St. Thomas International Regatta Winners Announced

Flying Jenny, Apollo, Exodus, Wild T’ing, Bill T and OT the App take home the hardware in the regatta’s 50th running.
2024 St. Thomas International Regatta
Flying Jenny, foreground, wins the CSA 1 Class, with second place ShotGunn (middle) and third place M2 (far right). Ingrid Abery

Spinnakers popped up on the horizon like Easter bonnets on parade during the third and final day of racing in the 50th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). The breeze, blowing 10 to 17 knots, gave a glimpse of its traditional easterly trade winds direction on the final day of racing, a change from the unusual westerly winds that gave sailors a tactical run for their money during the regatta’s first two days. While the IC24 Class raced round-the-buoys in Great Bay, the rest of the fleet sailed a nearly 14 nm course that wove round-the-rocks across Pillsbury Sound to the north and south of St. John and back. In the end, Flying Jenny, Apollo, Exodus, Wild T’ing, Bill T and OT the App were the class winners.

The winner of the CSA 1 Class, filled with One-Design Cape 31s, wasn’t decided until the last leg of the one race of the day and the last of the regatta.

“We knew whoever won would win the regatta,” said Rob Greenhalgh, tactician aboard class champ and US-based Flying Jenny. “There was a hard fight at the start, and we won it by being at the pin end. That was the key for us. However, it was still a battle as the wind changed halfway through the course from off Moravian Point up to Henly Cay. But we crossed the finish line a minute before the other boats in our class.”

Michael Wilson’s ShotGunn, a UK entry, placed second, with the US-flagged Marc McMorris on M2, third.

The third time sailing STIR proved a charm for Donald Nicholson’s J121 (US), Apollo, in the CSA 2 Class.

“We had a well-prepared boat, fabulous crew, fair winds, good luck, and the magic of the STIR regatta,” said Nicholson, as to the secret to Apollo’s success. “We’ll be back.”Trinity IV, a J42 with crew from Tennessee, finished second, and the UK-based race charter Beneteau First 40.7, Escapado, took third.

In CSA 3, it was Puerto Rico’s Keki Figueroa driving his Melges 24, Exodus, which capped the class. It was a podium position in which Figueroa was familiar.

“I won the Hobie class here twenty years ago,” said Figueroa. “We sailed an IC24 for a while and now the Melges. My crew and I have been together for a long time. Between that and constantly watching the wind is what gave us the advantage.”

Exodus sailboat
Puerto Rico’s Keki Figueroa wins the CSA Spinnaker 3 Class aboard Exodus. Dean Barnes

Team St. Maarten Island Water World, another Melges 24, with Jan Bus at the helm, ended the regatta as class runner-up. Puerto Rico’s Julio Reguero’s J35, Umakau, finished third.

St. Thomas sailor, Lawrence Aqui, raced his Dufour 40, Wild T’ing, to the top of the CSA Non-Spinnaker Class.

Wild T'ing
Wild T’ing, a Dufour 40 owned by St. Thomas’ Lawrence Aqui, wins the CSA Non-Spinnaker Class. Dean Barnes

“Our team has been sailing together over a decade,” said Aqui. “That means we know the boat well, what it can and can’t do well to go fast. Local knowledge definitely helped, especially avoiding the shallows around the islands.”

In second place was Hotel California Too, US-based Steve Schmidt’s Santa Cruz 70, while Trinity VI, US-based David McDonough’s J40, finished third.

The One-Design IC24 Class was the largest grouping, totalling 15 boats. It was also the class that competed in the most races: 13 starts and finishes over three days. St. Thomas’ two-time Olympian, Cy Thompson, on Bill T, successfully defended his class-winning title.

“We had conditions this weekend that no one had seen before, but we had many of the same crew, so our team was spot on for the transitions,” said Thompson, whose crew included Maurice Kurg, Eric Cusin, Spencer LeGrande and Emma Walters.

IC24 Class Winner
IC24 Class Winner Bill T. Left to right: Maruice Kurg, Cy Thompson, Emma Walters, Eric Cusin, Spencer LeGrande. Ingrid Abery

PJ’s Magic Coffee Bus, chartered to race STIR by Guy Williams from New Orleans, placed second. In third was St. Croix-based Peter Stanton’s Big Island.

St. Thomas Sailing Center, the racing arm of the STIR host, St. Thomas Yacht Club, chartered out its Hobie Waves for STIR in addition to IC24s. Nine Waves teams raced over two days with St. Thomas’ Chris Curreri first on OT the App.

“I liked the heavier breeze today and capitalized on it,” said Curreri, past winner of the STIR IC24 Class. “It was a tough class, but a lot of fun.” 

Chris Curreri
St. Thomas’ Chris Curreri, winner of the Hobie Wave class, standing aboard his IC24 class OT the App. Dean Barnes

St. Thomas’ double-handers, 12-year-old Will Zimmerman and 11-year-old Finn Hodgins, finished as runners-up with US-based Mike Compton’s Mike’s Windsurfing grabbing out third.

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