Spring seems to be in full bloom in at the_ Sailing World_ HQ in Newport, R.I. And from what I hear that’s the case up and down the East Coast of the United States, where the mildest winter in memory seems in quite a rush to get out of town (not that we’re complaining). But sailing season in Newport is more than a month away still, and all this sun and blue sky does make us itch for a little aquatic competition.
In the Caribbean, the sailing season is at full gas. On tap for this weekend is one of the cornerstones of the mid-winter schedule, the 2012 International Rolex Regatta hosted by the lovely St. Thomas YC in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The IRR is one of the more compact Caribbean events, but it’s also one of the most serious, always pulling in a number of top programs for its mix of buoy and point-to-point races—and the great parties.
This year’s IRR is no exception, with a trio of IRC 52s, plus a Cookson 50 and the reborn 65-foot Rosebud (now called Equation) in IRC 1. In CSA 1, two Farr 400s will be testing their mettle against the new Decision, a 40-footer designed to the fledgling High-Performance Rule. And don’t forget the dozen-strong IC24 class, which is always competitive.
And of course the big question is who’s going to win? Well, we thought we’d put a little bit of value behind that query and launch another edition of our Fantasy Sailing League contest.
To enter, all you must do is pick first and second in a handful of the IRR divisions. We’ll total up the points according to our scoring formula (2 x first-place boat’s points + second-place boat’s points for the larger classes and 4 x first-place boat’s points and 2 x second-place boat’s points for the smaller classes) and determine the winner. The regatta organizers have chipped in a boatload of regatta swag to give away. We’ll have the exact prizes for you in a bit so check back.
One final note, like all regattas, the scratch sheet is subject to change. Make sure to check back on Thursday to confirm that all the boats you’ve selected are in fact racing. You can always revise your entry. Entries will be selected up until 11 am Friday, when the first gun sounds (on time, to be sure, since there’s always wind in the spring in the Caribbean).
Enter the Fantasy Sailing League here.
You can find the full scratch sheet here.