St. Thomas International Regatta Races Celebrate 44th Year

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It’s that time of the year for one of the more popular regatta races to start. The 44th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) will commence on March 24. The three-day event will culminate on the 26th, with organizers promising something special at hand.

Known as the “Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing,” STIR has sailors from all over the world descending on St. Thomas, the US Virgin Islands, to compete in the three-day regatta. The event is known for its exhilarating round the buoys and round the islands regatta races. There are over 60 entries this year, including a fleet of catamarans and home-grown IC24s.

Fans of the event will be happy to know that Robert and Libby Alexander’s Fault Tolerant will be back for its third year. The couple’s Gunboat 60 is a familiar sight in the regatta races as their love for the competition has had them returning to races for the past couple of years.

They will be going up against Flow, last year’s winner and another Gunboat 60 that’s owned by Stephen Cucchiaro. Expected to give stiff competition is Fujin, a Bieker 53 built by Gold Coast Yachts. Owned by Greg Slyngstad of Sammamish, Washington, the Fujin recently snagged the top prize in the Offshore Multihull class of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

St. Thomas International Regatta Races Celebrate 44th Year

Aside from the STIR race, boating enthusiasts are also looking forward to the Round the Rocks Race and the shore-side activities planned by the organizers. While the ships are racing through the cove, their family members and guests can enjoy the daily Beach Party which boasts of games, a DJ, and some water toys.

There’s also a Family Fun day which will be held on Saturday at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande. The new St. Thomas Sailing Center will also be showcasing one of their boats for the public to see as they have fun at the “Party like a Sailor” festivities.

The 44th St. Thomas International Regatta is made even more special as it coincides with the US Virgin Island’s Transfer Centenial, which commemorates the US purchasing the islands from Denmark a hundred years ago.

In honor of the occasion, and to cap off the regatta races, all the participating yachts will be flying the flag of the US Virgin Islands into Charlotte Amalie harbor on Friday. At the end of the boat race, all the ships will sail once along the waterfront bulkhead as part of the Centennial Salute.