Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Fine mix of early entries

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on 24 Jan 2013
The Gill Commadore Cup was held in perfect sailing conditions off St. Maarten as a warm up for the racing class boats before the start of the 32nd Heineken Regatta. Bobby Grieser http://www.outsideimages.co.nz
The countdown to competition is underway for the 33rd annual running of the world renowned St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The 2013 event, including the Gill Commodore's Cup, the pre-regatta warm-up series for the all-out racing classes, is this year scheduled from February 28-March 3. The entry list is growing daily, with an intriguing fleet of seasoned St. Maarten Heineken Regatta racers coupled with a fresh group of first-time contestants preparing to challenge the established veterans on the blue waters of the Caribbean.

The sailors themselves are only part of the emerging storylines. So, too, are the boats aboard which they will compete. The Melges 24 and Melges 32 sport boats will be well represented. As will the popular J/Boat line. In the multihull classes, the sleek Gunboat catamaran division is shaping up to be the strongest in years, with at least a half-dozen entries. In the Grand Prix echelon, a powerful 90-footer capable of 35-knot speeds is currently the fleet's 'scratch boat' as the largest in the fleet. On the other end of the size spectrum, a brand-new class of 20-foot one-designs available for charter-the Heineken Light Inshore Class-will open the door for a new breed of regatta racer.

Among the familiar St. Maarten Heineken Regatta faces are many sailors who have found great success and podium finishes in past events. At the very top of the list is six-time regatta racer Richard Wesslund, skipper of the J/120, El Ocaso. Last year, Wesslund and his crew won not only the most competitive division in the fleet, CSA 4, they also received the event's top prize, the St. Maarten Cup, awarded to the Most Worthy Performance Overall. Wesslund vowed to be back, and time will tell if he's able to match his lofty achievement from 2012.

Other returning vets include Puerto Rico's Sergio Sagramoso and Jaime Torres, who will be sailing the J/122, Lazy Dog, and the Melges 32, Smile and Wave, respectively. Local sailors Andrea Scarabelli and Frits Bus will once again be mixing it up for top honors in their consistently competitive Melges 24s, Budget Marine/GILL and Team Island Water World. In the multihull fleet, Nils Erickson will return to tear around the course on his Formula 40 catamaran, Soma. And the regatta just wouldn't be the same without the stately presence of Philip Walwyn's stately, gaff-rigged 12-Meter, Kate.

While Kate is a contemporary classic, the largest entry so far, Lacombe Didier's Welbourne 90, Med Spirit, is a modern rocket ship and one of the many boats that will be competing off St. Maarten for the first time. One of the world's fastest monohulls, Med Spirit is fresh from a fourth-place result in last fall's Middle Sea Race in Europe and a first overall as fastest finisher in the recently completed transatlantic ARC Race. Med Spirit flew across the Atlantic in just 11 days. Built in Australia in 2003, and formerly called BOLS, the Super Maxi has been a familiar presence on racecourses around the planet, and will be a striking visage during the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in her Caribbean debut.

But the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta isn't just for big boats. And this year race organizers have added a new wrinkle to the racing. A fleet of nine Jeanneau SunFast 20s is available for charter in the new, innovative Heineken Light Inshore Class. The format couldn't be simpler: three crew, four days of racing, no spinnakers, inshore courses...and all for the incredibly reasonable cost of $700. Competing in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has never been easier or more affordable. For more information contact fleet organizer Cary Byerley via email: director@bigboatseries.com.

So, yes, the clock to the best racing in the Caribbean is once again ticking. Will you be there?

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. For full information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, visit www.heinekenregatta.com!Heineken_Regatta.
Wildwind 2016 660x82Zhik ZKG 660x82InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

The Baiona-Angra Atlantic Race – A unique adventure for Xekmatt
Adventures and misfortunes go hand in hand with great sailors. José Carlos from Cascais could not have missed this event Adventures and misfortunes go hand in hand with great sailors. Portuguese sailor José Carlos Prista from Cascais, with his enviable sailing resume, could not have missed this unique event
Posted on 30 Aug
Full focus on board Oman Air for Extreme Sailing Series St Petersburg
With a lead on the overall scoreboard following their last gasp win in Hamburg the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus With a five-point lead on the overall scoreboard, following their last gasp win in Hamburg, the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus to make sure they perform to their maximum capabilities right up until the final race in Sydney in December.
Posted on 30 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Impressive line-up of 121 yachts preparing to grace the Rolex Swan Cup
The fleet will be divided into six classes and contest five days of racing in most challenging sailing environments. Memorable because 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the very first Swan yacht; an opportune moment to celebrate both the heritage and the continued evolution of one of the leading - and most distinctive - marques in the sailing world.
Posted on 29 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Berliner Yacht Club wins the Sailing Champions League in St Petersburg
Leaders after two days of open water racing were Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, twice winners of National Sailing League. For the final day of competition, the race course moved into the historic centre of St Petersburg with the strong current of the River Neva setting an additional challenge for the 23 international club teams representing 12 nations.
Posted on 28 Aug
Sailing Champions League - Six bullets for Berlin
The breeze got stronger throughout the afternoon for the second day of the Sailing Champions League in St. Petersburg. 2016 Sailing Champions League - The breeze got stronger throughout the afternoon for the second day of the Sailing Champions League in St. Petersburg (Act 1, 26. – 28. August).
Posted on 28 Aug