Some of the best sailing in the world
Published on September 26th, 2023
As winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, the 2024 Caribbean Sailing Circuit is ramping up for a melting pot of professional sailors, Corinthian sailors, bareboat racers, cruisers and club racers who come to compete and enjoy some of the best sailing conditions in the world.
Kicking off the circuit is Grenada Sailing Week, where the azure waters of Grenada create a stunning backdrop for competitive racing. This event offers a thrilling start to the circuit, attracting racers of all levels. From the novice bareboat racer to the seasoned pro, everyone is welcome to join the fun.
For catamaran and trimaran enthusiasts, the Caribbean Multihull Challenge in St. Maarten is a haven. This event celebrates the art of multihull sailing and is a unique experience within the circuit. Having added a Rally experience, it now caters to those who rather not race their “house” but want to partake in the Regatta fun!
The main offshore event of the circuit, the RORC Caribbean 600, is the ultimate endurance test for sailors. A challenging 600 nm race around 11 of the Caribbean’s most iconic islands, it attracts an impressive line-up of professional and Corinthian crews which in 2024 includes a fleet of IMOCAs, MOD70s, and Volvo 70s.
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is renowned for its lively atmosphere, on and off the water. World-class racing is paired with “Serious Fun!” through its unforgettable shoreside parties, making this an event that both sailors and spectators anticipate eagerly. This half-Dutch, half-French island is a hub in the Caribbean that is easily accessible and offers high quality marine services and an abundance of culture and cuisine.
Heading further north, St. Thomas hosts its prestigious International Regatta, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This event welcomes many one design classes, resulting in a showcase of local and international talent battling it out on the seas.
Next up is the BVI Spring Regatta, known for its idyllic Virgin Island scenery and laid-back Caribbean atmosphere. Les Voiles de St. Barth combines French flair with Caribbean charm. The regatta is famous for its competitive racing, luxurious hospitality, and an ambiance that captures the essence of this stunning island.
Closing off the season, Antigua Sailing Week, which turns 55 next year, with organizers encouraging yacht charter outfits to be a part of their Rock up & Race campaign before returning to the Mediterranean. This melting pot of sailors and spectators from across the globe makes it easy for anyone to “Race, Chase & Celebrate”, showcasing the spirit of sailing in the Caribbean.
In addition to these flagship regattas, the circuit offers events specifically tailored to niche classes and sailing preferences like the Antigua Classics, a celebration of vintage and classic yachts, preserving the timeless elegance of sailing. The St. Barts Bucket and Antigua Superyacht Challenge showcase the pinnacle of luxury and performance on the water through exclusive events for superyacht owners.
One of the unique aspects of the Caribbean Sailing Circuit is the use of the CSA rating system. “This system levels the playing field, ensuring competitive racing across a wide range of boats and skill levels,” reports CSA President Michele Korteweg. “Whether you’re racing a high-performance monohull, a catamaran, or a classic yacht, the CSA rating system guarantees a fair shot at victory.”
Sailing in the Caribbean also presents the opportunity to savor the distinctive flavors of each host island.