Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

33rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta ready to kick off

by St.Maarten Heineken Regatta on 2 Feb 2013
The 4th annual Budget Marine Match Racing Cup, held on the waters of Simpson Bay lagoon. Seven teams competed with Colin Rathbun from the BVI taken first from David Storrs and his crew from Chicago. Bobby Grieser http://www.outsideimages.co.nz
Talented British Virgin Islands sailor Colin Rathbun tops the impressive field of world-class challengers and ex-Olympians scheduled to take part later this month in the fifth running of the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup. The annual event, scheduled this year for February 26, will once again serve as the official kick-off to the world-famous St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The 33rd edition of 'The Heineken' begins on February 28.

Rathbun will return to defend his 2012 title, but it will be no easy task. The skippers he will need to defeat include two former Olympians-Rodion Luka from the Ukraine, a silver medalist in 2004, and young Cy Thompson from the U.S. Virgin Islands, who participated in last summer's London games. Yet Rathbun's biggest threat may come from another prodigal Virgin Islands skipper, Taylor Canfield, currently the ninth-ranked match-racer in the world.

Last year, Rathbun and his talented crew-bowman Nick Cunha and trimmer and tactician Kevin Wrigley-dispatched American sailor David Storrs in the event finals. Rathbun said the trio is looking forward to the opportunity to defend their title in the challenging discipline of one-to-one match racing.

'We have a lot of fun sailing together,' he said. 'Nick and Kevin both have great instincts. And we all enjoy the additional tactical and technical requirements of match racing. Tactically there is a lot more interaction between you and your opponent. Technically you need to understand how to make the boat go well in every direction, not just fast in one direction.'

Once again, eight teams of sailors will participate in the round-robin tournament, sailed in identical Jeanneau SunFast 20s on the protected but testing waters of Simpson Bay. 'There are a couple of hidden lanes in the madness,' joked Rathbun about the venue, 'but it's like match racing in a mine field!' However, there are ample rewards for those who master the conditions. The winning team earns $5,000, the runners-up $2,000, and the third-place finishers receive $1,000.

This year, rising to the front of the fleet and recording a podium finish will be more difficult than ever. And that's because the caliber of the fleet for the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup has never been better or deeper.

Rodion Luka, in addition to winning an Olympic medal in 2004, participated in two other Summer Games and is a veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race. Professional sailor Anthony Kotoun, from Newport, Rhode Island, is always a threat on any race course. Lorenz Mueller from Switzerland is currently ranked 47th in the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) ranking of the top match racers on the planet. Eugeni Nikiforov has the most experience in the Budget Marine Cup, having sailed all four previous editions of the event. Cy Thompson and Tom Mallindie, from the U.K., are also sailors to watch.

But the main impediment to Rathbun's second straight road to the winner's circle in the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup championship may well be another Virgin Islands sailor, one who's cracked ISAF's top ten match-racing list. Twenty-three-year-old Taylor Canfield, from St. Thomas, holding ninth in the ISAF rankings, may be the youngest in the fleet, but he's perhaps also the most dangerous. And he is definitely on Rathbun's radar screen.

'We have sailed against Taylor in the past,' said Rathbun. 'Taylor and his team have made amazing strides in 2012 and are very well rehearsed, so I'd expect their results will follow suit. We have beaten him a few times. But he was 14 back then!'

So the field is set for the fifth running of the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup. Let the games begin!

For over three decades, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing in the Caribbean, and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment. Now recognized by sailors around the planet as one of the sailing world's best regattas, each year the event lives up to its worthy motto: Serious Fun. Heineken Regatta website
Insun - AC ProgramMariners Museum 660x82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

Louis Vuitton America's Cup – More action shots by Jude Robertson
Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one
Posted on 28 May
Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers –Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one Photographer Jude Robertson has provided this gallery of images from day one
Posted on 28 May
The Queen's Cup Race is just four weeks away!
Nearly 100 boats are already registered for this year’s Queen’s Cup Race. We’re especially excited by number of boats Nearly 100 boats are already registered for this year’s Queen’s Cup Race. We’re especially excited by the number of boats that have signed up with ORR certificates, and we are looking forward to a competitive and exciting race for them. Boats with LMPHRF certificates are eligible to win the Queen’s Cup trophy. Boats with ORR certificates are eligible to win the Silver Jubilee trophy
Posted on 28 May
America's Cup - Scary video from today's collision between GBR and JPN
LRBAR's hull not been stopped by SBTJ's windward foil there would have been serious injuries aboard the Japanese boat. All I can say is that had LRBAR's hull not been stopped by SBTJ's windward foil there would have been serious injuries aboard the Japanese boat. Moreover, notwithstanding the damage done to Land Rover BAR's boat, there must be considerable damage to the dagger-foil case of SBTJ. Considerable.
Posted on 28 May
Oracle Team USA opens 35th America's Cup with a convincing win
Oracle Team USA opened its quest for a three-peat with a win over Groupama Team France on Saturday afternoon in Bermuda. In picture perfect conditions, skipper Jimmy Spithill won the first start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers with a timed run to the starting line.
Posted on 27 May
Thrilling races during tropical 33rd Delta Lloyd Regatta
The organisation was testing new formats for 49er, 49erFX and RS:X. It was a great success and made the finals exciting Medemblik welcomed a lot of talent, including those preparing for World Championships and World Cups, and some starting new Olympic campaigns. There were also many Olympic Rio sailors who’ve just started their season again.
Posted on 27 May
Onboard Phaedo^3's Transpacific Course World Record run across Pacific
The past few years we have had a good share of success with at least one wrong turn in our racing program. When Brian Thompson and I were planning the Phaedo3 program we had a wish list of races and records which would be nice to attempt if we had a MOD70.
Posted on 27 May
Riva Cup – Some more action shots by Elena Giolai
Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes
Posted on 27 May
Riva Cup images by Elena Giolai
Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes
Posted on 27 May
A Few Rays – Hypo-allergenic sunscreens, a must have for some
Allergic reaction to sunscreen can be avoided if you know what to use Allergic reaction to sunscreen can be avoided if you know what to use A standard hypo-allergenic sunscreen will be designed to reduce the chance of allergic reaction by limiting ingredients in the formulation that cause the irritation.
Posted on 27 May