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Twenty-Five Boats Compete in Fourth Annual Bocas del Toro Regatta

Crisp blue skies and startlingly blue water set the stage for last month’s fourth annual Bocas del Toro Regatta. The Bocas Regatta is a pursuit race, the first of which ran in February 2019, as an idea conceived by Colin MacRae and sponsored by the Bocas Marina. More than 35 boats participated before hundreds of spectators. The event has since run every year except 2021, with West Coast sailor Louis Kruk of S/Y Cirque competing in and winning three out of the four regattas — 2019, 2020 and 2023. He sent us the report and photos below.

The complete crew of Cirque. In orange l-r, Sharon Reeves (Santa Cruz), Louis Kruk (San Leandro), Mark Langer (Santa Cruz). In green l-r, Lujan Navarro (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Guillem Ros (Barcelona, Spain).
© 2023 Guillem Ros

This year’s event began with the 25 participating crews forming a short “parade” before taking their places in the PHRF handicap staggered start to complete two laps of a 5nm triangular course bounded by the islands Isla Colon, Isla Carenero, Isla Solarte and Isla San Cristóbal.

Bocas Regatta 2023 start
The color and concentration of the boats at the start.
© 2023 Jen Howarth
Kumulani, with her smiley face, is ahead of the colorful sail of the Formosa 51 Shearwater, skippered by Eric and Pati Krilanovich of Santa Cruz, with Isla Carenero in the background.
© 2023 John Stark
Cirque was first-place mono and overall winner.
© 2023 Jen Howarth

Another West Coast sailor, Kevin Cole, and his crew Negar Baharlou, came in fifth aboard the Amel 53 Anahita, of Sausalito. The full race results can be found here.

As occurred after the first Boca Regatta, boats’ part of the entrance fees will be donated to a local nonprofit organization. At the time of this writing the recipient organization has not been announced.

While Louis is usually the photographer of the photos he sends us, being busy in the race necessitated his sharing of others’ photos. He did, however, send us a couple of his own photos that he says illustrate some of the “beautiful reasons” he and others enjoy spending time in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago.

The tranquility of Starfish Beach, a favorite anchorage of cruisers.
© 2023 Louis Kruk
A tiny baby sloth. They aren’t usually this engaging. But they can frequently be found sleeping quietly in the jungle canopy.
© 2023 Louis Kruk


  1. Carol Bolduc 1 year ago

    Great pictures!

  2. Chuck Lyons 1 year ago

    Congrats to the Cirque team!!

    Beautiful pictures!!

  3. Ted Riche 1 year ago

    Incredible pics! So beautiful!

  4. Marco Mow 1 year ago

    The most incredible thing about Isla Colon is that it has landscapes in the forests with beautiful animals and lush green areas. I love its natural area and its simple and friendly people. I love Bocas Island.

  5. John Gruehl 1 year ago

    Bravo Zulu to Louis and Crew!

  6. Jill Barnett 1 year ago

    Congratulations on winning the race Lou! Thanks for sharing these pictures. Always love seeing them.

  7. Elena Ross 1 year ago

    Well done Louis! Great crew. I’ll always remember the 2020 Regatta. Great photos. Keep up the good work.

  8. Sandra Ginty 7 months ago

    All your photos are breath taking. Continue to enjoying (your) life and hav a great holiday

    Love always John and Sandra

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