Taking the Family Home Around the Racecourse!

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Ronald Prins (NED) is the owner of Stardust, a 2023 Windelo54 catamaran, which he and his family – his wife Elsine and kids Julian (10) and Robin (8) – picked up newly built from the Windelo shipyard in the south of France in the summer of 2023. This week they’ve been in the BVI shifting from cruising mode to racing mode as they competed in the BVI Spring Regatta, something that Ronald really did not have in mind when he set sail across the Atlantic in late fall 2024. But his wife did.

“I decided in Martinique – we had just crossed the Atlantic – that I would like to have something to look forward to and have a bit of a challenge,” Elsine said. “Ronald didn’t really want to race the boat because we are in cruising mode but then the idea grew on him.”

Ron jumped in, “We’re cruising – look at all the stuff we now have on the dock just to go racing,” he joked before adding more seriously, “We didn’t have a rating, but it was very easy to get a rating. We were traveling with other boats who we got to know and asked them if they wanted to join.”

They chose the Heineken Regatta as their first event and really enjoyed it. An experienced racer, at home in the Netherlands where he is a member of the Jcs Scheveningen Yacht Club, Ronald has raced many of the big European races including the Fastnet on his J111. Switching from a performance monohull to racing his floating home, Ronald noted the differences.

“It’s really different to race than a monohull, I don’t have someone at the bow or at the mast because of the setup of the boat (the helm station is situated at the front of the saloon on the inside of the boat kind of like a car), the positions are all different, the only thing we do outside are the tactics. Normally you are on the outside with the positions in a line to the boat – the helm, the main, the jib trimmer, the pit person, whereas on Stardust we are all inside square to the boat. We only have three winches, and we do need to figure out how to move the dagger boards and traveler more efficiently. We had one day of training on the Spring Regatta lay day when there was wind, and it was a great day. We were easily doing eleven knots with just ten knots of wind.”

Stardust finished fourth overall in Cruising Multihull in a fleet of eight boats and they had a great time.

“It’s been really nice as we’ve now cruised and raced with the group of four catamarans who we met back in St Lucia,” Ronald commented. “The skippers of those boats have been racing with me and the wives and kids get together and do something fun ashore. It’s really nice to bond with the other boats and do these regattas as a group.”

Racing aside, the Prins are enjoying the beauty of the BVI, in particular the many islands.

“I love to see all the islands around me here in the BVI – it may sound stupid and I’m not making a comparison but, in the Netherlands, we sail in Zeeland where you have islands all around you and here it’s the same – it’s totally different of course but it feels good!”

Stardust – BVISR 2024