sailing,” says Keiya Canton-Brooks, WIC marketing director. “For example, Bacardi’s ‘Do What Moves You’ focuses on engaging consumers to express themselves and connect through their passions – like sailing and their shared love of this rum.”

Learn to Sail

Sailing is not only a great way to socially distance, but a positive activity for the mind and body. The STSC offers several instructional programs for adults, residents, and visitors alike. Class registration comes with a 30-day Bluewater Membership, where students can use and enjoy Club facilities and amenities.

“Beyond the regatta, we’ll offer learn to sail courses every month to introduce new sailors to sailing on the IC24. This opens a whole new world of options on the water. Those who complete the course, or those who are already experienced sailors, can join the Club and use the boats to explore the beautiful waters of St. Thomas and St. John. We have groups going out regularly to adventure around the islands, using our fleet to sail to remote bays to hike, snorkel, and explore with old friends and new. We’re also introducing shorter skills clinics to help our sailors become more confident with specific skills like mooring, close-quarters maneuvering, anchoring, reefing, heaving to and more. There has never been a better time to join the Club, get out on the water, and start making the most of everything the USVI has to offer,” says Dave Walker, who will take over the directorship of the STSC in June.

For more information about the STYC Invitational Regatta and STSC sailing lessons, call (340) 690-3681, or visit: https://stthomassailingcenter.com/

Media Contact:
Carol Bareuther
Tel: 340-998-3650


Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s first Simpson Bay to Friar’s Bay Race much appreciated by 13 competitors

Spectacular sailing conditions, beach time and a leisurely lunch were the key ingredients enjoyed by 13 competitors racing in 3 classes in the Simpson Bay to Friar’s Bay race this past Sunday. Hosted by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club in coordination with the Friar’s Bay Sailing Club, this event showed the increasing interest in local racing.

Race Committee prepared morning starts in Simpson Bay, with all participants finishing in Friar’s Bay. Racing class sailed 2 races, a windward leeward in Simpson Bay, followed by a coastal race to Friar’s Bay. The Cruising class was sent on a direct course to Friar’s Bay, whereas the Multihull class went around the windward side of the island on a longer course passing Tintemarre and Creole Rock before making their way into Friar’s Bay.

In the Cruising class Bunglebird, a Nonsuch 33 owned by Robbie Ferron, sailed against Paul Beaton in the Bavaria 390 Panta Rhei. Having cruised the Sint Maarten coastline for several months, this was the first actual race of Panta Rhei, putting them in second place behind Bunglebird in first place.

Bunglebird took the win in Cruising class

The multihull class saw an impressive turnout with 5 competitors. Enola a KL28 and winner of the first day of the 2021 Caribbean Multihull Challenge, is regularly seen sailing around the North East coast of St. Maarten and Sylvain and Mitch were keen to participate in this new event. The longer course was exciting, but harder for a boat that size, thus putting them in 5th place. The Brasapi 41 Guimamalou owned by Jean Michel Ricourt has been missed in many regattas this season, but welcomed back to racing this Sunday as it took 4th place.

The bigger cats were fighting for the podium places. Seaduction a Leopard 47, skippered by Petro Jonker was sailed well by her crew, and with only seconds difference ended in 3rd place. Arawak the Custom Joubert/Nivelt 52 was sailed by four families, enjoying the fast race around the island to Friar’s Bay. They took line honours but their corrected time put them only minutes behind Spellbound in second place. This Leopard 45 owned by Ian Martin was raced hard by Andre Swart and his veteran crew including former Whitbread racer Shag Morton and his family. A first place was celebrated with a BBQ aboard and a casual sail home.

The three bigger catamarans fighting for the win

“The intention of the event was to offer sailors a competitive, but enjoyable destination race. It being on a Sunday what better location to sail to then Friar’s Bay. A collaboration with the Friar’s Bay Sailing Club made this possible, they organized the volunteers for the finish in Friar’s Bay while the Sint Maarten Yacht Club got their race committee to run the starts in Simpson Bay. The Sailing School in Friar’s Bay is quickly gaining more interest and we are keen to showcase their beautiful club house on the beach in Friar’s Bay. Having competed in each other’s event already, we are looking to grow the partnership and repeat events as this one last Sunday.” Said General Manager Michele Korteweg.

The race finished in Friar’s Bay, showcasing the cooperation between the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and Friar’s Bay Sailing Club

The Racing class consisting out of 5 teams was joined by one F18, sailed by Eric Pages. Organizers would like to see more F18s join in future events to provide them their own class.

The first race was a windward leeward course in Simpson Bay with an excellent start for Caraibes Diesel/CV Friar’s Bay, a Melges 24 skippered by Erwan le Normand. Frits Bus steered his Melges 24 Team Island Water World quickly ahead of the fleet and stayed there for the remainder of the race. Solstice, a J105 owned by Jordan Mindich, stayed close behind and took third place in this first race. Team IGY Racing in the J70 sailed well until they made a mistake on one of the down wind legs costing them a podium place in this first race. Wanna B was sailed double handed by Jan van der Eynde and crew. They were happy to take it easy and sail their own race.

Race 2 took the fleet from Simpson Bay to Friar’s Bay, with most of the boats hugging the coastline. IGY Racing was in full control of the boat and finished only mere minutes after the Melges 24 Caraibes Diesel/CV Friar’s Bay taking third place. This second race was a homebound stretch for Erwan and his team on Caraibes Diesel/CV Friar’s Bay, as they are all actively involved in the Friar’s Bay Sailing School. A well deserved second place. Adding a bit more distance gave Solstice advantage over the Melges 24s, still, first place was only a difference of sheer seconds.

That result put them in first place overall in racing class, a fantastic end of this racing day for Team Solstice. Owner Jordan Mindich travelled from the US specifically for this event, as it was new and seemed like casual fun. Perhaps not expecting to take the win home, it must have been well worth the trip to Sint Maarten!

The racing class enjoyed 2 competitive races

Prize giving was hosted at the Friar’s Bay sailing club where drinks were provided whilst the day’s stories were exchanged. Prizes were awarded to the winning teams after organizers shown appreciation for all volunteers involved.

The next keelboat race will take place on May 15 – 16. For more information on this race, or for photos, results and much more visit www.smyc.com.

Antigua Sailing Week Goes Virtual

Antigua Sailing Week is pleased to announce Sailing Week Sunday – a virtual event with stories, interviews and entertainment, transmitting from Antigua on April 25, 2021.

Annually the international coverage of Antigua Sailing Week places Antigua & Barbuda as an unparalleled destination for an active lifestyle. With 2022 on the horizon the event is taking this opportunity to begin to build momentum for what will certainly be a bumper year.

Event manager Rana Lewis stated: “In the void created by the 2020 cancellation we relied on social media flashbacks to previous years to maintain visibility and our spot on the calendar. After the cancellation of 2021 we sensed the need to interact with our worldwide audience in a festive manner while sharing the highlights of racing in Antigua & Barbuda. Essentially it is our way of extending an invitation to come as soon as is safely possible to race, chase and celebrate with us.”

Telecomms provider APUA Inet has come on board with ambassadors Claudette CP Peters plus Tian Winter performing alongside recurring ASW entertainers 1761 degrees and Asher Otto & Itchy Feet.

The 2 hour program aims to connect with locals, the diaspora and reconnect with an audience who are longtime supporters and participants of Antigua Sailing Week, their friends who have heard great things about it, as well as fans of the sport and the destination – any of whom may be considering Antigua & Barbuda as an active or leisure vacation option.

Carlisle Bay Resort, Antigua © Carlisle Bay Antigua

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority are also excited to be a part of Sailing Week Sunday and have partnered with luxury 5 star beachside property the Carlisle Bay Resort. Situated in the South West of the island on a palm fringed crescent beach with a backdrop of emerald rainforest, the hotel is the ultimate in luxury.

Social media followers of Antigua Sailing Week and Antigua Barbuda Tourism www.facebook.com/AntiguaBarbuda who log on and tune in to Sailing Week Sunday will find out how to win one of two great trips to stay at Carlisle Bay for 4 nights. Flights are included from the United Kingdom, North American and Caribbean markets for two lucky couples or friends.

“A flagship event for Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua Sailing Week plays an important role within the yachting pillar of our tourism marketing strategy. This event allows for the creation of jobs and revenue and as such the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority remains committed to supporting Antigua Sailing Week,” said CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James.

Sailing Week Sunday will be aired from 4pm – 6pm AST / 9pm – 11 pm BST on Sunday 25th April via social media channels Facebook.com/Sailingweek and YouTube – Antigua Sailing Week.
Following Sailing Week Sunday, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority will virtually host the Antigua Sailing Week Lay Day on April 28 via social media channel – www.facebook.com/AntiguaBarbuda

Additionally audiences can look forward to further exciting initiatives announced throughout the week on social media.


Racing along the Antiguan coastline in the 2019 Antigua Sailing Week © Paul Wyeth – pwpictures.com

33 competitors enjoyed fierce competition in the Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club hosted the Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta this past weekend April 10 – 11 and witnessed excellent racing in somewhat challenging wind conditions. Light and shifty winds put the race committee and sailors to the test on Sunday, but none were deterred by a little hard work and 5 races were completed before 1pm, setting the total number of races over the entire weekend at 12. With teams participating from St. Barth’s (SBH) and St. Martin (Friar’s Bay), stiff competition was assured. Whereas some were battling it out for podium places, others were strong and kept racing consistently. With 5 different classes of one-design racing, it was an appealing event for all participants.

5 classes competed in the Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta with a total of 33 entries

The Optimist fleet with 13 entries, was the largest one on the waters of Simpson Bay. There were those with years of experience racing hard for every meter in the Blue fleet and a Green fleet for the less experienced sailors. The winners in the Green fleet were Clément Le Normand from St. Martin in third place, followed by Paul Berlande Pages from St. Martin in second and first place was claimed by Veronica Destin from Sint Maarten showing her continuous development throughout the entire weekend.

In the Blue fleet the 8 competitors had their own individual battles within the class resulting in extremely close racing, leaving Arthur Bruel from St. Barts and Karman Paul Loup from St. Martin at a tie for 3rd place, with Karman Paul Loup earning this prize. The real battle was between Jules Fortunati and Lolie Osswald from St. Barts who both finished consistently in either first or second place. Lolie Osswald in the end took more wins and left Fortunati behind in second place, coming first with a 4-point difference. Her excellent racing also got her to be awarded with the trophy for Overall Winner of the Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta.

13 Optimists participated in the event this weekend

Paul van Vliet represented valued sponsor Grant Thornton at Sunday’s prize giving. He said: “It is amazing to see the turnout for this event, with 33 boats on the water we can truly be proud of the success of the event. With attendance from sailing schools from St. Barts and St. Martin you can most definitely tell there is a keen interest in sailing in the region. Our main reason for sponsoring the Multi Class Regatta and the Dinghy and Keelboat Series is to support the efforts made by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club to continue to promote sailing.”

In the Laser Pico class Boo Faustin (SXM), Melina de Vries (SXM) and Emma Turbe (SBH) competed for the overall win. Faustin won 3rd place, an excellent result considering he only started racing last summer and having sailed in only one other regatta. De Vries took 2 bullets on Saturday, putting up a good fight for Turbe, who showed consistent racing on Sunday claiming 4 bullets, making her the first-place winner in her class.

3 Sint Maarten teams competed in the Sunfast 20 class. Robbie Ferron and his team took third place with only 1 point difference with Nils Jannichsen and his crew. Rien Korteknie together with his all-female crew, with Jessica often seen at the helm, convincingly claimed first place.

3 teams from Sint Maarten sailed in the Sunfast 20 class

“It has been an incredible weekend; everyone was so keen to race and of course the weather was beautiful. The winds were a little light on Sunday, but the Race Committee made it work brilliantly. On Saturday, the courses were kept relatively simple, allowing for enough playing ground for all classes. On Sunday Race Officer Paul Miller decided on reaching starts and a more challenging course. It made for lots of smiling faces on the water and great competition. I am actually very proud to see that the majority of classes were dominated by females, resulting in 4 female class winners.” Said head sailing instructor Saskia Revelman.

The participation in the laser fleet has been on the rise this season which was clearly visible in the number of laser sailors in this event, with 10 entries. With upcoming talent in the 4.7’s Emma Lennox, Jordan Pieterse and Skylar Peterson (all SXM racers) competition is getting excellent. The top 3 consisted of veteran Laser sailor Frits Bus (SXM) in third place. In second place came Justin Pieterse (SXM) who sailed excellent and very consistent all weekend, providing Bus and Benoit Meesemaecker (SBH) with much-anticipated competition. However, with 10 bullets nobody was going to beat Meesemaecker, who even in shifty, light winds managed to keep ahead of the fleet.

Benoit Meesemaecker dominating the Laser class

The RS Quest fleet saw 4 entries, including the new Sint Maarten team Louka Williams and Terrance Agard. Mathijs Detering sailed with Delhan and battled throughout the weekend against Arthur Banting and Keeva. It resulted in a tie, with Detering taking third place and Banting second place. Winners of the Quest class were Tibo Turbe and Anthonin Sciou from St. Barts.

The Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta would not have been possible without the support of Grant Thornton, Dominos Pizza and Zee Best Bakery.

For all results check regattaguru.com. For more information, photos and much more visit .com/ multiclasmycss-regatta.

37 boat fleet enjoyed stiff breezes during the St. Maarten National Championship 2021

The 2021 National Dinghy Sailing Championships under the auspices of the Sint Maarten Sailing Federation SIMSAF had a strong entry both from the Dutch and the French side with 37 boats on the water who battled stiff breezes in two racing areas. This event continues the strong participation and competition in the 20/21 sailing season. Besides being the National Championship, it also constitutes a component of the scoring of the Grant Thornton Season Championship series. “We are very happy that we were able to organize this event, with the high number of participants. Having two racing fields contributed to this. it was a very good day and we are especially very proud of all the kids sailing, who have shown tremendous progress”, according to Saskia Revelman, sailing instructor at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.

The competitive Laser class was dominated by St. Barths sailor Benoit Meesemaecker who scored 5 wins in 7 races. Close behind was Frits Bus who scored one win but was always in the top three. Jolyon Ferron came third after some unplanned swimming. All the above were using standard rigs. The winner in radial rigs was Justin Pieterse who also scored fourth in the overall Laser scoring and in the smaller 4/7 the winner was Emma Lennox who scored fifth overall. The national champions in this class were Frits Bus, Justin Pieterse and Emma Lennox. Meesemacker, not being a resident of Sint Maarten was not eligible for the National championship status. Mention should also be made of positions 6 and 7 which were filled by small frame ladies being Jordan Pieterse and Stephane Ferron who showed that with the right sails and skills it is unnecessary to be a big frame male to succeed in this class.

The Optimist class with 11 entries was dominated by Caii Banting who had a bad race in race five where visitor from the French side Emilien le Normand took a win. Adriaan Coppelmans came second and Veronica Destin third. There is every reason to expect the very active Club de voile the friar’s bay to be more competitive in the future as indicated by the fact that Emilien le Normand took two wins (but had some bad races) and Sarah Micheax also took a second in the final race.

The Laser Pico class was dominated by Boo Faustin with Melina de Vries taking second. Boo Faustin clearly took the title National Champion.

The RS Quest class was dominated by Summer Jean Morton and Sahil Khatnani who were winning everything until the last two races when Mathijs Detering and Delhan and Arthur Banting and Caoimhe Brennan suddenly improved themselves, but Summer and Sahil were very deserving of being the National Champion.

The Jeanneau Sunfast 20 class was dominated by yacht club commodore Garth Steyn who won all races from race 4 to race 8. His response: “Sailing is alive in St. Maarten. What a great day!” Behind him there was a mix of results but Nils Jannichsen managed to break a tie with Robbie Ferron due to having two wins with Andrea Scarabelli just inches behind the podium.

The prizes were awarded by globally recognized sailor Peter Harken whose expertise in sailboat racing stretches from ice boats to America’s cup and who was, with his late brother Olaf, responsible for the development of much of the high technology sailing hardware currently used on racing sailboats.

Due to the damage incurred to the yacht club dock as a result of the superyacht accident, the regatta was creatively managed using alternative locations like Explorer island and other dockage solutions in order to run the regatta.

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club will cancel the first racing day of the Hope Ross series that was scheduled for the Easter weekend. The weekend following will be the two-day Grant Thornton Multiclass Regatta on 10 and 11 April, that is hoped to attract a similar number of competitors.

For the results click here.

For overall results of the Season Championship click here.

FOX, Wild T’ing, Bill T, Mark – Win Classes at the 2021 St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The combination of perfect conditions with 15- to 20 knots of breeze out of the east, keen competition and professionally set racecourses made the 2021 St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), sailed March 26-28, a winner. In the end, and after six round-the-islands races over three days, San Diego, CA’s Victor Wild’s Botin 52, FOX, won the CSA Spinnaker Racing Class and St. Thomas, USVI’s Lawrence Aqui’s Dufour 40, topped the CSA Non-Spinnaker Racing Class. Following 15 sprint-style windward-leeward races also in a trio of days, St. Thomas, USVI’s Chris Rosenberg led the One-Design IC24 Class. Finally, it was St. Thomas, USVI’s Mark van den Driessche, who after two days and 16 races scored the win in the One-Design Hobie Wave Class. Each class winner received a famous, special edition, island timepiece from Cardow Jewlers.

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s St. Thomas International Regatta and kudos to the St. Thomas Yacht Club for executing a successful and safe event. The St. Thomas International Regatta was the only major regatta in the Caribbean that wasn’t canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the insightful leadership and smart policies enacted by the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands to ensure we can offer fun events and engaging experiences while keeping our residents and visitors safe. We look forward to welcoming everyone back for the amazing marine schedule of events being rolled out throughout the remainder of the year,” says Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte.

Secrets to Class Success

Thirty-three boats with crews representing all three USVI, the Caribbean, USA and Australia competed in four classes

“It has been fantastic to race against such dedicated sailors in our first international regatta with our newest boat, FOX,” says Wild. “STIR is the most incredible sailing we have ever experienced, and we look forward to returning in 2022!”

St. Thomas’ Peter Corr and his crew on the King 40, Blitz, finished second, while St. Croix’s Chris Stanton helmed the Melges 24, Brew STX Crew, to third in the CSA Spinnaker Racing Class.

In CSA Non-Spinnaker Racing, it was organization and a crew familiar with the boat that led to Aqui’s Wild T’ing’s triumph.

“Three of our crew have sailed with me for over a decade and the others for 4 to 5 years. That’s what helped it all come together for us this year. We’ve been second or third in the past, but this year is a first for a first,” says Aqui, who added that it was the strong breeze and round island courses he enjoyed best.

Puerto Rico’s Fernando Montilla’s Tartan 10, Timon 2, placed second in CSA Non-Spinnaker Racing, with fellow islander Jose Teixidor’s Hanse 455, Portomar, in third.

The 14-boat IC24 Class proved the most competitive with it being nearly anyone’s win going into the last day of racing. In the end, Rosenberg, who served as tactician, with St. Thomas’ two-time Olympic sailor Cy Thompson on the helm, and experienced St. Thomas sailor Addison Caproni on the bow, won the class on Bill T.

“The first day for us was a learning curve, then on day two and three we honed in on what was working. It takes two sails to win, and Addison trimmed the jib perfectly. Cy was spot on with every start within a half a boat length of the line. It takes three to win and that’s what we worked hard to accomplish,” says Rosenberg.

In the Hobie Wave Class, the first and second place sailors were respectively father and son, St. Thomas’ Mark and Julian van den Driessche.

“Consistency paid off,” says the senior van den Driessche. “It was really important not to take any big scores because the racing was so close. Usually, when we sail in the Thursday night Hobie races, it’s my son Julian who beats me.”

STIR 2021 concluded on Sunday with two awards ceremonies to keep crowds low as part of overall COVID protocols. Awards emcee, St. Thomas’ Pat Bailey, received the Commodore’s Trophy for his many years of dedication to Virgin Islands sailing.


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© Caribbean Sailing Association 2018