It is hard to believe this is the 40th International Rolex Regatta and I have been fortunate to be involved with 39 of these wonderful events. I believe the only person more senior is our Register, Lyn Reid, who has been a major part of all 40.
Both Lyn and I were fortunate to sail in those early days with Caribbean sailing legends like Rudy Thompson of “Fun Hog” and “Cold Beer” fame and Dick Avery, who pretty much created the “bareboat industry” renting Pearson sailboats to his friends from New England. We were on the beach when Gary Hoyt rowed his newly designed Freedom 40 into Cowpet Bay. We remember well Tom Hill’s first Titan Ranger 28.
Our big boats in the early years were Jamie Torres’ Jibaro who went against Cavier a Carter 37, owned by Lee Kelbert and skippered by Dick Johnson. These vessels fought titanic battles year after year. I still visualize Paul Adamswaith reaching back and forth in front of Cowpet Bay on Stormy Weather in 40 kts challenging the fleet to come sailing when racing was abandoned for the day. We were all affected by the delivery of the first “rule beaters” J 24’s Sting (Dick Johnson / Walter Fischer) and Antidote (John Foster) who planed away with new Rolex’s for a few years until the rest of the fleet and the West Indies Rule (now CSA) caught up.
I miss the days when five of us would pile on a Pearson 26 like Jalapena or Fun Hog and journey to BVI or Puerto Rico with no thoughts of a hotel room but rather who got to sleep in the sail locker on the spinnaker bag. Our sport has changed mostly for the better but I still miss our early adventures. The beer seemed colder, we wore fewer cloths and had a hell of a good time.
Sorry to bore you with these nostalgic thoughts but wanted to thank all involved in the early years for those wonderful memories!
On to the business of today, welcome to our 40th International Rolex Regatta hopefully the best yet, with loads of new memories waiting to happen.
Bill Canfield, Regatta Director
Internatiuonal Rolex Regatta
On behalf of the Flag Officers, Governors, and members of the St. Thomas Yacht Club, it is my distinct honor to welcome you to the 40th International Rolex Regatta. Since 1974, we have proudly hosted this prestigious sailing event. Over three days, the finest yachtsmen and yachtswomen from around the Caribbean, United States, and Europe join in world-class racing in the spectacular environment and on the warm, clear waters surrounding our Club. The culmination of this lively competition is presentation of coveted Rolex timepieces to winners of select classes.
The 2012 Regatta was a resounding success on which the dedicated Rolex Committee will surely build. Competitors can rely on another regatta with hotly contested one-design and grand prix racing, along with spirited sailing in cruising classes. The picturesque distance races from the East End of St. Thomas to Charlotte Amalie harbor and back have established themselves as an Island tradition. The beautiful and yet tactically demanding Pillsbury Sound Race in and among the cays of St. Thomas and St. John, is a highlight of the Regatta. This ‘Sunday drive’ has decided final standings in most classes each of the last five years.
On the beaches of beautiful Cowpet Bay, the volunteers and staff of the St. Thomas Yacht Club will again demonstrate the personal touch and generous hospitality for which our Club is famous. You will find the very best in entertainment when our Club transforms itself into a bustling place for sailors and their families and locals to re-establish old friendships and forge new rivalries. And most of all to have a great time!
I look forward to seeing you at the 2013 International Rolex Regatta. Please enjoy our Yacht Club, our hospitality, and our Island home.
- Boyd Sprehn
2012 Commodore, St. Thomas Yacht Club
On behalf of the people and Government of the United States Virgin Islands, I am honored to invite the world’s sailing community to St. Thomas for the 40th annual International Rolex Regatta. We are proud that this well-known and international event continues to attract the best sailors to our Territory and the Caribbean’s legendary sailing waters.
If you have participated in previous Virgin Islands Race Weeks, you are well aware of the wonderful hospitality of the St. Thomas Yacht Club in particular, and the community of St. Thomas in general. If you are considering attendance for the first time, let me assure you that you will not be disappointed with either the racing competition, the social activities, or the island atmosphere. Our entire community looks forward to the International Rolex Regatta and its related events. As soon as you step foot on St. Thomas, you will feel the excitement generated by the gathering of the world’s best sailors and vessels for a week of unsurpassed racing and fun.
While on St. Thomas, I urge you to explore the island, visit our historical district, sample our top restaurants and luxury shops, and get to know our people. If time permits, please visit St. John, St. Croix, and Water Island. You will learn that the Territory offers a variety of experiences to visitors and that each of our islands is a unique destination waiting to be discovered.
Please mark your calendars now for March of 2013 and the International Rolex Regatta. You will never regret your decision to participate in the premiere racing event in the Caribbean! I look forward to meeting you!
- John P. De Jongh, Jr.
Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
As always, the dedicated and hard working volunteers from St. Thomas Yacht Club provide the "people power" for the event, both on land and at sea. Please help make this year's regatta another rousing success.
All we ask is that you are willing to work long hours for no pay. If you like helping people and enjoy the satisfaction of working with other Club members in a worthwhile endeavor.
You can help by volunteering your time, your home or apartment, your boat(s), your talent or anything else you think would help make the regatta a success, please contact Bill at email@example.com. We'll be in touch with you without delay. And if the above is not incentive enough, if you volunteer, you will be invited to the "Post Regatta Thank You" where you'll receive a great gift.