destinations-caribbean-skinny-large"IC24's have a crew weight limit of 850 pounds and there are five of us," said Tyler Rice, a high school senior from St. Thomas, USVI, and my skipper for the 2010 Rolex International Regatta during a pre-race phone call. "We did some math last night and we all need to loose some weight before weigh-in."

Thus began a time of thirst and hunger but the trade off was compelling: ten days of sacrifice for the serious fun of sailing in a legendary Caribbean event. Plus, an opportunity to race with dialed-in high-school seniors and the boat's skilled and gracious owner, Mike Williams, ensured a good time. 2010 marked the 37th annual Rolex International Regatta at St. Thomas, with 66 boats racing in seven classes to compete for four Rolex timepieces. Walking into the clubhouse for weigh-in, I was impressed to see scores of volunteers diligently making last-minute preparations as warm breezes filled the open-air clubhouse.

Our moment of truth came as our last crewmember clocked in to give us a crew weight of 838 pounds—safe! Given that the forecast called for lighter-than-average winds, this felt like a good thing.

Twenty-four hours later, however, those twelve pounds were sorely missed as Red Dog, Williams' IC 24—a modified J/24 that is the Caribbean's most competitive class—bashes into 18 knots and steep, three-foot seas near the starting area. "There's another drink you owe me, Tyler!" exclaims Olin Davis, our bowman, as an errant wave soaks the foredeck. While the water might be warm here, Davis and Max Nickbarg—our spinnaker trimmer—expect great results and a dry ride from their skipper.

Rice nails the pin-favored downwind start of the Town Race as Davis and Nickbarg pop the kite exactly on queue. We settle into the six-plus mile sleigh ride along the island's southeast coastline to Charlotte Amalie as Nickbarg and Williams keep the sails powered up. Rice keeps the wind indicator pegged due astern as we surf down the stubby seas. Despite our efforts, we can't shake the competition: The entire fleet is sprinting within a few boatlengths of each other, with minimal passing opportunities. Even as we enter our first mark rounding, miles later, there's virtually no fleet separation.

The RC divides the first day into three longer races—the downhill sprint to Charlotte Amalie, followed by two upwind races back to the YC—each of which features unusual course shapes and uses the coastline and the surrounding smaller islands to add challenge and opportunity, especially on the close-winded legs.

"OK guys, we're sailing windward-leewards today," announces Rice as we sail to Great Bay, which is northeast of the YC, for the start of Day Two's racing. "The race committee wants to get in eight races today." The powerful Caribbean sun drums down on the racecourse, whose flat, island-protected seas are being combed by twelve-knot breezes. The starting line is short, and, as Rice executes a great boat-end start, I spot the windward mark, maybe a mile to weather. An offset leg, perhaps three boatlengths long, and a leeward gate are the only other course features. It's obvious that while yesterday's racing was interesting and scenic, today is dedicated to thoroughly grilling each crew. Here, one tactical error, a bungled maneuver or a missed shift tests preparation and concentration: serious inter-island sailing talent populates this fleet and recoveries are virtually nonexistent. We return to the dock that evening exhausted and sun-baked.

By Day Three, sunburns and chapped lips are taxing the sixty-five odd IC24 sailors as we amble over to Nazareth Bay and the start of Race One. The RC wastes no time in commencing the starting line samba. We're soon rifling through beats, sets and drops in an animated blur of staccato-style sprints, this time on a racecourse that's punctuated by slappy seas and land-influenced shifts. The biggest challenge—besides staving off the fleet's heavy hitters—is keeping pace with the RC's schedule as energy and attention spans lapse. After seventeen IC24 races, there's no doubt that Puerto Rico's Fraito Lugo (Orion) earned his Rolex —which he gifted to his trimmer, Milton Gonzalesz—or that the RC gave sailors in all seven classes a full-value racing experience.

Staggering up the dock, wasted from weight loss, an overdose of Vitamin D, and so much sailing, I realize that it's the mark of a great regatta when a cold beer, a comfortable chair and shade become life's biggest desires. And perhaps a real meal...but only after reliving the weekend's excitement with friends ashore.

Lifestyle

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I am new to boating. Bought a 2019 Ranger Tug in April followed by taking a short boating course ...
Arie and Maribeth sent us this photo from their honeymoon departing Killarney…I think they were in ...
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On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...
It was a trip 2 or 3 years ago, and all 4 boats traveled up to the Killarney area in a ...
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...

DIY & How to

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On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
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For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
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Cables SecuredOn the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had exploded at a local marina; the boat’s operator was seriously injured. At the time, I heard that authorities were investigating and were attempting to determine the cause of the explosion and fire.

What would I do if an explosion occurs on a boat that I was working on? What was the cause? How could this happen?


 

 

Read more about Safe Starts............

 

  

Boat Reviews

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The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
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To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
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Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1The Oceanis official US debut will be at the upcoming Newport International Boat Show in September and will be featured at the United States Sailboat show in Annapolis in October.

With an overall size under 30 feet and a light displacement of less than 8,805 lbs., the Oceanis is easily trailerable without a wide load permit. If you prefer to access your sailing grounds by canals and rivers, the lifting keel and rotating mast open a world of endless possibilities. Perfect for sailing on lakes or for coastal hopping, this new Oceanis is, nevertheless, a robust category B sailing yacht, fitted for offshore sailing. The smallest of the range offers the biggest choice of programs! 

Read more about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1............................

 

Grady White Freedom 235 Dual ConsoleBy Jill Snider

Once again, I had the pleasure of joining CY’s test guru Andy Adams on a boat review. This time, out on Georgian Bay, we put the Grady White Freedom 235 Dual Console to the test. There are so many great things to tell you about this classic beauty.

Andy
If I were required to compare Grady White’s Freedom 235 Dual Console to an animal, I would tell you that she has the character of a Labrador Retriever. Here are a few reasons why...

Read More about the Grady White Freedom 235 Dual Console......................


Coal Harbour MarinaVancouver is ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world. You can explore much of the cityscape by water and moor at several marinas. The city offers the marine visitor a panoply of fine dining, waterside pubs, shopping and cultural amenities.

English Bay and False Creek, one of the choice urban boating destinations in North America, bring you into the heart of the city. Good moorage and anchorages are available and there is lots happening both on the water and all along the shoreline.

 

 

Read more about Vancouver...........

 

Marine Products

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Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
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Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...