The perennial Christmas winds are guaranteed to create fast-paced racing at the 7th Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR). Set for December 3-6 in St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie Harbor, the CAMR is possibly the most compelling match racing event of the year. “We are bringing world-class match racing to St. Thomas pitting two former Americas’ Cup skippers against today’s young stars,” says regatta director Bill Canfield. The U.S.V.I.’s native son Peter Holmberg, who helped lead Alinghi to Cup victory in 2007, and USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh, who did the same in 1992 with American3, will race against Stephanie Roble, USA’s top-ranked female match racer and U.S.V.I.’s Taylor Canfield, No. 2 on ISAF’s Open Match Race Rankings. What really makes the CAMR fun is the chance to cheer for your favorite from a front row harborside seat while listening to live, tack-by-tack narration. As exciting as that is, take a break from the sailing action to tour the historic sights nearby or jump on a ferry after the CAMR concludes to visit the neighboring U.S.V.I. of St. John and B.V.I. of Tortola. carlosmatchrace.com
Celebrate the New Year with seaside fireworks
Sit on shore or aboard your yacht to watch fabulous fireworks displays on Old Year’s Night—Caribbean islander’s term for New Year’s Eve. If you’re in the northern Caribbean, head to the B.V.I. of Jost Van Dyke, where calypsonian Foxy Callwood and his wife Tessa host a huge holiday shindig at their Foxy’s Tamarind Bar. Nearly 500 private yachts anchor in Great Harbour to watch the sparkler spectacular at midnight. In the southern Caribbean, watch fabulous firework fêtes in the Grenadine islands. Yachts pack Bequia’s Admiral Bay for the midnight light show. Earlier in the evening, celebrations start in Port Elizabeth’s bars and restaurants. Clifton Harbor is the place to drop anchor on Union Island. The entire island, visitors and locals alike, celebrate at street parties that culminate with a grand fireworks extravaganza.
New Year’s Day Gam in Trinidad
Celebrate New Year’s Day in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. This is where the Coral Springs, Florida-based Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) and Trinidad SSCA Cruising Station hosts, Jesse James and wife Sharon Rose, hold a special holiday potluck gam—a social visit between sailors or seafarers—for members and friends. James, owner of ‘Members Only’ Maxi Taxi Service, picks up cruisers from among the many marinas in the area. There’s no fee to attend. However, do bring a dish to share. Appetizers, soups, salads, sides, and desserts are welcome. Members of the Yacht Services Association of Trinidad & Tobago sponsor the hams, turkeys and other entrees, as well as door prizes. The Gam is a great time to share holiday cheer with other cruisers far from home. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to learn about the area. Informal round-table discussions center on everything from local hiking trails to sailing 350 miles southeast to explore the rivers in Guyana. ssca.org
Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating, December 2015
Carlos Aguilar Match Race