“That virus” everyone’s been talking about for the last year may slightly alter this year’s Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta, but NOTHING will stop these dedicated sailors from continuing this beloved St. John tradition!
The Thanksgiving Regatta is an annual fundraiser held by the Coral Bay Yacht Club, benefitting Coral Bay youth education projects. The event has benefitted many children over the years, including Paige Clark and Mimi Roller, both of whom went on to become international racers.
A more causal event than in years past, the 39th annual event will take place this weekend on Saturday, November 28th. The schedule of events is as follows:
8:30 am Skipper’s Meeting at Skinny Legs
10:00 am Race commences
3:00 pm Awards Ceremony
Adding a fun new twist to this year’s race, a Boating Crew Costume Contest will be sure to bring some extra smiles from onlookers. Prizes will be awarded for Best Overall costume and Most Creative costume. (Wanna place any bets how many pirates will be spotted wandering around St. John on Saturday?)
“The Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta has been a very special tradition in the Coral Bay community going back for decades,” said Regatta organizer Commodore Leah Randall Hansen. “Even in the wake of Irmaria when sailboats were smashed all over the shores and sea floor we still managed to sail under the theme, ‘Notta-Lotta-Yachta-Regatta’. I’m so thrilled to see that spirit continuing in the face of all we are dealing with in 2020, the donations continue to pour in for prizes, and ticket purchases and sailboats continue to sign up. And all sailors should know – even if they do not want to attend the Skipper’s meeting because they want to isolate, but they want to race, that’s fine – email us – we will work it out. The Regatta will go on!”
As part of the festivities, the historic Silver Cloud – Coral Bay’s 110-foot Tall Ship built in 1899 – will make her grand debut at the race! This three-mast, 100-ton ship was severely damaged in Hurricane Irma but has been given a new lease on life thanks to community love, effort, and support. To read more about this iconic ship, click here.
The First Place Regatta winner will receive a basket teeming with all sorts of useful items for boaters, generously donated by the folks at Paradise Lumber.
First, Second, and Third Place winners will receive a metal print of their vessel taken during the race. Every boat entered will be given at least one photo taken of their boat during the race.
If you’re bummed because you aren’t on island and can’t join the fun in person, here’s an opportunity to participate virtually from the comfort of your own quarantine space! This year’s race includes a RAFFLE, with three amazing prizes, including a half-day charter with two of our favorite Coral Bay charter companies!
PRIZE #1: A beach bag filled with all sorts of St. John treasures valued at over $1,000! Items include a gorgeous handmade jewelry set from Vibe Collection (valued at $894.00), a playful beach bag from Just Beach (valued at $78.00), a bottle of wine from Kati Ligo – Island Cork, a cool hat from Beach Bar, and a book about St. John from Bajo El Sol Gallery.
PRIZE #2: A half-day charter aboard SALT DECK USVI, one of Coral Bay’s newest charter ventures. I spent a day on this boat a few months ago, and we had a blast! The slide is an extra fun feature for families with children – or adults who want to feel like a kid again!
PRIZE #3: A half-day charter aboard FLYAWAY CHARTERS, one of my personal favorite charter companies. In addition to the secret snorkeling spots and friendly crew, they will share with you their vast knowledge of the fascinating St. John history while showing you all sorts of interesting things, like old hidden cannons dating back to the 1700s.
Raffle tickets can be purchased through Paypal at [email protected].
Tickets are $5.00 a piece, or 5 for $20.00. You will not receive a physical ticket. Your name will be written down on a ticket, and tickets will be drawn on Saturday at the Awards Ceremony. Winners will be contacted through Paypal email. Participants do not need to be present to win.
The deadline to purchase raffle tickets is Friday, November 27, 2020, 5:00 pm AST
Sailboat captains are invited to join the race by paying a $20.00 per boat entry fee and completing the pre-registration by emailing [email protected], or by registering at the Skipper’s Meeting on the day of the race. Although powerboats are not eligible to participate in the race itself (for obvious reasons), powerboat captains and crew are encouraged to participate in the costume contest.
As a reminder, masks are required at all group meetings, the Rewards Ceremony, and any public space – indoors and out – when social distancing is not possible.
If you have any questions about the Regatta or Raffle, please contact event coordinator Commodore Leah Randall Hanson at (340) 514-9627 or by email at [email protected].
Special thanks to the generosity of our local businesses who donated items for the Regatta, including Busy Bee Charters, Flyaway Charters, Skinny Legs, Salt Deck USVI, Mumbo Jumbo, Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar, Jolly Dog Trading Co., The Tap Room, St. John Brewers, Caravan Gallery, Vibe Collection, Paradise Lumber, Lime Out, Lime Inn Restaurant, Sun Dog Café, Beach Bar, St. John Hardware, High Tide, Dave & Jerry’s Island Steakhouse, Gallery Wilde, Just Beach, Kati Ligo-Island Cork, Bajo El Sol Gallery, Calabash Market, and Low Key Water Sports.
Feature photo of Silver Cloud and prize photos courtesy of Leah Randall Hanson.