Press Release

Department of Culture
Premier's Office
Release Date:
Wednesday, 24 January 2024 - 3:48pm

The Virgin Islands is set to host the fourth Wagner Sailing Rally between January 25 and January 28.

The rally celebrates the life and service of Polish sailor, the late Wladek Wagner after settling in Bellamy Cay and Trellis Bay between the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Director of Culture Dr. Katherine Smith said the significance of the relationship forged between Mr. Wagner and the late Mr. Obel Penn, and other residents from the East End/Long Look community that significantly contributed to the development of Beef Island and Trellis Bay will be underscored.

Dr. Smith reiterated the importance of remembrance and heritage towards acknowledging the unique identity of the Virgin Islands people.  She said, “I am looking forward in particular to the cultural exchanges of music and dance representative of Virgin Islands and Polish culture”.

The opening ceremony for the 3 day event is organised in collaboration with the Department of Culture and is scheduled for Thursday January 25 at the Trellis Bay Market Bar and Grill on Beef Island at 6:00 p.m. It will feature the raising of the Virgin Islands, British and Polish flags in a demonstration of unity and mutually beneficial continued partnership, the unveiling of the Wladek Wagner’s Remembrance Plaque, and the Rally Welcome Concert that will include various cultural exchange performances.

Coordinators Ephraim and Shamora Penn conveyed their excitement to welcome the participants of the Wagner Sailing Rally Trellis Bay. This event will also honour the commitment and dedication of Mr. Obel Penn, not only to the East End/Long Look districts, but also to the overall advancement of the Territory.

On Friday the January 26, the public can expect to enjoy water-based and recreational sporting activities beginning at 11:00 a.m., with the day’s activities concluding with the highly anticipated Full Moon Party at Trellis Bay.

Other organised events aimed at commemorating Wagner’s connection to the Virgin Islands are a yacht parade, where participating yachts will sail to Jost van Dyke, and the End of Rally Concert taking place at Foxy’s on Saturday January 27.

The Polish Yachting Association of North America will be hosted under patronage of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and is expected to attract between 250 and 300 Polish sailors to be involved with the festivities.

The events are characterised by elements of festival culture, including an abundance of entertainment, leisure activities, socialising, unique experiences, and partaking in local cuisine.

The Virgin Islands community is invited to participate in the scheduled activities that will mark significant aspects of the Territory’s culture and heritage.   

The Government of the Virgin Islands’ vision is a Territory where all Virgin Islanders feel a sense of belonging and pride, and actively participate in cultural activities that reflect their heritage and ultimately enrich their lives. 



Sonjé Greenidge

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2742