CSA 2021 CARIBBEAN RACING SEASON NEWS AND MORETuesday 26th January 2021
We are all ready to escape the pain and suffering brought into our lives by the COVID 19 pandemic, and what better way to do it than racing your boat in the warm waters and brisk tradewinds of the Caribbean.
Soon after the regatta organizers in the Caribbean had to suddenly cancel events to prevent the spread of Covid 19 last year, they got together to plan for a racing future that took into account the challenges imposed by the pandemic. For 2021, regattas have adapted to make it safe and fun to participate in yacht racing, all tempered to the different island's health requirements.
The need for social distancing may keep the partying to a minimum, if at all, but will not significantly impact the water action for many of our most popular classes. Club Class, Island Times Class, Double-Handed, IC24, and other cruising classes that cater to small family crews are some of how you can bring back the joy of sailboat racing while keeping health risks to a minimum.
Chief Measurer Bastien Pouthier says, “Club Class is the CSA's entry-level regatta system, where owners are encouraged to race their cruising and live-aboard boats as they are, race-boats are outlawed, and everybody gets a chance to finish on the podium with our daily-changing ratings. We offer contactless and inexpensive boat measurements, low entry fees, and easy courses with lots of reaching, little upwind sailing, and short races.”
Many Caribbean events are now offering double-handed racing, placing a premium on boat handling skills and favoring boats that are easy to sail with smaller sail plans. The racing can be intense, but the satisfaction of finishing is immense!
The Caribbean's largest keelboat one-design class is the IC24. With over 30 boats built and distributed all over PR and the Virgin Islands, this popular class attracts some to top racing teams. The Quantum PR group, led by Fraito Lugo, has developed a smaller headsail, appropriately called COVID Jib, to facilitate lightweight 3-person crews instead of the regular 5. This allows smaller teams to be kept to the family nucleus and stay together on a small mothership or apartment. But more importantly, it will enable easy, inexpensive travel to IC24 events.
The CSA asks everyone to check in with all the event organizers to explore how they handle their island's entry requirements and what unique protocols may be in place at their regattas. For more information on all Caribbean sailboat racing, visit www.Caribbean-Sailing.com
To read about upcoming events across the region, read the Caribbean Sailing Association newsletter here.
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