Home News Local news St. Thomas Yacht Club Makes Final Preparations for Rolex Regatta

St. Thomas Yacht Club Makes Final Preparations for Rolex Regatta


March 26, 2008 — Finishing touches to the headquarters of the International Rolex Regatta headquarters were well in hand Wednesday at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, a couple days before the start of the three-day race.
About 45 or 50 visiting boats were already in Cowpet Bay, also undergoing final preparations for the annual Rolex Regatta.
The club is "really happy with turnout" with more than 85 boats registered, and is especially pleased with the IRC turnout of around 15 boats, said William Canfield, STYC manager. IRC is a new rating rule, but is more popular in Europe. Significant because "it is the first time that we have a totally IRC class in the Caribbean," Canfield said. He continued, "We think this will be a great invitation for other boats coming down in the future, as IRC is the most popular rating system in the world."
The Presidente Cup and the BVI Spring Regatta will also offer the class, according to the official regatta website.
"We hope other regattas throughout the Caribbean will adopt the IRC class in the future and will give the foreign boats an IRC series throughout the region," Canfield said.
Regatta competitors have a one-stop-shop awaiting them at STYC.
"That's the nice thing about this regatta: You've got everything at your fingertips," Canfield said. "Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an ATM, music and food, cases of water and beer."
Earlier this week, regatta officials were concerned that there might be a shortage of ice because a local ice producer closed. (See "Freeze Out: Economics Drives St. Thomas Dairies Out of Ice-Making Business.")
Canfield phoned around to other island businesses, and the community came through with offers of assistance. The club is "using a lot of ice from Bumbles, Eugene Smith and St. John Ice — they all grabbed what they could for us, and two of the companies brought ice containers over," Canfield said. He continued, "Coral World really came through for us big time."
Preparations have gone well, he said.
"All the buoys and marks are ready," Canfield said. "The liquor and beer are already being chilled, and we're raring to go to really have a great show this year."
STYC has parties scheduled Thursday through Sunday from 2:30 to 11 p.m., where sailors will hear live music from such acts as the Headline Band and One Blood.
Many boats and crews from the Rolex fleet will stay on until early next week, when they will make their way to Tortola for next week's BVI Spring Regatta.
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