Hot competition in monohull and multihull classes, plus more ways to win with the addition of three new prizes, makes the 2012 Puerto Rico Heineken International Regatta (PRHIR) a regatta no sailor should miss. Set for March 16-18 and celebrated as the island’s premier sailing event, sailors from throughout the Caribbean and world come for the high-caliber of racing along Puerto Rico’s beautiful and windy southeast coast and for the highly-anticipated nightly parties ashore.
“It is race courses that test all sailors’ skills, one of the best race management programs in the Caribbean and exceptional facilities offered at the Palmas del Mar Resort & Yacht Club that makes the Puerto Rico Heineken International Regatta so special,” says regatta organizer, Angel Ayala.
One of the classes that will boast incredible competition this year is the Hobie 16. Puerto Rico’s Enrique ‘Kike’ Figueroa and crew Victor Aponte are fresh from winning a gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games, while fellow Puerto Rican beach cat sailors, Francisco Figueroa and Jollaim Berrios, equally scored a win at the 2011 Hobie 16 North Americans. A fleet of over 20 beach cats are expected to compete.
In the monohull classes, and in addition to traditional individual class prizes, there will be three new ways to win. The first is an overall prize for the champion of the Racing A and B and Racer-Cruiser classes combined. The second is an overall prize for best visiting performing yacht and third is an overall prize for the winner of the IC24 and J/24 classes combined. Each of these three lucky skippers will win their weight in Heineken.
“We’ll offer a mix of windward-leeward courses for the racing classes and short 40 to 45 minute races for the one-design IC24s and J/24s. We are expecting a large fleet of J/24s, including teams from the Dominican Republic and Mexico,” says Ayala. “There will be courses with reaches for the cruising classes. We may run a distance race to Vieques for some classes.”
Regatta festivities will kick-off with a captains’ meeting on March 15. The fleet will race March 16, 17 and 18, with nightly parties and an awards ceremony on March 18.
Classes of entry to the PRHIR will include CSA Spinnaker Racing, CSA Spinnaker Racer-Cruiser, CSA J24, IC24, CSA Performance Cruiser, CSA Jib & Main and Beach Cat. There will also be a class for the native Chalanas.
“We will also host the Puerto Rico International Dinghy Regatta March 17 and 18,” says Ayala. “The Snipes, Optimists, Lasers and Laser Radials will sail right off the beach.”
There is an entry fee of $300 for all classes except Beach Cats; the Beach Cats fee is $100. Entries received after March 1 will be charged $350 for all the classes except Beach Cats. In the dinghy regatta, entry fee for single-handed boats is $75 and double-handed boats are $100.
The Palmas del Mar Yacht Club is offering a special slip price of $100 from March 12 to 23, 2012, for regatta competitors.