The 23rd St Croix International Regatta will be held November 13th, 14th and 15th at the St Croix Yacht Club. Co-chairs, Karen Stanton and Julie San Martin have made some changes this year.
Friday’s race, formerly known as the Commodore’s Race, has been changed to the Captain Nick’s Race, honoring the founder of this regatta. Nick Castruccio, a die-hard racer and the honoree at the 20th Anniversary in November, 2012, had a dream to host a big boat regatta in the Buck Island Channel and invited boats from all over the Caribbean to come race in St Croix 23 years ago. The regatta is still going and one that many sailors look forward to.
The inspiration of one St. Croix sailor, Nick had the foresight to get this regatta off the ground. With the help of fellow sailor and businessman, Rob Armstrong, they secured Mumm’s Champagne as the first sponsor. The first Mumm’s Cup Regatta in October 1992 was a three-day event with 69 boats competing. Peter Holmberg of Team Heineken was the overall winner and received his weight in Mumm’s Champagne. A Tradition was born!
Captain Nick has raced in most every St Croix Yacht Club annual regatta since its inception in 1992. For the first two years, he helped run Race Committee and made sure things ran smoothly. Castruccio stated, “my most memorable moment came during that first regatta in 1992. When I saw over 50 spinnakers coming downwind, I said to one of my committee members, look what we started.” At 86, this tough sailor was still going strong and planed to race his beloved 32-year-old J30, Annick, in November. When asked how he was preparing for the upcoming regatta, Nick said, “I plan to have Annick hauled and get that bottom cleaned!”
Youth sailing has always been Nick’s focus and many young sailors at the St. Croix Yacht Club have benefited greatly from his sailing knowledge. Annick, named for Nick’s late wife, Ann (Ann Nick – get it!), has always been raced by a crew of young sailors, often their first big boat racing experience. For the past decade, Nick’s passion has been the Frederiksted Community Boating Program (FCB), a nonprofit sailing program located on the west end of St Croix which teaches local kids to sail.
Another change is — Optimist Racing is back! A large group of young sailors will be racing their Optis right off the beach at the St Croix Yacht Club, turning out as many as 12 to 15 races in a two-day period in Teague Bay. These USVI and BVI youngsters are currently some of the best Optimist sailors in North America. In addition to the “usual suspects” from St Croix and St Thomas, the BVI is always well represented in the big boat class. There will be two well-established, one design classes – Rhodes 19 and Melges 32. Sailing will take place in Buck Island channel, with possible courses taking them as far west as Salt River or around the East End, weather permitting.
Nightly entertainment will be provided for the sailors along with our great Cruzan hospitality and local food.