2009 Events — Something for Everyone
What’s your cup of tea? Around-the-buoys racing? Joining a congenial rally? Island-to-island sprints? Seeing classic yachts or traditional island craft under sail? The 2009 Caribbean sailing calendar offers something for every style.
This is only a sampling of what’s in store and by no means a comprehensive listing. Websites are given where available. All dates for events mentioned are 2009. Stay tuned to Compass for more event news.
The Three-Event Circuits
Like to do things in threes? The new Southern Caribbean Sailing Circuit starts off with the Carriacou Sailing Series (January 14th to 18th, www.ttsailing.org), followed by the Port Louis Grenada Sailing Festival (January 30th to February 3rd, www.grenadasailingfestival.com) and the inaugural Tobago Carnival Regatta (February 10th through 14th, www.sailweek.com).
The Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (CORT) consists of the St. Croix International Regatta (February 20th to 22nd, www.stcroixyc.com), the Culebra Heineken Regatta (March 20th to 22nd, www.culebrainternationalregatta.com) and the BVI Spring Regatta (April 3rd to 5th, www.bvispringregatta.org).
The trio of Caribbean Classic Yacht Regattas comprises the invitational St. Maarten-St. Martin Classic Yacht Regatta (January 22nd to 25th, www.classicregatta.com), the Grenada Classic Yacht Regatta (February 19th to 22nd, www.grenadaclassicregatta.com) and the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (April 16th to 21st, www.antiguayachtclub.com).
Rallies, Distance Races & Multi-Island Regattas
Want to keep moving? The Route du Carnival (February 14th to 24th, www.transcaraibes.com) goes from Martinique to Trinidad, with stops in Bequia and the Tobago Cays.
The new RORC Caribbean 600 (February 23rd to 27th, www.rorc.org) will sail non-stop from Antigua around St. Martin and Guadeloupe and back to Antigua.
The 10th Annual Transcaraibes yacht rally (April 4th to 28th, www.transcaraibes.com) goes from Guadeloupe to Cuba with stopovers in St. Martin, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica.
It’s traditional to precede Antigua Sailing Week with the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race (April 24th, www.antiguayachtclub.com).
The Transcanal Race sails from Martinique to St. Lucia and back (May 30th and 31st).
The Course de l’Alliance (November 27th to 29th, www.coursedelalliance.com) takes in St. Martin, St. Barths and Anguilla.
In the Caribbean, St. Maarten is One-Design City, using mainly SunFast 20s for the Necol One-Design Regatta (February 7th and 8th), the Quantum Boat Hop (April 10th and 11th), the Caribbean One-Design Keelboat Championship (June 20th and 21st) and the Budget Marine Women’s Caribbean One-Design Keelboat Championship (November 7th and 8th, email@example.com).
The Big Three
The Three Kings are: St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (March 5th to 8th, www.heinekenregatta.com), the St. Thomas International Rolex (March 27th to 29th, www.rolexcupregatta.com), and the Stanford Antigua Sailing Week (April 26th to May 2nd, www.sailingweek.com). Big everything.
Islands make it easy to set a racecourse — just keep it to port or starboard and keep going. Around-the-island races and regattas with around-the-island courses include: Around Antigua Race (January 25, www.antiguayachtclub.com), Tour de la Martinique (February 7th and 8th), Round Grenada Race (March 13th to 15th, www.aroundgrenada.com), St. Barths Bucket Regatta (March 26th to 29th, www.newportbucket.com), Bequia Easter Regatta (April 8th through 13th, www.begos.com/easterregatta), Around Guadeloupe Race (May 20th to 24th, http://triskellcup.com) and Carriacou Regatta Festival (first weekend in August, www.carriacouregatta.com).
The French islands are very racy! A few events to check out are: Zion Cup, Guadeloupe (January 31st and February 1st, www.zioncup.org); Martinique Carnival Regatta (February 21st to 23rd, www.carnival-regatta.com); Bananas Cup, Martinique (March 14th and 15th); Trophée Gardel, Guadeloupe (March 21st and 22nd, www.trophee-gardel.com); Celebrations Trophy, Guadeloupe (April 18th and 19th, www.triskellcup.com); Combat de Coques, Martinique (May 21st to 23rd); Régate des Saintes, Les Saintes (June 6th and 7th); and the Bordée de la Saint Jean Race, Martinique (June 20th).
If you love local boats, feast your eyes on these events. Some are local-boat divisions of larger regattas; others are entirely for local craft. All are worth attending: Digicel Workboat Regatta at Grenada Sailing Festival (January 14th to 18th, www.grenadasailingfestival.com); bumboats at Tobago Carnival Regatta (February 10th through 14th, www.sailweek.com); double-enders at Bequia Easter Regatta (April 8th to 13th, www.begos.com/easterregatta); decked sloops and open boats at Carriacou Regatta Festival (first weekend in August, www.carriacouregatta.com); and double-enders at Canouan Regatta (May 28th to June 1, www.svgtourism.com).
Anguilla’s local boats usually race in May. Throughout the year you can see the famous yoles racing in Martinique; their annual around-the-island race is in July or August.
Copyright© 2008 Compass Publishing