How This Caribbean Regatta Is Expanding


The STIR (Photo: Dean Barnes)

By Dana Niland
CJ Contributor

Gunboats and VX One boats will sail in inaugural classes at the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), which is set for March 25-27, 2016.

The event which will also feature an all-new round-the-island race for all sailors on March 24.

“We are excited to offer these new classes. It is a perfect fit with our philosophy of giving sailors what they want within the changing trends in global yacht racing,” said regatta director Chuck Pessler. “Closer to home, we’ll continue with last year’s introduction of a Non-Rated Cruising Class for boats from the US 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.”

Eleven VX Ones are already registered to sail in the first ever VX One Caribbean Cup, of which STIR is the first leg, and Vice President of the VX One Class Association, Tim Pitts, predicts that a total of 18 boats will compete in the class regatta for 2016.

“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,” said 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.”

Teams are invited to register for 2016 STIR 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.