The three-day International Rolex Regatta hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club is making a grand return this season, marking its 37th year.Â This year the much awaited event is going to take place on the Caribbean shores. The whole convoy of about 69 boats this year will be moving along the Charlotte Amalie coast. The boats will halt at the harbour and will again take up the race to make their way back to the east end of the island St. Thomas Yacht Club. On Saturday and Sunday, sailors will follow the courses that lie between and around the island. However, the IC 24 one-design will follow the windward and leeward path which is close to the shore so as to enable spectators to get a clear view.
Mike Williamson with his Mills 40 White Heat which he bought during last year registered a place in the IRC division as a winner in the 2009 IRC East Coast Championships last fall as well as in the Key West Race Week during the winter season.Â After recruiting a balance of Britons and Americans as his crew members, Mike Williamson said that he wanted to have a good time at the regatta this year. The champion went on to talk about his boat and said that together he looked forward to give a tough competition especially on the leeward and windward courses.
Apart from Mike Williamsonâ€™s boats, there will be two more similar sized boats competing in the event- Humphreys 42 Oystercatcher XXVI which will be sailed in by Richard Matthews and 40-foot J/122 Otra Vez which will be raced by William Coates. Richard Matthews has been a winner at the Heineken Regatta and the man has also registered his victory at the same event in the past year. Talking about Gwen Fragomen and Austin, Mike Williamson said that this year will have him struggling against some of the bigger boats.Â He also remarked how the bigger boats could easily sail across the waves.
Bill Alcott who will be seen racing in the Andrews 68 Equation has well optimized the vehicle for the International Rolex Regatta. The man looks forward to give his best to the event and perform with all his abilities despite of the fact that he would be sailing with rather more people on the boat than others. Bill Alcott said that he sailed with about 15 people in the great Lakes but here he will have about 23 people on board with him. He went on to add that he could not say no to people who wanted to sail in the event with him.
Steve Suddath who will be seen in the role of the co-skipper together with Marc Durlach for the Santa Cruz Team Ondeck-Mt. Gay during the CSA Spinnaker Racing 2 Class, said that the event has brought a chance to re-unite with some of the friends from the sailing world.Â All the sailors appeared to be in a holiday mood and look excited about the event.Â The International Rolex Regatta will feature about 69 teams which will be divided in four divisions - One-Design IC 24s, IRC, Beach Cats and CSA.