Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius EU 728x90

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2013 - Splendid opener

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on 2 Mar 2013
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2013 kicks off the 33rd edition of the world famous reggata Bob Griese
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2013. On a beautiful if challenging day for yacht racing, with gentle easterly breezes that never topped 12-knots, an incredibly diverse fleet of 202 registered yachts- including an impressive collection of nearly three dozen privately owned multihulls - one of the largest gatherings of catamarans and trimarans ever assembled for a Caribbean regatta-set sail this morning to begin the 33rd edition of the world famous regatta off the picturesque coast of St. Maarten.

Despite winds mostly hovering between 6-8 knots, principal race officer David Campbell-James made the gutsy call to send the 'A fleet' consisting of the eight CSA racing classes, as well as the Multihull 1 and 2 divisions, on the traditional round-the-island contest that launches the three-day regatta. Both multihull classes, and CSA 1, consisting of seven Grand Prix monohulls, sailed the 32-nautical-mile course that included a rounding of the small island of Tintamarre off the northeast corner of St. Maarten. The remaining CSA 2-8 classes sailed a slightly abbreviated 29-nautical mile course with a mark set inside of Tintamarre.

On the 'B circle' comprised of the five Bareboat classes, the Lottery Division, and Multihulls 3, 4 and 5, the fleet sailed a 17-nautical mile course along the southern and eastern shores of St. Maarten. All the races concluded in spectacular visual fashion at a finish line in Great Bay off Philipsburg.

Before the action got underway, longtime St. Maarten racer Bobby Velasquez, skipper of the 45-foot Beneteau, L'Esperance, was asked what the weather gods had in store. He looked to the sky and replied, 'Very light. Very fluky.' He turned out to be a prophet.

But the light winds hardly mattered to the first class to get underway, Multihull 1, composed of a quintet of sleek Gunboat catamarans, returning to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in force after a brief hiatus. Talent-wise, the Gunboat contingent was absolutely stacked with world-class sailors. Among them were Tornado champion and Caribbean cat legend Randy West (Tribe), J/24 champ and multihull expert Paul Van Dyke (Tiger Lily), A-Class cat champion Bob Hodges (Coco de Mer), and even Gunboat founder Peter Johnstone (Panthera).

However, it was the team aboard the distinctive Gunboat called Elvis that led the way on the clockwise course around St. Maarten. After a short beat to windward, the crew that included Scott Bradford-the well-known former captain of the iconic Caribbean maxi Titan-and St. Thomas-born professional sailor Anthony Kotoun, were able to bear off for the point at Basse Terre under a spinnaker emblazoned with a silhouette of 'the King.' Figuratively speaking, Elvis had left the building.

Slicing atop the seas like water bugs, the cats and tris made good progress despite the light airs. But there were many memorable sights on the brilliant blue waters off St. Maarten, including the salty Luders yawl Frolic, resplendent in a colorful mizzen spinnaker; Philip Walwyn's classic gaff-rigger Kate, sliding upwind with triple headsails and a crewman stretched out on the bowsprit; and the fleet's smallest boat, the 21-foot, home-built, hard-chine Muscadet class sloop Liberte, complete with a self-steering vane.

Young skipper Dimitri Brouhns, who spent 65 days sailing from Belgium to the islands to compete in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, was so enthused by a passing photo boat that he stopped to take a swig directly from his rum bottle soon after the start. Asked if he was enjoying the racing, Brouhns replied, 'I hope so!' He most certainly appeared to be.



After rounding Basse Terre at the western corner of St. Maarten, the round-the-island racers embarked on a long beat up the west coast past Marigot and Grand Case. While many boats tacked across the Anguilla Channel in hopes of better breeze, by staying inshore several local sailors found flat water and steady wind flowing off the hills near the beach, where they made impressive gains. Once past Tintamarre, in fading winds, it was a tight reach to the finish line and the conclusion of Day 1 of the 2013 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

When the preliminary scores were tallied, a long roster of worthy winners topped the respective leader boards. In CSA 1, Jan Rupert's handsome Tripp 75, Blackbird, was the leader of the seven-boat class and also the fastest spinnaker flying yacht around the island, some 57 seconds under four hours. In CSA 2, Nico Cortlever's well-sailed X-612, Nix, held an impressive lead in the early going, was the first boat to round the inside mark off Tintamarre, and held off her competition in the second half of the race to earn the victory in the 12-boat division. Nix was also the fastest 'non-spinnaker' boat to circumnavigate St. Maarten, with an elapsed time of 4h, 53m, 25s.

In CSA 3-with 15 entrants, the regatta's biggest class-Patrick Holloran's Beneteau First 40.7, Caipirinha, stood atop the fleet. Han de Bruyn Kips Hanss 47e, TeamHan, was the best boat in CSA 4. Bobby Valesquez used the light and fluky conditions well and rode them to victory with L'Esperance in CSA 5. Thomas Mullen's J/95, Shamrock VII, employed the luck of the Irish to win CSA 6. Roger Petit's Bel Aurora won CSA 7, as did Mark Plaxton and Team INTAC in CSA 8. And the Melges 24 winner was none other than the head of the steering committee for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, John Gifford aboard Amcon.

Among the multihulls, Elvis is most certainly still alive, having won the opening race in Multihull 1. In Multihull 2, the fastest multi around the island was Nils Erickson's Formula 40, Soma, with a time of 4h, 34m, 22s. However, when handicap times were applied Richard Woodridge's Triple Jack earned top marks in the class.

Multihull 3 was won by Petr Kochnev's Lagoon 500, Belisama. Maas Hanen's Outremer, Teora, was best among Multihull 4 contestants. Dominique Cauchy took Multihull 5 aboard his Multi 23, Hii.

In the Bareboat charter fleets, the winning boats were Famed 3 (Bareboat 1), Y-Not (Bareboat 2), Team Yacht Club Wamel Mohne (Bareboat 3), Syrena (Bareboat 4), and KHSandS (Bareboat 5). The Lottery Class winner was Canadian Marc Perron's Jeanneau Sunfast 43, Grosloup.

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, including entry forms, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2013

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Helm Events 660x82

Related Articles

Solo Round the World record attempt makes long-term sponorship work
The recent focus in the sailing news has been on the boats racing in the Vendée Globe and the epic battle Tomas Coville is aboard Sodebo vying for the single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation record. Coville rounded Cape Horn at the tip of South America yesterday and is currently turning his bow north as he deals with the strong currents in the Estrecho de le Maire, or the Straits of le Maire
Posted on 8 Dec
Vendée Globe – Thomson locked in battle for first place
Alex, who has been locked in battle with Armel Le Cléac'h, was sitting in second place as he passed the half way mark Alex, who has been locked in battle with Frenchman Armel Le Cléac'h since the race began on November 6th, was sitting in second place as he passed the half way mark - the tip of New Zealand’s south island.
Posted on 8 Dec
Solo round-the-world record attempt – Thomas Coville rounds Cape Horn
The skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn. With an average speed over the ground of 25.33 knots, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn.
Posted on 8 Dec
Double capsize in thrilling Act 8 opener at Extreme Sailing Series
Sydney Harbour delivered 'classic conditions' in an electrifying opening day of the finale that saw two teams capsize. Sydney Harbour delivered 'classic conditions' in an electrifying opening day of the finale that saw two teams capsize. Clear blue skies were met with a blustery north-easterly breeze of around 22 knots as the eight international crews hit the iconic waters of Australia's largest city, for the eighth and final Act of this season.
Posted on 8 Dec
Oman Air lay foundations for gripping duel at Extreme Sailing Series
Oman Air made a flying start to their final bid for championship honours on a wild and windy day in Sydney Oman Air made a flying start to their final bid for championship honours on a wild and windy day in Sydney to lay the foundations for a gripping duel with rival Alinghi in the ‘winner takes all’ finals
Posted on 8 Dec
Capsize on the Harbour - including Beth Morley images
In race three of Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney, Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira capsized In race three of the first day of Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney, Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira capsized at around 1500 local time. At the time of the capsizes the wind was around 22 knots. The Extreme Sailing Series' safety protocol was immediately initiated and the event's Safety Team was immediately on site to provide assistance, as were the teams' support boats.
Posted on 8 Dec
SWC Final – Nacra sailors react to Olympic foiling announcement
Last month the World Sailing Council met in Barcelona, Spain, and confirmed the Nacra 17 will convert to foiling Last month the World Sailing Council met in Barcelona, Spain, and confirmed the Nacra 17 will convert to foiling for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the only foiling class among the 10 Olympic sailing classes.
Posted on 8 Dec
Sailing World Cup Melbourne pays tribute to Paul Elvstrom
Sixty years ago, Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. Sixty years ago, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed the legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. At the time the Danish sailor was carving a legacy that included four consecutive Olympic gold medals, numerous world championships and sporting innovations that are now the norm within the sport.
Posted on 8 Dec
Vendee Globe - Spirit of Yukoh safely in Cape Town
Kojiro Shiraishi who had to abandon Vendee Globe when top part of his mast broke off has safely arrived in Cape Town. Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi who had to abandon the Vendee Globe when the top part of his mast broke off has safely arrived in Cape Town. Shiraishi arrived at 1055 UTC.
Posted on 8 Dec
The Great Dane dies at 88 + Video
One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. Known as the Great Dane, and winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, and many world championships in multiple classes from dinghies to keelboats, Elvstrøm put a footprint on the sport like no other.
Posted on 7 Dec