St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day two changes

Race day one of the 2011 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta saw unusual winds, squalls and some close racing.
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 2.

Racing sailors know it as Moving Day, the midpoint in a regatta when the time has come to make a move, either to solidify your place in the standings or, for boats that have not yet sailed to their potential, to elevate your position in the fleet.

And on Day two in the thirty-first running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, with a pair of contests conducted for the CSA racing classes one-six, the opportunity to move up—or down—was at hand.

For CSA Classes one-six, the second day of action brought two very different races, a morning windward/leeward affair around the buoys off the south coast of St. Maarten, and the traditional Saturday afternoon point-to-point destination race from a starting line off the Dutch harbor of Simpson Bay to a finish off Marigot on the Caribbean isle’s French side.

Meanwhile, the Bareboat fleets; CSA divisions seven and eight; and racing and cruising Multihull classes enjoyed a single afternoon race to Marigot.

As on day one of the proceedings, a light easterly breeze of eight to ten knots—with a brief rise in air pressure to around 15 knots in the morning racing—fueled the competition. But it was another challenging day for both the sailors and the race committees, which shortened the entire slate of Bareboat division courses off Marigot to ensure that racing would be completed in faltering breeze.

In the afternoon racing, under crystal-clear blue skies, colorful spinnakers dotted the horizon as the racers flew downwind to a mark off Bass Terre and then into the Anguilla Channel. As on day one, Genuine Risk assumed her usual place at the front of the pack, sailing hot angles at better than 11 knots under a big, white asymmetric kite and staysail.

Hoisting as much sail as possible seemed to be the order of the day for the leaders, with the 115-foot Sojana, flying a big mizzen spinnaker as well as her regular kite, towering above the 82-foot Nikolita as she rolled past her to weather.

Moments later, two of the quickest mid-size Grand Prix racers—the Aussie 50-footer, Jazz, and the British 54-footer, Oystercatcher XXVIII—flew down the racecourse with the latter in steady pursuit of the men from Down Under.

When all was said and done, the new canting-keel 50-footer, Jazz, was one of the day’s big movers. With a pair of bullets today, the hot Aussie Cookson 50 canting keeler moved to the top of the CSA One R leader board. But as steering committee chairman Robbie Ferron pointed out, the division’s second-place boat, the Caribbean-based Peake Yacht Services Storm, a Reichel-Pugh designed 43-footer built several years ago, was more than holding her own; with two second-place finishes today, she remained ahead of Richard Matthews’ new Tom Humphries-designed Oystercatcher XXVIII.

In CSA One C, Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80, Team Selene, with two wins today, was also moving in the right direction. Team Selene now leads the eight boat class, with the Swan 82, Nikata, holding second place.

In CSA Two, another Caribbean-based boat—Mark Plaxton’s Melges 32, Team INTAC—crewed by a host of local rock stars, including Peter Holmberg, Maurice Burg and Ben Beer—retained their lock on first place with their third consecutive victory in three races.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Jim Kilroy’s string of Kialoa’s dominated the maxi-boat class. And the last in the family of that famous line of boats, the 80-foot Frers designed Kialoa V, reminded sailors of those bygone days of glory today by moving up to third in CSA 3 following a one-two scorecard in a pair of races.

In CSA Six, as the old Led Zeppelin song goes, 'the song remained the same.' Another local boat, Ian Hope-Ross’s Beneteau 36, Kick ‘em Jenny, retained their grasp atop the leader board with a first and second to go along with their victory on day one of the regatta.

The CSA Seven and CSA Eight classes sailed, as mentioned, a single race today, and when it was finished Bobby Velasquez’s Beneteau 45F5, L’Esperance, from St. Maarten, and Tanner Jones’s J/30, Blue Peter, from Antigua, were the leaders of their respective classes. Clearly, the thirty-first running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is turning into a fine, memorable event for Caribbean boats and sailors.

In Multihull One C, Lloyd Thornburg’s Gunboat 66, Phaedo, won its second race in as many days to maintain its lead in the six-boat class. There’s a tie at the top of the Multihull Two division, with Claude Bocquet’s Outremer 49—today’s winner—and the Lagoon 440, Glink, locked in first with five points apiece. In the Lottery Class, the Beneteau First 38,Tzigane, took a second today but remains in the overall lead.

Following the racing in the Bareboat classes today, the respective leaders were Sweet Pleasure (Bareboat one), Brand Boot (Bareboat two Cyclades 50), Something Hot (Bareboat three Sun Odyssey 44), KH+P Sea You Later (Bareboat four) and Siren Racing (Bareboat five).

Early Saturday evening, the results for the following classes—CSA Four, CSA Five and Multihull One R—were still in question due to outstanding protests.

Heineken Regatta