2017 Island Hopper Regatta

Our Island Hopper Race was a complete success with 13 boats competing including 4 beach cats!! The after race BBQ at Elaine Eastern’s in Frank Bay was bigger than ever. Many club members came to enjoy the food and drink. Our own Jim Swan sailed to third place in racing class while Dave Dostal took second in the non-spinnaker class!!

2017 Duke’s Trophy Regatta in defense of the trophy

Sunday the St John Yacht Club hosted the Dukes Trophy Race. Winds were light around 5-10 knots and the turnout was also a bit light due to a memorial service Brett Johnso, one of the St Thomas sailors. Still we had a fleet with four boats competing.

The race started at Two Brothers Rocks and the boats beat up to Johnsons Reef outer marker for a spinnaker set and run down the north side of the cays in light and sloppy conditions.  Bill Mc Connel in One Love was first to round followed by JP Montagut in Boat Drinks then Mike Finley in Huron Girl and yours truly bringing up the rear in M.T. With the wind well into the north the boats were able to carry the chutes through middle passage something not normally possible in an easterly.

One Love lead up the next beat but the bottom three boats traded places with M.T. in second and Huron Girl third until the top mark where Boat Drinks once again squeaked out ahead with Huron Girl and M. T. close behind at the Rata Rocks rounding. With kites up again the battle for second continued as Huron Girl and One love gybed early and M.T. and One Love opted for a one gybe strategy. This paid off as M.T. was able to get an overlap on Boat Drinks at the Two Brothers rounding and just get by. Once again the Northerly winds allowed the boats to carry the chutes on an exciting spinnaker reach to the Stevens Cay rounding.

From there it was a fetch to the finish with One Love first M.T. second, Boat Drinks third and Huron Girl fourth. Awards and drinks followed at the Banana Deck.

Mike Feierabend


2016 Around St John Race run in windy conditions

Eleven boats showed up at a very windy start on Sunday steeling themselves for the ten mile beat to east end and the promise of an exciting down wind sleigh ride to the finish at Gallows Point. Three boats dropped out at or just after the start narrowing the fleet to nine. The fleet beat up the North Shore in sustained 20 knots of wind with higher gusts and current induced square waves in Sir Frances Drake Channel. The IC-24 fleet of five boats lead the way with Bill McConnell’s Roundabout and J.P. Montegut’s Boat Drinks swapping the lead in the narrows.

Jim Swan on Kate took a bold move sailing inside Whistling Cay through Funji Pass to look for flatter water and a little less wind in the lee of St John. I actually think the move worked for them as they were a bit light on crew and had great boat speed and were pointing like a tour guide in the flat water. Unfortunately their jib track began coming off the deck shortly after and hindered their tacking ability up the narrows.

Roundabout was the next boat to suffer damage and had to retire before the windward mark with mast problems. The downwind leg proved to be too windy for kites for most of the boats. Only Chuck Pessler on Desperado was able to carry on the reach from Leduc to Ram Head but they took down soon after Ram Head as boats were broaching in the larger seas in the clear of the BVI. We set ours on Osprey at Ram Head only to take it down within a mile when we just could not control the boat.

Once again the KATS IC-24 made us all proud completing the course safely with great speed! Quite an accomplishment considering two of the IC’s retired!!!!!!


Class A: 1st Poets Lounge 2nd Phgawee

Class B: 1st Desperado 2nd Boat Drinks 3rd Kate 4th Osprey 5th Fiona

2016 Island Hopper Race to the BBQ

The fleet of 10 boats, comprised of 5 from St John and 5 from St Thomas, started it light wind which then dropped to no wind prompting a shortened course.  A southeastern fill brought the fleet home with our club member Joyce McKenzie on White Sails taking line honors and winning the beach cat class!! JP Montegut and crew on IC-24 Boat Drinks from St. Thomas Yacht Club came out on top with corrected time to win the event.  Club members hosted a beach BBQ at Franks Bay immediately following the race which is sure to become an Island Hopper tradition thanks to master BBQ chef Vice Commodore Mike Feierabend.

Jim Swan captures 2016 Dukes Trophy

The Dukes Trophy finally has a SJYC boat name on it. Jim Swan and crew sailed Kate to a one second win over two time trophy winner Chuck Pessler in the 2016 Dukes Trophy Race. The race was run in trying conditions in zero to ten knots of wind. Many of the fleet went from being hero’s to zero’s as the fickle winds of a weakening cold front sat over the islands on Sunday. In a bold move Jim opted to sail west toward St. Thomas in the latter stages of the twice shortened course and made up some losses they had in the earlier stages of the race. They then split with Desperado again going left towards Lind Point at the finish and with some great downwind crew work overtook Pessler at the finish in a fickle NE breeze.

Also participating in the spinnaker class was the KATS IC-24 Fiona with four of the KATS sailors aboard. A great accomplishment considering the kids had only sailed the boat twice before the race!!


Class A: 1st  Phigawee

Class B: 1st Kate  2nd Desperado 3rd  Boat Drinks 4th Fiona

Beach Cats: 1st  Holmberg 2nd Attention

Ferry Sails to 2015 Budget Marine Commodore’s Cup Win

Dylan Ferry’s laser sailing skills paid off as the sailor beat James Austin in the final race to win the 2015 Budget marine Commodore’s Cup in Coral Bay, St. John. This event is hosted at Skinny Legs by all three of St. John’s yacht clubs: Coral Bay Yacht Club, St. John Yacht Club and Nauti Yacht Club.  Captains and crew in this year’s race enjoyed two days of steady winds reaching between 15 and 20 knots as they raced the course out of Coral Bay harbor.  After two days of racing, the winning captain in each of the four classes faced off in a laser sail off in the harbor to determine the Commodore’s Cup 2015 champion. The laser sail-off featured Dylan Ferry, who sailed Brion Morrisette’s 18ft Sweet Ting, winner of the 35ft and under class, Kent Burt aboard Caprice, winner of the 36ft and over class, and James Austin.

James Austin, captain of Zephyr, won the PHRF non-spinnaker class in a closely contested race with Doug Weaver aboard Runaway and Sara O’Neill on O’edge.  After two days and 30 miles of sailing, Austin finished only 30 seconds a head of Weaver’s Runaway and six minutes ahead of O’edge. Jim Swan aboard Kate won the PHRF spinnaker class.

While Austin made a great effort in the laser race, Ferry, demonstrating his small boat sailing prowess, was not to be beaten and secured the Cup win for Sweet Ting.

This event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Kids And The Sea (KATS) program, St. John’s youth sailing program.  The event raised more than $5,500 for KATS, which teaches important sea safety and sailing skills to island youth starting at the age of eight.

Report by Jamie Elliott

2015 Around St. John Regatta Results

Our 42nd annual Around St John Race was sailed on March 15th in near perfect conditions. The nine boat fleet departed from Two Brothers Rocks at 10 AM and beat up the North shore of St John in 15 knots of wind. The spinnaker class was purely IC 24’s this time with usual competitor Wild Ting on the hard after a collision in the Heineken Regatta in St. Martin the week before. The IC’s were tightly grouped off the start and through the Durloe Cays until Jim Swan on Kate tacked inshore towards Johnson’s Reef and gained considerably on the rest who stayed offshore. From that point Jim and his crew never looked back as they lead the class the rest of the race.

The non spinnaker class was led all day by the Santa Cruz 70 Hotel California Too which was crewed in part by members from our club. Local St John boats Flying Circus and Phgawee sailed great races but could not sail to their ratings to beat the big boat. Phgawee unfortunately tore her mainsail but persevered to finish.

The Catamaran Class was dominated by Teri and Joyce on Flight Risk and they “flew” around the island in 2 hours and 55 minutes.

The awards ceremony was M.C.ed by our Commodore Dave Dostal and was a huge success. Mares Crane was on hand to Award the Cees De Graaff memorial trophy for best elapsed time to Hotel California Too and to reach into the hat to draw the winner of the raffle for not one, but two, haul outs. One sponsored by our club and the other by St Croix Marine.

2015 Island Hopper Race Results

Sunday February 14 the annual Island Hoppers Race was hosted by our club under challenging conditions for the 11 boat fleet. The race was started in light south east winds of 8-10 knots and the boats fetched to the first mark at Henley Cay. Scratch boat Wild Ting was first around Henley Cay followed by Jim Swan and his St John based crew in his IC 24 Kate. Their lead was soon lost to IC’s Red Dog and Ice Cube and Wild Ting quickly extended her lead on the next leg spinnaker reaching towards Turtle Back Rock in the light SE wind. The fleet then “drag raced” back to Carvel Rock for another spinnaker set down the North side of the cays where wind shadows from Congo Cay hurt the lead IC’s and put Kate back in the lead. At middle passage the fleet encountered a 180 degree wind shift to the North West which becalmed Wild Ting for at least 10 minutes. Kate once again rounded first only to suffer the same fate as Wild Ting for a few minutes allowing the rest of the fleet to catch up. A tough light air spinnaker run to Stevens Cay decided the winners. Ice Cube took home first in spinnaker class getting her name on both the Bill Morris memorial trophy for best corrected and the Jack Bosch memorial trophy for best elapsed time.  Boat Drinks was first in non spinnaker

The light air proved difficult for the beach cat class but they still made it around quickly with Flight Risk first to finish. In corrected time Time Out was first followed by Joyce McKenzie in her Hobie 16 White Sails. Great job Joyce!!!

Once again we would like to thank Scott Barnett and his race committee and Randy and Barb Hervey in their boat Tasmanian Devil for the great photos and chase boat support. Huge thanks to Jim and Carol Furneaux for the use of Adventurer II as committee boat. We hope to have Jim on board for the around St John Race March 15.


Spinnaker Class:    1st Ice Cube  2nd Red Dog  3rd Ocean Potion

Non Spinnaker:      1st Boat Drinks

Beach Cat:              1st Time Out  2nd White Sails  3rd Flight Risk

2015 Duke’s Trophy Regatta Results

On Sunday January 11, 2015,  the St John Yacht Club hosted the annual Dukes Trophy race. In near perfect conditions of 15 to 20 knots seven yachts competed in Pilsbury Sound and the waters of North of St John. The fine sailing conditions had the fleet round the 16.5 mile course in less than four hours and into the Banana Deck for the after race festivities and awards. Wild Ting with SJYC Board member Jeff Stevenson as bowman took home the Dukes Trophy. Dylan Ferry, also on our Board, helmed Sugar Beach to take first in the non spinnaker class. Yours truly had a wet and wild ride as crew on board the Teri McKenna’s  NACRA 17 Flight Risk with Teri at the helm to take line honors and first in the beach cat class.


In her usual effort to promote youth sailing in the Virgin Islands our treasurer Joyce McKenzie sailed the smallest boat in the fleet, her Hobie 16, WITH her high school aged crew Naomi Laing.  Great job Joyce and Naomi!!!!!!!!


Our thanks to Scott Barnett and his race committee for putting on a great race. Also to Jim Furneaux for the use of Adventurer II once again as our proud committee boat. Super special thanks to Randy and Barb Hervey for their help as chase boat and photo boat. Barbara took some great shots that were shown as a slide show at the awards and will soon be a part of our web Photo Gallery!!!!


Mike Feierabend
Vice Commodore