Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

49th St. Thomas International Regatta Day 2

by Carol Bareuther 26 Mar 02:16 GMT March 24-26, 2023

Leads taken, leads lessened and leads lengthened summed up the second day of racing in the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta.

Nearly 50 yachts, racing in CSA handicap and one-design classes, spanning from 24- to 70-foot vessels, and with skippers and crews hailing from the Caribbean, USA, Europe, and Australia, raced around the natural markers of islands, cays, and rocks in 14 to 16 knots of East Northeast breeze. Add the post-race rum, fun, and music ashore and it was a bucket-list day of quintessential Caribbean yacht racing.

Class Recap

Lead taken is what happened today in the Spinnaker Racing 0. The USA's Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50, Privateer, finished the final race of the day in first, thus winning a tie-breaker with the USA's Jim Madden's Carkeek 47, Stark Raving Mad IX. Both boats go into Sunday's final day of competition with 10 points.

"Back to basics, focusing on the job at hand, and sailing well in outstanding conditions is what made for a good day," says O'Hanley, from Boston, MA. "The racecourses around natural marks shook things up a bit and made it exciting. Tomorrow, it will be all about sailing well with no mistakes."

In Spinnaker Racing 1, it was a lead lessened by 1 point, but still a lead by 3 points for St. Thomas, USVI's Peter Corr's Summit 40, Blitz. The team, hailing from both the USVI and Australia, took two second-place finishes today to the class runner-up, the USA's Jon Desmond's Mills 41, Final Final.

A lead well lengthened is what the USA's Sandra Askew and her team on the Cape 31, Flying Jenny, did in this highly competitive class. Yet, the USA's Marc McMorris moved up to second on his Cape 31, M2.

"I raced here last year on another boat and it was a great event. I remembered the winds and knew it would be perfect conditions for the Cape 31. Today, we were able to sail to our target numbers, especially with good calls from our tactician. There are now 20 Cape 31s in the UK, where we'll all race this summer. Hopefully, more will come to the Caribbean next year," says McMorris, who lives in San Francisco, CA.

In Racer Cruiser 3, the Dominican Republic's Joan Rodriguez's Beneteau First 40.7, Lady M, stretched its lead with another day of flawless first-place finishes. There's a depth of talent in this 12-boat class and the USA's David McDonough, sailing his J/42, Trinity IV, for the first time at STIR, was happy to have a lock on 8th place.

"I guess you could say we were consistent," says McDonough, from Washington, DC. "But if you look at the big picture, there were blue skies, perfect courses, great conditions. It didn't matter our place on the scoreboard because we were in heaven."

In likely a first in the two-decade-plus history of the One-Design IC24 Class at STIR, St. Thomas' USVI two-time Olympic Laser sailor, Cy Thompson on Bill T, posted a double-digit 18-point lead going into the last day. Last year, Thompson won the class, but that prize was hard fought and didn't come until the last race on the last day. Still, the only team that has beaten Bill T, and only once in two days. That was St. Croix, USVI's Scott Stanton's Big Island, which moved up to the runner-up spot today.

"Yesterday, the winds started to drop at the end of the day. In the last race, we caught a couple of good shifts on the first leg, got ahead of them (Bill T), and held it to the end. Today, we moved up from third to second. This class is so competitive, and boat speeds are so close, that anything can happen. That's why we had an IC24 converted, and we hope we'll have another on St. Croix by next year," says Stanton, who will also race Big Island in the St. Croix Yacht Club's 30th St. Croix International Regatta, April 14-16, 2023.

Finally, the 8-boat Hobie Wave class took to the seas today. St. Thomas' Niall Bartlett led with his UK-based brother, Ian Bartlett, in second.

"The wind picked up this afternoon which made it pretty exciting out there," says Bartlett. "What's nice about this class is that it's one-design, so all the boats are equal, and there's no boom so it's safe. Even better is that it's an easy class to get into. We have adults single-handing and two and three children on a boat sailing. It makes a great entry to encourage greater participation in the class and easy entry to be able to race in STIR."

True to Bartlett's words, today's fifth-place finisher was a trio of St. Thomas boys - 11-year-old Howard Zimmerman, 10-year-old Finn Hodgins, and 9-year-old Kip Hodgins.

Schedule of Events

Racing continues on Sunday with the first starts at 11 a.m. Racecourses will be set off the southeast, northeast, and east of St. Thomas and in Pillsbury Sound between St. Thomas and St. John, with specific courses for each class designated daily by the Race Committee based on weather. An Awards Ceremony follows at 5 p.m. at the St. Thomas Yacht Club.

To follow the action and see photos from the day's racing, check out STIR on Facebook (, Twitter @stirvi, and Instagram #STIRVI.

Real-time results for STIR are located at

Strong Sponsor Support

STIR organizers thank the USVI Department of Tourism; The Moorings; Cardow Jewelers; Bacardi Rum, Milagro Tequila, Stoli Vodka, and Leatherback Craft Beer, distributed by the West Indies Company, and Carib Beer and Coors Light, distributed by Bellows International; Ocean Surfari; and The K3 Company for strong sponsor support.

For more information, visit

Related Articles

VISA's Coaching & Mentoring Women's Sailing Course
Laying the groundwork to get more women sailing A cross-section of women sailors, seven each from St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John and one from the British Virgin Islands participated in the Coaching & Mentoring Women's Sailing Course. Posted on 31 Oct
St. Thomas International Regatta registration open
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 'Crown Jewel' of Caribbean racing! First held in October 1974, and started by St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) organizers to attract top international sailors to race in ideal sailing conditions, STIR continues to be the destination for world-class racing. Posted on 8 Sep
Wilcox wins 30th International Optimist Regatta
Rebounding from a broken mast in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Good starts, getting out in front, and quickly rebounding from a broken mast on the last day of sailing is what led the USA's Jackson Wilcox to win the 30th International Optimist Regatta (IOR), hosted at St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC). Posted on 19 Jun
Team JK Sailing Manny USA wins 2023 TOTE Team Race
The Championship is one of a trio of events sailed this week out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club Good starts, great speed, and quick refocusing when coming from behind proved the successful strategy for Team JK Sailing Manny, from California, USA, which won the TOTE Team Racing Championship on Thursday. Posted on 16 Jun
30th International Optimist Regatta kicks off
Combination of instruction, team, and fleet racing includes beginners and advanced sailors alike The TOTE Clinic happens today through Wednesday, the TOTE Team Race is on Thursday, and the International Optimist Regatta (IOR) runs from Friday through Sunday. Posted on 12 Jun
Early entry discount ends May 1
For 30th International Optimist Regatta, Clinic & Team Race Want to tune-up for the Optimist North American Championships in Antigua & Barbuda in July? Or learn new tactics for a summer of racing? Posted on 18 Apr
49th St. Thomas International Regatta overall
Privateer, Blitz, Flying Jenny, Lady M, Bill T & FiDeLa Class winners Mark Your Calendar Now – 50th Anniversary STIR – Easter Weekend – March 29-31, 2024 Posted on 27 Mar
49th St. Thomas International Regatta Day 1
Nearly 50 hot racing yachts shot over the start line Like the cork popping on a bottle of champagne, nearly 50 hot racing yachts shot over the start line this morning on the first day of racing in the 49th St. Thomas International Regatta. Posted on 25 Mar
St. Thomas Round the Rocks Race
Flying Jenny & Chili Pepper win classes Over a dozen sleek sailing yachts raced counter-clockwise around the neighboring island of St. John under a mix of sun, squalls, and winds blowing 18 to 20 knots from the northeast in today's Round the Rocks Race. Posted on 24 Mar
2023 St. Thomas International Regatta interview
We talk with Pat Bailey about the 2023 St. Thomas International Regatta Sail-World checked in with Pat Bailey, regatta co-director of the 2023 St. Thomas International Regatta, via email, to learn more about this exciting Caribbean regatta. Posted on 21 Mar