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Regattas & Rallies – Latest News

Winners in the Brtitish Virgins

Competitors racing in the 51st edition of the BVI Spring Regatta experienced a week of mixed conditions which put the best to the test — light for spring regatta and typical windy trades for the sailing festival.

Olympians and world-champion sailors across the diverse fleet who turned out included Peter Holmberg, Alec Anderson, Luke Patience, Stu Bithell, Terry McLaughlin, Charlie Enright, Cameron Appleton, Paul Larsen, and Ryan Breymaier.

Spike, helmed by Sam Talbot, who has raced the J/111 many times at BVI Spring Regatta, finally took a first win in class, while Michael and Helen Wilson racing their Cape 31 Shotgunn in the BVI for the first time prevailed against the highly competitive Flying Jenny, another Cape 31.

Todd Slyngstad on his HH66 Nemo, took first overall in performance multihull, finishing with 6.5 points, ahead of Allegra, the custom catamaran owned by Adrian Keller.

With five bullets over six races, Shotgunn was the clear winner in CSA 2. Lady M, the Beneteau First 40.7 owned and skippered by Joan Rodriquez, took first in Performance Cruising A for the second consecutive year, finishing just two points ahead of Puerto Rico based Paroma, the Salona 44 owned and skippered by Luis Balzac.

Canadians Steve Denure and Terry McLaughlin, silver medallist in the Flying Dutchman Class at the Los Angeles 1984, easily took first in Bareboat 2 on the Sunsail 41 Sul Vento with five bullets over five races.

Distinguished awards were presented to Chris Haycraft, regatta chairman and owner/skipper of Ting A Ling II, a Corsair F 31, who took four bullets over five races to win first in class in Sport Multihull and the Best BVI Boat award. Every year the regatta presents the Guy Eldridge Spirit of Enthusiasm Award to an individual or individuals who shine in the spirit of the sport and who has stepped out and gone beyond. This year the award went to Bad Decisions, the J/30 from St Croix skippered by Fuzzy Stoddard. The regatta in 2025 is March 31 – April 6.

For full results, click on yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=16230

Flying Jenny, foreground, won the CSA 1 Class, with second place ShotGunn (middle) and third place M2 (right) at the 50th St. Thomas International Regatta. Photo credit: INGRID ABERY
Flying Jenny, foreground, won the CSA 1 Class, with second place ShotGunn (middle) and third place M2 (right) at the 50th St. Thomas International Regatta. Photo credit: INGRID ABERY

And in the US Virgins …

Flying Jenny, Apollo, Exodus, Wild T’ing, Bill T and OT the App were class winners at the 50th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) in the United States Virgin Islands in March 2024.

The victory for the Cape 31 Flying Jenny, winner of the CSA 1 class, was decided after the last leg of the one race of the day and the last of the regatta. T Michael Wilson’s ShotGunn placed second, with Marc McMorris of M2, third.

The third time sailing STIR proved a charm for the US’s Donald Nicholson’s J/121, Apollo, in the CSA 2 class. The US’s Trinity IV, a J/42, finished second, and the UK-based race charter Beneteau First 40.7, Escapado, third.

In CSA 3, it was Puerto Rico’s Keki Figueroa driving his Melges 24, Exodus, which capped the class. St. Thomas sailor Lawrence Aqui raced his Dufour 40, Wild T’ing, to the top of the CSA non-spinnaker class.

Apollo, a J/121, had seven bullets in CSA 2 fleet during the St. Thomas International Regatta. Photo credit: INGRID ABERY
Apollo, a J/121, had seven bullets in CSA 2 fleet during the St. Thomas International Regatta. Photo credit: INGRID ABERY

The One-Design IC24 Class proved the biggest of STIR with 15 boats and was the class that did the most races with 13 total over three days. St. Thomas’ two-time Olympian, Cy Thompson, on Bill T, successfully defended his class-winning title.

Flying Jenny and Apollo were also class winners of the one-day STIR tune-up race “Round the Rocks” around St. John, USVI, which included eleven boats in four classes. In the large multihull class, the winner was Ron Boehm’s Perry Antrim 52, Little Wing.

STIR is a Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta featuring green initiatives such as paperless event management and a water refill station.

For more information, click on stthomasinternationalregatta.com. For race results, visit yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=16227

Young Sailors Shine at Next Generation Race

Twelve teams from the SMYC Sailing School showcased their skills at the St. Maarten Regatta’s Next Generation Race, held over the weekend of March 1 and 2 as part of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Teams of two, comprised of kids with varying levels of sailing experience, rotated in six RS Zest boats.

Next Generation sailors salute prizewinners. Photo: SMYC
Next Generation sailors salute prizewinners. Photo: SMYC

After an intense weekend of competition, Team Lily Johnson and Joseph Johnson secured third place, while Team Nathan Sheppard and Robert Gumbs claimed second. Oskar Jarrett Versteegden and Chris Meekhof clinched first place.

Antigua Classics 2023. Photo credit: Lucy Tulloch
Antigua Classics 2023. Photo credit: Lucy Tulloch

2024 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta Digital Program

This event will take place from April 17th to 22nd. Go to antiguaclassics.com to view the entire event program, which includes photographs and special features of boats past and present.

For more information, email the regatta coordinator at [email protected].

April 9th, 2024: Allegra claims the inaugural IMA Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series by a point

The first running of the International Maxi Association’s Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series concluded on Sunday with the end of the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival held out of Nanny Cay, Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. The new series recognizes the growing part of maxi yachting – private owners who wish to race large, fast multihulls, either for their pure blistering speed, in the case of the MOD70 trimarans, or, in the case of the catamarans, because of their performance, combined with their huge interiors, make them the ultimate cruiser-racers.

Read More
https://caribbeancompass.com/allegra-claims-inaugural-ima-caribbean-maxi-multihull-series-by-a-point

Leopard Takes Caribbean 600

Overall winner of the 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 was the Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff. Second was Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE). Peter and David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA) completed the overall podium.

A total of 64 boats took on the challenge, with 561 sailors from all over the world competing in the 600-mile race around 11 Caribbean islands. Prizegiving was held on the lawn at the Antigua Yacht Club.

Overall race winner Leopard 3 was one of the RORC Caribbean 600 founding entries, setting the original monohull race record in 2009, and taking Monohull Line Honours again in 2013. This year was the first occasion in nine attempts that Leopard 3 has won the race overall under IRC. Leopard 3 is now 17 years old but is faster than ever due to a major refit by the new owners. Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) took Multihull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 01 day 08 hrs 08 mins and 40 secs.

Niklas Zennström’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE) won a highly contested battle in the hi-tech IRC Zero class. Peter & David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA) was second by just three minutes and 10 seconds after IRC time correction. Third was Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 (FRA), just seven minutes after IRC time correction ahead of Jon Desmond’s Mills 41 Final Final (USA).

The 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 was preceded by the second Nelson’s Cup Series with two days of inshore racing mid-February followed by the Antigua 360 Race February 16. The series saw 34 entries, including multihulls, racing under MOCRA, three IRC Classes, and the Class40 Division.

The best corrected time under IRC for the Antigua 360 was scored by Rán in IRC One. Leopard 3 racing in IRC Zero was just a minute behind Rán after IRC time correction.

PRO Stefan Kunstmann staggered the starts with the multihulls last away. This produced an epic duel approaching the finish as Erik Maris’ MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) ducked Leopard 3.

Kiteboarder Tiger Tyson, who will be representing Antigua & Barbuda in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games started last, but finished first, setting a personal record time of 2 hours, 13 mins 42 secs for the 52-mile race around Antigua.

Argo took Multihull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 3 Hours, 14 mins 23. Zoulou was second over the line, eight minutes behind Argo, with Alexia Barrier’s MOD70 Limosa (FRA) third. Leopard 3 took Monohull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 4 hours 22 mins 14 secs and won IRC Zero after time correction.

The 2025 Caribbean 600 will start from Fort Charlotte on February 17, preceded by the third edition of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series.

For more information, log on to RORC Caribbean 600 (caribbean600.rorc.org).

32nd Sailing Week of Schoelcher in Martinique

Over a hundred boats competed in the 32nd sailing week of Schoelcher in mid February. The Sint Maarten Yacht Club was represented by Massimo Lapierre, Melina de Vries and Rio Stomp in the ILCA 4 class.

The event included four days and 13 races have been under good wind conditions.  Out of 22 sailors in ILCA 4 Rio Stomp finished 5th overall, narrowly edged out for 4th place by Saint Martin neighbor Emilien le Normand. Massimo Lappiere finished 15th overall, with Melina de Vries 17th.

Nathan Wehrle from Martinique won the ILCA 4 class. Luk Moreau Dhallenne from Martinique got 2nd, and Lolie Osswald from St Barts got 3rd.

On the Horizon

Preparing for Antigua Classic
Preparing for Antigua Classic

Antigua Classics April 17th-22nd

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (Classics), a celebration of the yachts of yesteryear, will be held in Nelson’s Dockyard from April 17-22, in collaboration with the National Parks Authority (NPA). Park Fees will remain $US 15 per person total for the duration of the event, allowing full use of the facilities. All other fees, will be covered by the Classic Regatta.

For more information, please visit antiguaclassics.com.


March 2024 Updates

Heineken Regatta 2024 – Going on Now Feb 28 – Mar 3rd!

Over 110 boats have registered for the 44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta from over 20 countries around the world – as far as South Africa and Australia! Teams gathered at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Village at Port de Plaisance for registration, where they were loaded with goodies and good energy for the 4-day weekend of “Serious Fun!” ahead.
Competing teams represent over 25 nationalities, many teams sailing with mixed international crew from all over the world. Among them is GFA Caraibes – La Morrigane, Overall Winners of the 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, who are competing in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta before the team goes on an international racing campaign. “It’s our last regatta in the Caribbean, because after that we will go to the Pacific – so we want to make a good last race here for the team,” said skipper Tristan Marmousez.

Regatta homepage: https://www.heinekenregatta.com/

Race Results: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=16108

Day 4 of racing:

Day 3 of racing:

Day 2 of racing:

See a video of day 1 of racing below:

Pre-race video:


Warrior Won Takes RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy

Warrior One (Finish)

PAC52 Warrior Won, owned and skippered by Chris Sheehan, has been awarded the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy, with an elapsed time of 11 days, 5 hours, 18 minutes and 28 seconds. Warrior Won is the first American boat to win the RORC Transatlantic Race and the second smallest boat to do so.  

The French JPK 1180 Cocody, owned and skippered by Richard Fromentin, finished second. British JPK 1180 Dawn Treader, owned and captained by Ed Bell, was third.

For Chris Sheehan, winning the RORC Transatlantic Race was the ultimate ambition.

 “We raced more than 4,000 miles to complete this race,” said Sheehan. “It has been on our schedule for five years. My crew asked me what the goal was. Normally I say let’s win our class. I was audacious and told them, I want to win overall, and we delivered, which is phenomenal!”

For more details consult the website (www.rorctransatlantic.rorc.org).

Warrior Prize Giving

Sint Maarten Yacht Club Hosts Grant Thornton Regatta

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club hosted Club de Voile de Friar’s Bay from French Saint Martin and Saint Barths Yacht Club for the Grant Thornton Multiclass Regatta in late January 2024. The regatta featured three classes: Laser, Sunfast 20, and Optimist, the last of which encompassed three sub-fleets: SailQube fleet, White fleet, and Green fleet.

In the Optimist White fleet, Lourenco Couto Jorge from the St. Barths secured top position. Tao Carmona, also from St. Barths, finished second, and Nathan Sheppard from Sint Maarten Yacht Club was third.

Stanley Haes from Club de Voile finished first in the Green fleet. Sarah Michaux, also from Club de Voile, secured second place, and Oskar Versteegden from the St. Maarten came in third.

This year marked the debut of the SailQube fleet, with Axel Le Chavez and Nathaniel from Club de Voile claiming the top two positions, followed by Benjamin Dekker Aardema from the St. Maarten in third place.

Lolie Osswald from St. Barths won the Laser fleet, with two St. Maarten racers, Rio Stomp and Frits Bus, finishing second and third. 

The Sunfast 20 class was won by Robbie Ferron and his team, followed by Stephana Ferron and her team, with Brad Taylor and his team finishing third.

Heineken Regatta Means Serious Fun

The 44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta celebrates “Serious Fun!” February 29-March 3, 2024, with a range of entrants from family catamarans to professional maxi teams, complemented by world-class entertainment by night. Over 100 boats participated in the 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, with a fleet that ranged from 24-ft performance trimarans to 70-ft ocean racing monohulls to those family cruisers-turned-racers.

During the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the daily Bridge Show parade of sail through the iconic Simpson Bay Bridge allows crews to win some points and pride from adoring fans at the Sint Maarten. (COURTESY LAURENS MOREL/SMHR)

Along with the world-class racers who are attracted to the Heineken Regatta’s challenging courses and top competitors is the unique Island Time Class — Made for Cruisers, designed for liveaboards, world travelers and even racing yachts who prefer a more laid-back way to take part. “Island Time” means a later start, one race per day, a simplified CSA rating and shorter courses. Hank Schmitt, originator of the Island Time Class races, and winner of 2023’s Robbie Ferron Trophy for Promoter of Sailing in the Caribbean, will return for the 19th time with his yacht, Avocation, with paying crew aboard.

The Regatta extends the concept of serious fun to its spectators, including a daily bridge show parade of sail through the Simpson Bay Bridge. Teams don their best costumes and bust out the dance moves in front of a panel of judges and a roaring crowd.

Volunteers are always welcome to work behind the scenes in hospitality, race committee, operations and entertainment, with the only requirement being a serious commitment to fun.

Learn more about these opportunities and how to sign up at www.heinekenregatta.com

Learn how to join the Heineken regatta as a cruiser here.

Caribbean Multihull Challenge Gets Underway

There’s plenty of excitement in store as the sixth Caribbean Multihull Challenge gets underway, starting with some great match-ups in CSA 1.  That class will see five races with three of them distance romps: the 60 mile around St Barts sponsored by FKG Rigging; the Around Saba Dash sponsored by the Sint Maarten Tourism Bureau, and the around island Circle Race sponsored by Amstel Bright Beer. 

Riccardo Pavoncelli’s 66’ Gunboat Mana and Todd Slyngstad’s 66’ HH Nemo will face off, with Nemo looking to defend its winning performance in previous CMC editions. 

Anthony McVeigh’s speedy 2 2 Tango -Schionning 53 broad reaching along the shore in SXM (COURTESY LAURENS MOREL)

Perennial winner Anthony McVeigh’s speedy 2 2 Tango, a Schionning 53, faces off against a newcomer, Richard Wooldridge’s Kelsail 47 Triple Jack. And we welcome back the legendary Guy Chester aboard his rugged Crowther trimaran Oceans Tribute, lookingto set new records.

First-timers in the race include Harry Fugate and Off-Piste; another HH – but this time a 50’ cat; and Pierre-Yves Legris’s Alibi 65 Surprise in the rally.

One of the hottest competitions will pit at least ten VPLP designed French-built Diam 24 open trimarans against each other, racing for four days in and around the southern shore of St Maarten. Just a few years back, Pierre Altier, Diam agent, entered only four boats, and this category will only keep growing in popularity.

And finally, CMC takes the lead with a breakthrough event which has never been tried before, Time Trials for Cruising Multihulls, creating a place for those skippers who do not want to officially race, but who want a chance to grab a podium spot at a prize giving. This is not a race, but rather a timed event with a parade start and no turning marks where collisions can happen. The Time Trials will test a skipper’s speed through the water from point A to point B, adjusted for a simplified rating each skipper will receive from CMC officials.  

To cap all of this off, CMC has partnered with the Caribbean Cetacean Society and CLEAR Caribbean to raise money for their marine mammal and coral reef preservation operations through the sale of the new official CMC sailing polo from the Netherland’s Magic Marine (available in limited quantities at $60US; 10 percent of the sale price will be is donated 50/50 to these two organizations.)

For more information on the CMC, go to CaribbeanMultihullChallengecom.

Also on the Horizon

M2 (COURTESY M2)

Over 50 yachts are expected to race in the 50th Anniversary St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) March 29-31, 2024. Returning are Cape 31 M2, from San Francisco, and St. Croix, USVI’s Peter Stanton with his IC24, Big Island. Newcomers from England are JPK1180 Dawn Treader and Escapado, a Beneteau First 40.7.

STIR is still accepting entrants in the following categories: CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association-handicap rule), racing, cruising, and bareboat classes; ORC; large multihulls; Hobie Waves; and one-design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet. Go to yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eid=16227 to enter.

Optimist fleet for IOR (COURTESY MATIAS CAPIZZANO)

Registration is also now open for St. Thomas’s 31st International Optimist Regatta (IOR), which will take place, along with the TOTE Clinic and the TOTE Team Race, June 9-16, 2024, at the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Registration is at www.regattanetwork.com. The fee for the IOR is $300, with late registration after May 1 of $350. The fee to enter the IOR and TOTE Clinic is $700, or $400 for the clinic only. The 2024 IOR can accept only a maximum of 125 sailors; register early.

Aberson Series Results at St. Maarten Yacht Club             

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club hosted the Aberson Series sailing race in December 2023 as part of the dinghy season championship.

Twenty boats in three classes competed, with winds between 10 to 15 knots and strong gusts reaching 23 to 24 knots. The challenging conditions caused a few boats to capsize.

Optimist Fleet (COURTESY SMYC)

In the ILCA fleet, Rio Stomp from the SMYC took the first place, followed by Emilien Le Normand from Club de Voile de Friars Bay, and Frits Bus, also from SMYC, came in third place.

In the Optimist fleet, with ten young sailors showcasing their talent, Lourenso Rolo Couto Jorge ended in third place, right after Carmona Bouvrais Tao, who came in second place. Thomas Magras won the first position. All three Optimist winners represented St Barths Yacht Club.

In the Quest fleet, two boats competed: Jesse Lake and Mathijs Detering finished first, and Caii Banting and Arthus, from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, ended second.

Foiling Championships in St. Martin

The Caribbean Foiling Championships in December 2023 at Ocean Bay Beach, St. Martin, featured a series of windfoiling, wingfoiling and kitefoiling events, leading up to the grand finale, the Around the Island Kitefoil Race. This was nearly upstaged in the Halfway Around the Island wingfoiling event, won by Mahe Thebault of Guadeloupe in a time of 53 minutes. Thebault made the full around-island circuit, finishing with an unofficial record time for a wingfoiler of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 40 seconds. Arthur Thebaut was second, Solenn Gaul finished third. Overall kitefoil finishers were Mahe Thebault first, Anthony Smith second, Arthur Thebault third.

The full Around the Island kitefoil event was won by Julien Quentel of St. Martin in 1 hour, 15 minutes, 0 seconds, challenging but falling short of his own world record by three minutes. Frank Balvay finished second, Aurelie Garreau was third. Quentel was also the overall Kitefoil Pro champion, followed by Sasha Letthulier and Willan Dolmin.

Lucas Marot of St. Barts won the Around the Island Windfoil Pro event in the record time of 1 hour 56 minutes 47 seconds, followed by

Clement Jeanjean and Raphael Payen. The top three finishers in the overall Windfoil pro standings were Neels Pechoux, Clement Jeanjean and Raphael Payen.

SVG/CG United Insurance National Sailing Championships

Competitive ILCA 6 racing (COURTESY SEBASTIAN CYRUS)
Trophy winners Joshua Weinhardt and Oreakay Joseph (COURTESY SEBASTIAN CYRUS)

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines CG United Insurance National Sailing Championships wound up competition at Calliaqua Bay in mid December 2023. Oreakay Joseph claimed first place in the ILCA6 category, with Jamark Osborne finishing second, and Logan Banfield third.

Optimist Green Fleet winner Madison Allcock ( COURTESY SEBASTIAN CYRUS)

In the Optimist class, Joshua Weinhardt emerged the winner, with Tegan Deane the first girl finisher and second place overall.  Kai Marks Dasent was third.

Madison Allock’s four first place finishes made her the overall champion in the Optimist Green Fleet. Rohana Warran and Ira Hadley had one point between them for second and third place respectively.

2023 World Cruising Club ARC+ and ARC Rally Recap: 3,000 Miles, 244 Boats, 1,353 Crew

Caribbean Compass editor-in-chief Elaine Lembo spent time with ARC+ and ARC participants after their successful Atlantic Ocean passages in moderate weather conditions. Most crews made landfalls at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada and at IGY Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia in December.  See more here

38th edition of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers concludes in Saint Lucia

December 18th, 2023- ARC 2023 drew to a close on Saturday night with an awards ceremony in Saint Lucia that celebrated all the unique elements that make this rally so popular – great sailing, wildlife, fishing, photography, families, fun, and friendship.

19.22m Nica DEU arrives in Rodney Bay Marina after finishing ARC 2023

Over 500 sailors gathered in Beausejour for a ceremony filled with laughter and happy emotion. The Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, The Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, Dr Ernest Hilaire, identified the special nature of the ARC and ARC sailors when he said to cheers and applause: “I have such admiration for you, I could never do what you do, I know that. You are a unique breed of human beings. And I’ll tell you another unique thing about ARC ceremonies – I am always amazed at the sheer joy when you are called on for your prizes. If I had crossed the Atlantic for so many days, who cares about the prizes, you know! But as I said, you are unique.”

155 yachts, including a record-breaking 44 multihulls, set sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 19 November, sailing an average 3,000 nautical miles to Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia. 151 finished in time to join the awards ceremony, with the last boat, Graptolite (DEU), expected into Saint Lucia early on Monday morning. There were three retirements.

Characterized by a light wind start and moderate tradewind conditions, 2023 has been a transat to remember for the 930 crews, from baby Emmett on Sulyna (GBR) to the ARC’s oldest sailor, 89-year-old Joff Hutchinson on Carrick (GBR).

The first boat to finish was Marco Rodolfi’s Swan Berenice Cube (GBR), claiming line honors in the Racing Division in 12 days, 13h 54m 34s, followed seven hours later by Regis Guillemot’s Marsaudon ORC50 Ti Ana (FRA).

ARC: More Than Sailing

The ARC is about more than the fastest, and as always, the ceremony recognized individual achievements and contributions to the rally ethos and atmosphere. There were special thanks for the volunteers who ran the SSB radio net at sea and the finish line VHF, providing both the social glue for the rally and an important safety feature.

As a family event the 20 children of ARC 2023 received special medals and certificates of achievement, with the Spiegel family on Hallberg-Rassy Saltair (USA) awarded best family performance on corrected time. The 38 sailors aged over 65 weren’t forgotten, with Ron Burns of NiteOut (USA) – who celebrated his 79th birthday on start day – receiving a dinner voucher, and Enrico Calvi of Dufour 34E Duffy (ITA) winning the Nick Thomas trophy for first skipper aged over 65 – finishing in 18 days 8 hours on corrected time. Millie Webb sailing Penny Oyster (GBR) was first female skipper on corrected time in the Cruising Division, and 24-year-old Otto Letteval Forsgren on Faros (HRV) was the youngest skipper.

Steve and Teen on Audacious Duo (AUS) were recognized with the Kaprys Award for their determination to make the start line following orca damage to their rudders off Portugal. The Philip Hitchcock Award for Safety was presented to the skipper and crew of Rubin (DEU) for their thorough and thoughtful approach to safety, and the crew of catamaran White Lotus (HRV) won a case of beer for landing this year’s biggest fish, a 60kg yellowfin tuna.

Sharing the story of life at sea with family and friends is an important part of ocean sailing, and Tahira (GBR), Vitamin Sea (DEU), and Wolkenschlößchen (DEU) won prizes for their written and photographic blogs. The crew of catamaran June (CAN) and young Jacques and Gisele from Uno (NZL) won best social media contributors.

The Eric Jean Trophy for humanity and environment was presented to the crew of Oyster 825 Champagne Hippy (GBR) for dropping their spinnaker and turning back to free two turtles trapped in an abandoned fishing net, and the Arch Marez Trophy was awarded to Salamander (GBR) for their continued contribution to shoreside activities.

Sailing Awards

As well as recognizing the traditional first, second and third in each class, there were also prizes for the seventh and tenth boats too. Overall line honors (no motoring) was won by Berenice Cube (GBR) and for multihulls by Marsaudon ORC50 Calamity (VGB). Overall winner of the Cruising Division, receiving the Jimmy Cornell Trophy, was Vittorio Morbidelli of Beneteau First 435 Algol (ITA). Winner of the IRC Racing Division was Elan 450 Emily of Cowes (GBR) and overall winner of the Multihull Division was Marsaudon ORC 50 Ti Ana (FRA).

Class winners in Division 1 Cruising were: Class A – Amel 55 Kincsem (USA); Class B – Oyster 565 Larimar (EST); Class C – X-Yachts X4.6 Ipanema (NLD); Class D – Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 52.5 Mizar III (ITA); Class E – Beneteau First 435 Algol (ITA). Class winners in Division IV Multihulls were Class A – Ti Ana (FRA); Class B – Privilege 37 Tanoa (DEU), the smallest multihull in ARC 2023.

Spirit of the ARC

Voted for by both ARC participants and the World Cruising Club ‘Yellow Shirts’, the Spirit of the ARC Award was unanimously won by Wolfgang and Petra Hass of yacht Gian (MLT). Having sailed their Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS in two previous ARCs, Wolfgang and Petra knew how to offer advice, encouragement, and support to their fellow sailors and became affectionately known as the ‘Grandparents of the fleet’ for their happy hosting of all the young sailors.

After the ARC

Twelve ARC yachts will join the 38-strong World ARC circumnavigation rally that departs from Saint Lucia on 13 January, heading to Panama before transiting the Panama Canal and on into the Pacific Ocean. Another 30 yachts will be sailing back to Europe via Bermuda and the Azores with the ARC Europe rally departing St Maarten on 6 May.

A full list of awards is available on the ARC website: https://www.worldcruising.com/arc/arc_2023_eventresults.aspx?eventid=152

The 7th edition of the Viking Explorers Rally kicks off in Marina Las Palmas

December 11th, 2023-The Viking Explorers Rally across the Atlantic started this Sunday 10th of December, as usual since 2018 on the second Sunday of December, with seminars and parties.

An international fleet of 25 boats ranging from 34ft to 76ft and 80 crews from The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, United States, Italy, Spain, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, and Latvia, gathered at the Conference Hall at the Club Maritimo Varadero, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, on the Canary Islands.

As usual, managing Director Oliver Solanas Heinrichs welcomed all sailors and asked every crew to come on stage to present themselves to their fellow sailors. However, most would already know each other online , due to the Online Get-togethers performed by the rally during previous months. A very fun and emotive presentation took place while Carlota, PR and Viking Explorers Europe Manager, handed over the Welcome Packs to the crews. Marike Derks from Seven Star Yacht Transport also welcomed all sailors on behalf of the company.

The first seminar was the important Safety Seminar “What If”, one of many, as for the next few days several seminars will take place, like Provisioning, Weather or Tricks and Tips for the Caribbean, among others.

After a break, the participants posed for the Viking Explorers Family photo and it already felt like a nice group of sailors with the same aim: to cross the Atlantic in a safe, but more private group. Participants will enjoy a full 2 weeks of seminars, parties, dinners, and even improvised pontoon parties, as it happened after the first day of seminars, on Sunday.

After these 2 weeks, participants will have a Christmas break. They will gather again on the 4th of January for the important Skippers Briefing, where it will be decided together with the organization if it is safe to leave, weather permitting, on the scheduled 6th of January 2024.The fleet will then set sail towards beautiful Port Louis Marina in Grenada at the West Indies, with an alternative stop in Mindelo, Sao Vicente, at the Cape Verde Islands.

The Viking Explorers have become an interesting alternative to cross the Atlantic. It is a “non-competitive” Rally, a 2,700-nautical-mile sailing adventure that takes participants from the Canary Islands to Grenada via Cape Verde. The event, which was first held in 2018, has quickly become a very popular sailing event, attracting participants from all over the globe. Viking Explorers is an exciting exclusive rally with a maximum of 25 boats. With a reduced fleet, the rally focuses on giving the best customer service possible and aims to maximize safety and the camaraderie between the fleet.

For more information about The Viking Explorers Rally, please visit: https://www.vikingexplorersrally.com

Celebrating ARC+ achievements in Grenada

December 8th, 2023- Bringing to a close the 11th edition of World Cruising Club’s ARC+ cruising rally, over 400 participants celebrated their transatlantic achievement at a spectacular prizegiving ceremony held at Prickly Bay Marina, Grenada.

With a record-breaking entry of 95 boats and crews from 24 different countries around the globe, it was fitting that the Hon. Minister, Lennox Andrews, Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Tourism & Creative applauded the ARC+ sailors on their accomplishment: “I extend a warm welcome to you all. We celebrate your remarkable achievements, your resilience and passion for sailing the oceans. Thank you for gracing our shores and confirming our tri-island state as a premier destination for adventure and sports sailing,” confirming the importance of the event to Grenada and its people.

Paul Tetlow, Managing Director of World Cruising Club thanked the Hon. Minister on behalf of ARC+ participants: “The reception we have received here in Grenada has been second to none, and we already have fond feelings for our landfall island in the Caribbean.”

He continued, “I would like to thank those who are an important part of ARC+ in Grenada, we know events like this don’t happen without a lot of hard work. Nikoyan Roberts, Nautical Development Manager and Marketing Manager of the Grenada Tourism Authority, who with Chinel Sandy has been responsible for the GTA input into the planning. Zara Tremlett, General Manager of Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, who with her team have gone out of their way to make us all feel at home and have welcomed all the boats into Grenada. The student volunteers of TAM Community College who welcomed everyone as they arrived, and finally, I’d like to thank ‘you’ – the wonderful participants of ARC+ and your friends and families.”

Sailing Results
Although the ARC+ is a rally for cruising boats and there is no racing class, many of the participants were keen to make the most of their boats’ capabilities. As the saying goes, ‘two boats going in the same direction is a race’, and a third of the boats sailed every one of the 2,270 nautical miles, declaring no motoring hours.

Line honours for first finishers with no motoring were awarded to Andrea Nevi and the crew of Nessun Dorma (ITA) with an elapsed time of 11d 18h, 01m 49s and to Norbert and Francoise Paproki who sailed Outremer 55-2 XIII Treize (FRA) to multihull line honours in 12d 02h 14m 01s.

Taking ratings and motoring penalties into account, prizes were awarded to the first three in each class. Winners in Division1 for cruisers were Class A, Nessun Dorma (ITA) Italia Yachts 15.98; Class B, Imi Makani (CAN) X-Yachts X4.6; Class C, Sassicaia (DNK) Luffe 48; Class D, Cupid (GBR) Bowman 40. “That is an amazing validation, winning this prize. We loved it. It was awesome. It’s been the hardest endurance event I’ve ever done in my life,” said the crew of Canadian yacht Imi Makani on their class win.

In the largest-ever multihull fleet, the class winners were in Class A Outremer 51 Maracujar (FRA) and in Class B, Manaia (DEU) a Lagoon 421. “It’s unbelievable, with just the two of us on our boat. We never imagined that we could be the winners, with our small Lagoon catamaran,” said Stephen and Silva from Manaia.

More info: https://www.worldcruising.com/arc_plus/event.aspx

Nanny Cay Round Tortola Race

The 2023 Nanny Cay Round Tortola Race took place in November 2023, with plenty of south in the wind, offering up a potential record-breaking day.  

The first away at 09:35 was the 40-foot Beneteau Libertas, skippered by Pat Nolan, the only boat in the fleet that made it to the start line. Sailing with just two crew, Libertas made great time, completing the circumnavigation in 3 hours, 47 minutes, and 52 seconds.

Next away was Kelsall 47 trimaran Triple Jack skippered by Richard Wooldridge, attempting the Nanny Cay Challenge (NCC). At 10:26 they crossed the line. Clocking speeds in the mid to high teens, and having completed just one tack and one jibe through the whole route, they finished with a time of 2 hours, 40 minutes, and 4 seconds, just 6 minutes and 37 seconds shy of their own record, set in 2015. 

When entering the NCC, all boats must make a donation to a charity of their choice and the Triple Jack team selected the Humane Society of the BVI. 

The last fleet to start were the Corsair trimarans, The Flying Pig, Trike and Ting a Ling, who crossed the line at 10:35. As per the race instructions, competitors can choose to take the same route as the Nanny Cay Challenge or take a shorter route inside Scrub, Great Camanoe and Guana islands. 

Sam Talbot’s 31-foot Trike opted for the outside route, while the two 27s,Ting a Ling and The Flying Pig, came through the gap to leave Monkey Point on Guana Island to starboard. The north shore offered up challenging conditions with lighter winds but very strong gusts and a big swell. The waters off Brewers Bay were the end of the day for Chris Haycraft’s Ting a Ling, as a broken rudder forced him to retire from the race. Gilbo Simpson and Tim Parson’s The Flying Pig, with crew members Nelson Ray-Boothe and Katherine Wilson, almost found themselves a casualty when a massive gust caused a near capsize and blew out their spinnaker, but they were able to continue.

First home was Trike with an elapsed time of 2 hours, 42 minutes, and 36 seconds. The Flying Pig finished in 3 hours, 1 minute, and 45 seconds and took the win with corrected time.

SMYC Competitions

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club hosted the SMYC Grand Prix in November 2023, featuring six Diam 24 trimarans: Cry Baby, Karibuni, Merlin, Anomaly, Air-nest, and AS MDA, on the waters of Great Bay in Philipsburg. This was the first Diam race of the 2024 season and is part of the race schedule of the World Diam Tour Caribbean.

Wind speeds ranged between 18 to 19 knots and gusts reached 25 knots; big waves were a result of the unusual wind direction. The crew of all the Diam 24s had to reef their sails for the entire race. 

The day consisted of six races. Cry Baby took an early lead after the first two, but Karibuni secured first place in the four remaining races. In the final standings, Karibuni claimed first place, followed by Cry Baby and AS MDA. Air-nest came in fourth, while Anomaly and Merlin claimed the fifth and sixth positions.

In other racing, 41 youth sailors from five different countries competed in the 18th annual St. Maarten Budget Marine Optimist Championship in three competitions in late November 2023.

The Sailqube fleet, the youngest group, was won by Axel le Calvex from Saint Martin Voile pour Tous, with 10 points out of six races. Samuel Ricour, from the same fleet, came in second. Axel Vanden Eynde, representing the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, finished third.

The Orange Fleet, representing intermediate sailors, saw Ruben van Hest, representing Antigua Yacht Club, taking first place with 12 points out of 11 races. A close battle for second and third between Antigua Yacht Club sailors saw Mia Duce ahead of Lluc Agusti at the end of the first day, but the positions reversed as the competition came to a close.

Thomas Magras, from the Saint Barths Yacht Club, dominated the Blue Fleet event for experienced sailors with a total of 13 points out of 11 races sailed. Two more Saint Barths members battled it out for second and third, with Tao Carmona claiming a narrow advantage over Lourenco Rolo Couto Jorge. Thomas Magras was named the overall winner of the 18th St. Maarten Optimist Championship.

The Race Organization rewarded Elliot Balland, who joined the Saint Barths Yacht Club Orange Fleet a few weeks prior, as Best Newcomer. Carrack Jones was rewarded with the Sportsmanship award. The 14-year-old, having sailed his Optimist over 100 nautical miles from Antigua to Sint Maarten, then participated in the Blue Fleet, finishing sixth.

Hard-Fought Victory at 15th St. Barth Cata Cup

This year’s St.Barth Cata Cup, held November 15-19, 2023, featured one of the closest and most thrilling competitions on record. Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot, from France, aboard Pixail, were initially announced as the winners, but by the end of the day, Americans Ravi Parent and Nicolas Lovisa, aboard Maxwell & Co, had prevailed by a single point. Argentina’s Agustn Krevisky and Nicolas Aragones aboard Design Affairs OO1 completed the podium in third place.

Defending IMOCA Champs Win Transat Jacques Vabre

Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière on For People took first place in the IMOCA class of the 2023 Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, after a tough race for a record 40-boat fleet.

Fort de France, the capital of Martinique, welcomed a stream of racers round the clock over a hectic weekend. The jubilant duo, who’d previously teamed up on LinkedOut in The Ocean Race Europe in 2021, appeared out of the humid Caribbean darkness after finishing at 0202hrs local time in Martinique Sunday morning November 19, 2023. They arrived some 4 hours, 8 minutes ahead of Yoann Richomme and Yann Eliès aboard Paprec Arkéa, an identical sistership of the new Antoine Koch/Finot Conq designed foiler. Both proved quicker, more easily driven and more sea-kindly in the fast downwind racing than their preceding design generation. The top seven IMOCAs finished within a total 11hrs 28 mins — the top three within 4 hours 20 minutes and fourth to seventh within 34 minutes of each other.

This year’s race stood out for the size of the fleet, delays, and offshore tactics. The fleet was held ashore for eight days after a series of low-pressure systems swept the North Atlantic when the race was due to start, finally setting off from Le Havre on Tuesday, November 7. A tactical split came after four days, when a breakaway group opted for a more direct northerly route to Martinique, while the rest of the leading pack went south to get into tradewinds sooner, sailing some 400 miles farther. The winning double-handed crew relied in the second half of the race on hand-steering for hours at a time.

A delighted Ruyant admitted that he remains focused on global racing. “That’s the goal and the whole group is working towards it,” he said. “In the back of our minds, we’re making our boat more reliable for the Vendée Globe. You can’t write the history of the Vendée Globe in advance, but that’s our goal.”

Antigua’s Carrack Jones Sets Record 100 miles, 31 hours in an Opti

Sailing in his 7-foot, 9-inch Optimist dinghy, Carrack Jones, 14, set off on November 22, 2023, at 4:30 pm, from Falmouth Harbor, Antigua, making it into Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten, just before midnight on November 23, after a mostly downwind sail with a reach for the final twenty miles or so. Conditions were light the entire way, never breaking 10 knots and often much less. Nonetheless, Jones cracked his remarkable goal—to set a world record for sailing 100 nautical miles across open ocean unassisted in an Opti.

Jones was inspired to make the crossing after learning of 13-year-old Lolie Osswald’s success sailing 80 nautical miles from Antigua to St Barts in June 2022. Even though his dad, Tanner Jones, tried to talk him out of it, citing concern over the youngster’s safety over such a long distance, young Jones was determined. He even made a bet with his sailing mate Henry that if he made the crossing, Henry owed him a McFlurry on arrival at Sint Maarten (there are no McDonalds on Antigua!).

Read the full article: https://caribbeancompass.com/antiguas-carrack-jones-sets-record-100-miles-31-hours-in-an-opti/

Antigua Wins Nations Cup in 2023 Caribbean Dinghy Championships

The top three of the Caribbean Dinghy Championships Nations Cup 2023. In Third position Team Sint Maarten, in second Team Martinique, and in first place Team Antigua.

Tough competition and shifty winds, varying between 8 and 15 knots, made for an exciting final day of racing of the 2023 Caribbean Dinghy Championships in Martinique, as the three races led to changes in standings in almost all classes as the October 29 races concluded.

The championships are known for their individual ranking per class and the Nations Cup, combining the best results.

In the ILCA 7, Shanoy Malone, representing Antigua, remained unbeaten and completed the series with 3 wins. In second place was Bruno Aglae representing Martinique, followed by Josiah Alexis representing Trinidad and Tobago.

The ILCA 6 class was won by Ozani Lafond (ANT) with 8 points out of 10 races; he remained unbeaten as well. Stefan Stuven from Trinidad and Tobago took second place, followed by Marius Malody representing Martinique.

In the ILCA 4 class, Martinique took the win. Luk Moreau Dhallenne finished in first position with 11 points, followed by Emily Gaillard from Antigua in second. Rio Stomp from St. Maarten finished third.

The Fusion Class was won by Sevan Nicolas and Sosa Camilio representing Martinique with 9 points out of 10 races, followed by Veronica Destin and Oskar Jarrett Versteegden from St. Maarten. Elijah Gibston and Zev Bowman from Trinidad and Tobago finished third.

Patrick Greensmith from Antigua took the win in the Optimist class with 10 points out of 10 races. Luka Rose Eloise, representing Martinique, came in second place, followed by Nathan Sheppard from St. Maarten in third.

In the Nations Cup Ranking St. Kitts and Nevis placed 6th, Barbados 5th, Trinidad and Tobago 4th place, Sint Maarten 3rd, Martinique 2nd. Antigua took home the Nations Cup trophy in first place. The trophy was presented by the Caribbean Sailing Association representative Saskia Revelman and the mayor of Schoelcher. This is the third win in a row for Antigua, following 2019 and 2022 victories.

The CSA thanks CN Schoelcher for their hospitality, organization and a very warm welcome.

Royal BVI Yacht Club Kicks off Season

Back to School Regatta entrants

Sailors took to the racecourse on September 16, kicking off the Royal BVI Yacht Club’s new season on a gorgeous race day with the 2023 Back to School Regatta and ILCA Masters Championship.

The seven-boat Opti fleet included regatta first-timers who all did themselves proud. With a clean sweep, Aerin Westlake took the title while Phoenix Steer took second place in each of the six races to finish second overall. The youngest Opti competitor, nine-year-old Arun Bissoondutt, finished in third place in three of the six races, ending in third position overall.

Eight-year old Rosie Wooldridge, in her first dinghy event, teamed up with her cousin Nathan Haycraft for a clean sweep in the RS Feva event. The race for second was close, with Ashley Brockbank and dad, Eddie, edging out new pair James Tucker-Davis and Lochlan Geyser. William Barnes and Sansa Nieh, who began to learn to sail with the RBVIYC adult training program in January nine months ago, finished fourth (with a third place in race 3).

The ILCA fleet was smaller than it has been in recent years, but still competitive and challenging, as Gilbo Simpson, normally found at the helm of The Flying Pig, got back in a dinghy to take the win and the ILCA Masters title. Marentia de Villiers finished second. Rhiannon Jones competed in every race and improved throughout the day.

Grant Thornton Dinghy Season Begins in Sint Maarten

St Maarten Dinghy (COURTESY SINT MAARTEN YACHT CLUB)

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s Grant Thornton Dinghy Season commenced on September 30 with its Soons Series, attracting competitors from Saint Martin Voile pour Tous, MDA, St Baths Yacht Club, and the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.

Winners of the RS Quest class, in which two boats competed, were SMYC new members Jorick Houwer and Rianne Visser. Pieter and Paul Soons also competed in this race named for their father, Michel Soons, commodore of the SMYC from 2018-2020.

First-day leader in the Optimist class out of 16 participants was Thomas Magras, followed by Sarah Michaux in second place and Tao Carmona in third.

In the ILCA fleet, 12 boats competed, with Emilien le Normand taking first place, Rio Stomp second, and Frits Bus third. It was a beautiful day for racing, with the wind relatively steady at 12-15 knots, with occasional gusts reaching 19 knots.

On the horizon …

Nelson’s Pursuit Race, an Antigua Yacht Club event, will start from below Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour on December 31. The race was conceived as a re-enactment of Lord Nelson’s famous pursuit of the French fleet. The slowest boat to enter the race starts first and carries the French flag, with the remainder of the fleet representing the British in hot pursuit. All boats are assigned a start time based on the size of the boat and its anticipated speed around the course. Entrants should be sure to attend the skippers’ briefing, at which time they will be assigned their start time and provided with a detailed explanation of the course.

Looking ahead to January: This won’t be something you can see from the waterfront, but the Viking Explorer Rally, ARC Rally, and the RORC Transatlantic Race all depart the Canary Islands early in the month, heading our way.

Race Day Two of the Keelboat Season Championship, St. Maarten, January 7. Day One was in November, Day Three not till May. smyc.com/keelboat-season-championship

Midmonth will be a busy time for regatta followers. Barbados Sailing Week begins January 13 (roundbarbados.com), and the Latitude 18 Halyard Challenge Race, Tortola (royalbviyc.org/calendar.html) goes off on the same day.

On January 14, the Oyster World Rally (abyma.ag/events-calendar) starts off from Antigua, and the Martin Luther King Regatta is held in St. Thomas (stthomasyachtclub.org/sailing/regattas/mlk-regatta).

January 20 is another busy day, catering to a range of tastes. The Painkiller Cup, Tortola, BVI, is for paddleboarders, a 14-mile downwind team race and the 2.5 Mini-Painkiller solo race (painkillercupbvi.com). The Sandy Island Race (antiguayachtclub.com/calendar) encompasses Jolly and Falmouth Harbours in Antigua (you might catch a glimpse of Falmouth Freddy). The Multiclass Dinghy Regatta (smyc.com) is raced over January 20-21 in Sint Maarten, and the Caribbean Midwinter Laser Regatta, Cabarete, Dominican Republic (caribwind.com) is January 20-22.

And the next day, January 21, there’s the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race (roundbarbados.com/round-barbados) and the start of the Martinique Cata Raid, five days of coastal regattas around Martinique, contested in F18 and F16 sports catamarans (martiniquecataraid.com).

Sometime in January, the finishers of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge will arrive in Antigua. Compass’s Niamh McAnally immortalized two middle-aged British lads who finished the course against all odds in her prize-nominated book Flares Up, reviewed in April 2023 Compass.

The Antigua Yacht Club Mini Regatta is also scheduled for January, date yet to be announced. Registration is now open (antiguaclassics.com/boat-registration) for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua, April 17–22, 2024.

Caribbean Multihull Challenge Registration Grows

The CMC alerts all multihulls – cruising and racing – to join in on what has become a must-do multihull regatta and festival February 1-4, 2024. The event offers flat out racing for CSA classes, destination time trials for cruising multihulls, and a sweet laid-back rally encompassing international overnights at Dutch St. Maarten, French St. Martin, and St. Barth’s. As the CMC continues to develop, it’s expanding to also include a larger one-design fleet of French built, VPLP-designed Diam 24s racing in their own class.

Instrumental in this effort is Pierre Altier, the Diam agent for the Caribbean who’s succeeded so far in getting nine Diams for the 2024 event. Altier’s enthusiasm for this French-built VPLP-designed open trimaran is expected to result in more Diam 24s sailing not only in St Maarten but also in Guadeloupe and the BVI, where fleets are already forming.

After the successful introduction of the cruising rally in 2023, the CMC is innovating again with a parade start time trial competition for cruising multihulls that have a CSA rating. This is for sailboats seeking a timed event from point A to point B that includes a rally overnight destination for each of the four days.

Early 2024 registration indicates a racing and rally fleet in excess of the 32 that turned out in 2023. Highlighted is the return of Todd Slyngstat’s HH66 Nemo, absent in 2023. New this year is an Alibi 65 Surprise, a Thailand built cat featuring a hybrid electric drive. CaribbeanMultihullChallenge.com; entries YachtScoring.com

RORC Caribbean 600 and Nelson’s Cup

The 15th-anniversary edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts in Antigua on February 19, 2024, preceded by RORC’s newest event, the Nelson’s Cup Series, starting February 13, 2024

Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue
Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue

The RORC Nelson’s Cup Series is a full racing program of inshore and round Antigua racing program, open to teams not entered for the 600-mile offshore. This year’s entries include Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue (USA), the Askew brothers with their Botin 52 Wizard (USA), and RORC Commodore James Neville’s Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR). Neville will defend his overall win under IRC for the Antigua 360.

RORC Caribbean 600 entries are approaching 50 teams. Contending 70-foot trimarans include Jason Carroll’s Argo (USA), which holds the race record of 29 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds, and last year’s winner Gunboat 68 TOSCA (USA), co-skippered by Alex Thomson.

Early entry for the 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 closes on January 22, 2024, after which a late entry fee may apply. For the Notice of Race and more information about the RORC Caribbean 600 and RORC Nelson’s Cup Series please go to: caribbean600.rorc.org

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – February 29 – March 3, 2023

Hypr, a Volvo Ocean Race 70, was available for charter in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in 2023.

It has always been known for its Maxi class year over year, and 2024 promises to be more maxi than ever. Already entered is David M. Leuschen’s Galateia (Wally 100), a combining a modern carbon fibre performance design with vintage design elements. Michael Slade’s Leopard3 (Farr 100) is expected to be the co-favorite with Galateia. Wendy Schmidt’s Deep Blue (Botin 85) is among the other top performers expected to join the competition.

Registration is now open for the 2024 St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) (yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eid=16227), set for Easter Weekend, March 29-31, 2024. You may register also for the Round the Rocks Race (RTR) (yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eid=16226), which will circumnavigate the neighboring island of St. John on March 28. RTR is a terrific opportunity to tune up for STIR and provides an additional chance to land a podium finish. Early bird registrants can enter a drawing to win customized long-sleeve high-performance team shirts.

Over half a dozen outfits are offering vessels to charter for STIR 2024. One of these is the St. Thomas Sailing Center, which has a fleet of IC24s, and also offers training with a professional coach who will race with the team in STIR.

For more information, go to stthomassailingcenter.com/st-thomas-international-regatta. To reserve a vessel and coach, Email: [email protected] or call (340) 690-3681.

The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, scheduled for April 1-7, with five days of racing over a unique combination of marks and islands, has begun registration for the event. To get details, and to register, go to bvispringregatta.org/#bvisrregistration.

The St. Maarten Yacht Club announces the formation of two official racing teams, Optimist class and ILCA (formerly Laser) class. They will be competing in the Curacao Youth Championships, Schoelcher Week in Martinique, and the Mini Bucket in St. Barts.

Antigua Sailing Week (ASW), the longest-running international regatta in the Caribbean, celebrates its 55th regatta from April 28-May 3. A wide range of racing classes will compete, including CSA classes, multihulls, cruisers and racer-cruisers, pocket rockets, bareboats and charters.

The schedule starts April 26 with the first day of the Antigua Wingfoil Championship. The stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race April 27 showcases rivalries between high-performance monohulls and multihulls.

Antigua Sailing Week has followed the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program since 2013. For the Notice of Race and online entry to Antigua Sailing Week, plus regular updates, go to www.sailingweek.com

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