The calendars should already be marked — sailors across the territory have been getting ready for this event for weeks.
The Coral Bay Yacht Club is hosting the 25th Annual Thanks-giving Regatta on November 24 and 25, out of Coral Harbor.
The competition starts on Friday, November 24, when traditional gaff-rigged and single handed racers will take to the water. Registration for the races begins at 8:30 a.m. at Skinny Legs with the skippers’ meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the Coral Bay restaurant.
Saturday, November 25, will see all classes battling it out on the waves. The skippers’ meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at Skinny Legs with the competition following.
More Sailors Than Ever
Organizers are expecting even more sailors this year than in the past, explained Coral Bay Yacht Club vice-commodore Sara O’Neill.
“We’ve already gotten calls from sailors from several different islands,” said O’Neill. “There has been a lot of talk about this regatta since it’s our 25th anniversary. We’re expecting more people than ever.”
In addition to the regular boat classes, yacht club members are welcoming windsurfer and optimist classes, O’Neill added.
“We’ve been asked by some windsurfers if they could compete,” said O’Neill. “All it takes is four competitors and you have a class. So, we’re hoping they come out and join the fun.”
There is a special lure for those who might not be racers themselves — a brand new 12-foot inflatable Caribe dinghy with a 15-horse power Yamaha engine.
One lucky person will win the dinghy during the raffle drawing at the regatta awards ceremony at Skinny Legs on Saturday evening, November 25.
Raffle tickets, available at Connections, Keep Me Posted and St. John Hardware, are only $5 each and all the proceeds go to support the St. John Kids And The Sea program, which teaches youth boating safety and skills.
Even the KATS kids themselves will take to the water on Friday, November 24, racing in optimist boats.
“This event is really exciting,” said Denise Wright, a member of the race committee. “From the gaff-rigged boats to the KATS kids — there is a class for everyone. From big old boats to modern race boats and lasers and optis — it’s going to be a great regatta.”
As the resident Thanksgiving Regatta artist, Wright designed the shirts and hats which will be on sale with proceeds again supporting St. John’s KATS program. Don’t forget to pick one up as they are sure to be collector’s items.
For those whose stomachs turn just thinking about sailing the seas, there will be plenty of fun at Skinny Legs after the races each day.
Local favorite Hidden Drive-way will rock the crowd on Friday night, November 24, starting around 7:30 p.m. and get ready for some stateside performers on Saturday night, November 25.
Missouri-based Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats will take to the stage following the awards ceremony and raffle drawing with their signature style.
Boogie Music and More
The self-described “Jump-SwinginRockinBoogieBluesa-Billy” band have toured the Virgin Islands over the past few years, entertaining audiences wherever they play.
Between the great music, raffle prizes and racing competition the Coral Bay Yacht Club’s 25th Annual Thanksgiving Regatta should not be missed.
“This is Coral Bay’s own regatta,” said O’Neill. “This the first St. John regatta of the season and it marks the end of the hurricane season. People’s boats are back in the water and back in the Caribbean and everyone is really looking forward to this.”