St. Thomas Yacht Club
The St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) was organized in 1964 by racing sailors and it has a rich history of promoting quality racing for both big- and small-boat sailors. In its early years the Yacht Club sponsored the Caribbean Midwinter Regatta, the first-ever Sunfish World Championship.
In 1964, yachtsman Rudy Thompson applied for admission into Olympic competition; the U.S. Virgin Islands was subsequently accepted as an Olympic nation. Two years later, Thompson and John Hamber won a Silver medal in the Flying Dutchman class at the Caribbean and Central American Games. The next year, the Virgin Islands entered its first Olympic Sailing Team in the Olympics in Mexico. Rudy and John raced in the Flying Dutchman, Per Dohm in the Finn.
In 1988, Peter Holmberg added to the history books by bringing glory home to the Virgin Islands with a Silver medal in the Finn Class. In 2000 he entered the America’s Cup domain, leading his own America’s Cup campaign for the Virgin Islands, and for the 2003 America’s Cup, he was helmsman for Larry Ellison’s Oracle BMW Racing campaign. Holmberg is currently a member of Team Alinghi, the America’s Cup defender for the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain.
Since 2000 our junior sailing program has developed into one of the best in the US. Our young sailors have won 6 high school national championships and have contributed to numerous college programs. This year alone 12 of our members are sailing on ranked college teams. A few years ago Ian Barrows won a gold medal at the first IOC Youth Olympics. This past year, Taylor Canfield was ranked as the #1 match racer in the world by ISAF and also was the youngest to win the World Championship in match racing.
St. Thomas Sailing Center
St. Thomas Yacht Club is introducing a unique concept of sailing instruction, boat access and racing through the opening of the St. Thomas Sailing Center. Now, sailors from the Virgin Islands and around the world – from beginners to seasoned racers– can enjoy greater access to boats, programs and sailing waters than they might typically expect in a private Caribbean yacht club setting.
This program allows you to sail whenever you want, or race on a regular basis without the need to own a boat. Become part of a comunity of like minded people who share a passion for sailing.
Join the St. Thomas Yacht Club, sign up for Boat Access and you’ll be able to sail whenever and as often as you like at no additional cost beyond the annual Boat Access Fee.
St. Thomas Yacht Club Regattas
St. Thomas Yacht Club holds a number of iconic races annually open to juniors, club members and visiting sailors. Each event is unique in nature and shows off the wonderful sailing waters near Cowpet Bay, often referred to as “one of the best destinations in the world to finish a race”.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 28, 2020 Rosenberg, Compton Top Classes at Inaugural St. Thomas Yacht Club Invitational Regatta
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Sailing is social distancing at its best. No three people know this better than St. Thomas’ Chris Rosenberg and his 15-year-old son Christian, who won the IC24 Class, and St. Thomas’ Marcus Compton, who topped the Hobie Wave Class, in this weekend’s inaugural St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) Invitational Regatta sponsored by the USVI Department of Tourism, Leatherback Brewing Co. and MUTINY Island Vodka. Twenty-one boats with skippers hailing from all three U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, USA and Sweden, completed 10 races total. Conditions, and what gives the U.S. Virgin Islands its reputation as a world-class sailing destination, gave competitors a little bit of everything, from winds gusting over 20 knots to light puffs less than half that speed. These best of both worlds of wind were accompanied by COVID-19 protective measures such socially distanced boats, crew limited to double-handed on IC24s and single-handed on Hobie Waves, and facial buffs or masks in place.
“The Department of Tourism congratulates the winners and all participants in the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) Invitational Regatta. It was especially gratifying to see our local sailors earn some of the top placements. We hope this encourages more Virgin Islanders to become engaged with our magnificent marine resources, which are a defining element of Caribbean life. Marine tourism is a key component of our bread and butter tourism industry and benefits us all,” says Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism.
Scores Razor Close in IC24 Class
Twenty-two points separated Rosenberg and his son from the second-place finisher, St. Croix’s Eric Cusin and crew Peter Nielsen, in the 13-boat IC24 class.
A person riding on the back of a boat in the water
Description automatically generatedPhoto: L to R Chris and Christian Rosenberg lead the pack while racing IC24s in the STYC Invitational Regatta. Credit: Dean Barnes
“When we considered how to get back out racing with the pandemic, the decision was made to sail the IC24s with two people instead of the usual five. I asked my son to crew with me as we’re in the same household. He agreed, we started practicing on Friday nights during the series hosted by the St. Thomas Sailing Center (STSC), and little by little we improved. The first day of racing was hard since there was a lot of breeze. Today, the wind was much lighter. Christian tacked the jib perfectly and he called all the headers and lifts. To see him give it his all, in these trying times and for two days, was such a great to experience to have as a father,” says Rosenberg.
After first and second places, scores in the IC24 Class were so close it was anyone’s game. In fact, there were three ties – for third place, fourth place and sixth place.
Competition & Camaraderie in the Hobie Wave Class
Scores were almost as equally close in the 8-boat Hobie Wave Class. In fact, it came down to the last race and only two points ultimately separated Compton from the second-place finisher, St. Thomas’ Julian van den Driessche.
A person riding on the back of a boat in the water
Description automatically generatedPhoto: St. Thomas’ Marcus Compton rounds a mark in the STYC Invitational Regatta. Credit: Dean Barnes.
“On the first day I capsized twice, but on a positive note, I did have two firsts. I was glad today brought an end to the capsizes with the light breeze. I knew it was close with Julian. He would plant himself to windward of me at the start and use his, I must say, superior speed and pointing to pass by me. The light breeze made it more challenging and I really had to keep the boat moving, the sail loose and breathing, and constantly compare other sailor’s speed and position. I would encourage others to take part in competitive and friendly classes like Hobie Waves and the IC24. While practicing safe health guidelines, the racing really pulled us through the emotionally difficult COVID-19 months,” says Compton
The STYC Invitational Regatta commemorated a perpetual trophy. This was awarded to the winner of the IC24 and Hobie Wave Classes, Rosenberg and Compton, respectively. This perpetual trophy is dedicated to Rudy Thomson and Dick Avery for their long-standing contributions to STYC and Olympic racing and inspiring sailors of all ages.
The Start of Something Big
One of the biggest take-home messages from this weekend’s event is the high quality of racing, says Tony Coffelt, STYC commodore. “There was tight racing and close scores in both the IC24 and Hobie Wave classes. Add to this the Race Committee offered both round-the-buoy and round-the-island racing. Plus, our ideal Virgin Islands’ conditions offered competitors a range of wind speeds. I think this has been an excellent start to the makings of a world-class regatta.”
The 2020 STYC Invitational Regatta tests the waters for a larger event in future years where teams from yacht clubs throughout the Caribbean, U.S.A, and Europe will be invited to race. Starting in 2021, the STYC Invitational Regatta will move to a permanent date of the third week in May, May 14-16. This time coincides with the wrap-up of the Caribbean race season and creates an extension to the territory’s tourism season, a win-win. In the future, there will be an opportunity for spectators to watch the racing.
Strong Sponsor Support
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is a strong supporter of the STYC Invitational Regatta, the newest of the events hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club, as well as the Club’s St. Thomas International Regatta, International Optimist Regatta, and a match race.
Additionally, the Leatherback Brewing Company and MUTINY Island Vodka, both based on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, are co-sponsors of the 2020 STYC Invitational Regatta. Leatherback Brewing Company brews and packages craft beer in the Virgin Islands with both traditional and uniquely Caribbean ingredients. MUTINY Island Vodka, the Caribbean’s Original Island Vodka handcrafted from breadfruit, is a first in the world new spirit and created in the USVI.
Learn to Sail
Sailing is not only a great way to socially distance, but a positive activity for mind and body. The STSC offers several instructional programs for adults, from learning to sail to advanced bareboat certification and cruising classes. Classes are taught by highly experienced instructors aboard the Club’s IC24s. Schedules range from a vacation week format for those who wish to fly in and combine visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands along with sailing instruction, to weekend end and late-afternoon classes for those that live locally and need to schedule around employment. Class registration comes with a 30-day Bluewater Membership, where students to use and enjoy Club facilities and amenities. A $150 Blue Water Boat Access fee enables students to sail IC24s and Hobie Waves throughout their Blue Water Membership. Students who get hooked on sailing can pursue their passion regularly. The STSC hosts several regular activities such as Ladies Hobie Wave Racing every other Thursday, co-ed Hobie Wave Racing every Thursday, double-handed IC24 racing every Friday and more.
For more information about the STSC, contact Dave Franzel, firstname.lastname@example.org, (340) 690-3681, or visit: https://stthomassailingcenter.com/
IC24 Class (Boat Name, Skipper Name, Home, Points)
1. Bill T, Chris Rosenberg, STT, USVI (14)
2. Roundabout, Eric Cusin, STX, USVI (36)
3. Red Dog, Fraito Lugo, Puerto Rico (43)
4. Boat Drinks, Peter Sernhede, Sweden (43)
5. Magic Bus, Dave Franzel, USA (46)
6. Huron Girl, Mike Finley, STT, USVI (46)
7. Black Pearl, Ted Reshetiloff, BVI (82)
8. One Love, Bill McConnell, STT, USVI (83)
9. Desperado, Chuck Pessler, STT, USVI (83)
10. Stinger, Kevin Wakelee, STT, USVI (91)
11. KATS Pajamas, Jarrett Altmin, STJ, USVI (95)
12. Viola, Jaime Balzac, Puerto Rico (121)
13. KATS Meow, Jasper Moon, STJ, USVI (127)
Hobie Wave Class (Name, Home, Points)
1. Marcus Compton, STT, USVI (27)
2. Julian van den Driessche, STT, USVI (29)
3. Evan Greenberg, STT, USVI (32)
4. Kyrre Culver, STT, USVI (34.5)
5. Kim Duff, STT, USVI (39)
6. Oriel Blake, STT, USVI (57)
7. Nate Brooks, STT, USVI (66)
8. Joyce Campbell, STT, USVI (70)
For immediate release March 15, 2020 Postponed – 2020 St. Thomas International Regatta St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) regret to announce the postponement of the 2020 event, originally scheduled for March...
The St. Thomas Yacht Club is thrilled to announce the completion of our new dock. Please come check it out and celebrate with us on Friday, March 13 at 6:00 PM. Enjoy appetizers & wine during the dock dedication. A buffet dinner ($20/pp) will be served following...
Thank you for visiting our page and inquiring about our membership enrollment. As a STYC Member you will have full access to the Club’s facilities and priority registration with lower sign up fees for our various programs including our popular Summer Sailing Camp . We offer three types of memberships.
- Annual Membership
- Blue Water Trial Membership
- Corporate Membership
St. Thomas Yacht Club members are a tight knit community and have formed friendships that a life time. Common bonds are born out of a passion for sailing and preserving the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.
New to the club is the Blue Water Membership. We have created this membership option so you have the ability to enjoy our club. Blue water membership is a limited membership type good for 30 consecutive days.