New Classes, New Schedule at St. Thomas International Regatta 2016
Published on September 29th, 2015
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (September 29, 2015) – An exceptional program of serious world class yacht racing will once again be the theme for the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) as the status of ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’.
First-ever classes such as Gunboats and VX One boats are set to sail at the 2016 STIR on March 25-27, plus organizers have opened entries into the ORC (Offshore Racing Club) handicap class. All sailors are also invited to tune-up in a new round-the-island race scheduled for March 24.
“We are excited to offer these new classes,” notes regatta director Chuck Pessler. “It is a perfect fit with our philosophy of giving sailors what they want within the changing trends in global yacht racing. Closer to home, we’ll continue with last year’s introduction of a Non-Rated Cruising Class for boats from the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The new one-day pre-STIR race gives visitors and locals alike a chance to tune-up as well as another way to win big.”
Robert Alexander of Rye, New York is one of the first to enter his Gunboat 60, Fault Tolerant, in 2016 STIR. Alexander has campaigned his sleek-sailing catamaran in several high profile events this summer, including Block Island Race Week where he finished second in the multihull class.
“Fault Tolerant is spending the winter in the Virgin Islands and competing in STIR 2016 is definitely on our calendar,” says Alexander. “We love the event’s mix of great racing and fun parties. And, of course, it’s perfect that our Gunboat friends are planning to join the racing!”
Eleven VX Ones are currently registered to sail in the first VX One Caribbean Cup, of which STIR 2016 is the first leg, including Australia’s Michael James.
“Being able to fly in from Australia and be part of the VX One’s debut in the regatta and meet up with other owners was just too good to miss out on,” says James, who placed second in the 2015 Australia Sports Boat Association Mid-Winters aboard his VX One, the Beast. “This regatta will be the biggest fleet of VX’s that I have sailed against and if the competition is as good as it is here in Australia it will take 100 percent concentration to be successful. Plus the parties look like they are going to be great fun.”
Tim Pitts, vice president of the VX One Class Association and a native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, anticipates a total of 18 of these swift three-man keel boats on the start line in March.
“The VX One Caribbean Cup, which spans two of the Caribbean’s foremost regattas – the STIR and BVI Spring Regatta, is a huge step for the VX One Class,” says Nicklaus Fordham, series organizer. “This series represents the class’ first-ever international event and it has drawn entries from the US, Australia and UK. These boats are perfectly suited to Caribbean racing. We look forward to hot racing and stiff competition as the group of entered VX One racers dance amid an international line-up.”
The 2016 STIR promises challenging courses, professional race management and island-style hospitality. Teams are invited to enter in Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA); IRC; High Performance Rule (HPR); Multihull; CSA Bareboat; Non-Rater Cruising Class (PHRF-handicap); Beach Cats; and One-Design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet.
Discount for Early Registration!
Entries received and paid for in full by 5 p.m. AST January 31, 2016 pay only US $250. The registration fee between February 1 and March 22, 2016 increases to US $400 for all boats, except US $250 for beach cats and US $300 for IC24s and Non-Rated Cruising Class boats.
For more information and questions:
Regatta Director Chuck Pessler, (340) 642-3204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report by Carol Bareuther