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Get ready to Sail and Party at Puerto Rico Heineken INTL Regatta - March 18-20

Top notch yacht racing off Puerto Rico's beautiful southeast shores. Racing classes that attract sailors from the Caribbean and from around the world. Shore side parties that boast the best of island hospitality. This is what makes the Puerto Rico Heineken International Regatta (PRHIR), set for March 18-20, 2011, and held out of Palmas del Mar Yacht Club, the island's premier sailing event of the year. Add to this organizer's astute ability to recognize and incorporate the latest racing trends and you've got an incredible event that offers something for everyone.

"New this year we will offer a one-day stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) exhibition and competition," says regatta organizer, Angel Ayala. "The event will start at 10 am on March 20. Paddle boarders will have two courses to choose from, one that starts within the marina and a longer course that starts at Punta Candelero and then winds through the canals of Palmas del Mar."

Jaime Torres of Vela Uno in San Juan will orchestrate the SUP event. Torres is also one of the sailors that will heat up the competition in the big boat classes with his new Tripp 40. Other local talent to watch will be Sergio Sagramossa, formerly of Lazy Dog, who will be racing his new Grand Soleil 54. Puerto Rico now boasts a third J/105, Jonathan Lipuscek's Dark Star III, and OnDeck Ocean Racing, based in Antigua, will offer charters for the regatta.

The one-design J/24 and Hobie 16 fleets will especially be out in force. Teams will be coming in both fleets from the Dominican Republic and Mexico in order to train for the Pan American Games, set for Guadalajara, Mexico, this summer.

Kite-boarders from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will compete again in their own class.

"We'll offer a mix of windward-leeward courses for the one-design and racing classes," 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 Captain's Meeting on March 17. The fleet will race March 18, 19 and 20, with nightly parties and an Awards Ceremony on March 20.

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.

"We will also host the Puerto Rico International Dinghy Regatta at the same time," says Ayala. "The Snipes, Optimists, Lasers and Laser Radials will sail right off the beach."

There is an entry fee of US $300.00 for all classes except Beach Cats; the Beach Cats fee is US $100.00. Entries received after March 1, 2011 will be charged $350.00 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 located inside the resort community of Palmas del Mar, in Humacao. The 162-slip marina is managed by Island Global Yachting and offers state-of-the-art facilities for yachts up to 200-foot. There is a restaurant, bar and grill, private lounge area, shower facilities, swimming pool, resort wear shop, convenience store, deli and much more on property and up to a dozen restaurants within walking distance of the marina. Shore side accommodations at Palmas del Mar Hotel & Villas include rooms that will be offered at a discounted rate for regatta participants. In addition, there are villas for rent that sleep 12 and come with a private boat slip.

For more information, call Tel: 787-413-7702, 787-785-2026, 787-948-2835, or visit www.prheinekenregatta.com. For slips and accommodations, visit www.palmasdelmaryachtclub.com

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