Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

34th St. Maarten Regatta - Perfect conditions for 211 Yachts to start

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on 8 Mar 2014
211 Yachts commence racing - 34th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2014 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta http://www.heinekenregatta.com
The 34th annual running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta got off to a magnificent start this morning as a solid fleet of 211 dedicated racing boats and bareboat charter yachts commenced competition with the traditional opening-day round-the-island race. In sweet easterly tradewinds hovering in the 14-18 knot range, with gusts in the low 20s, the race committees on two racing circles sent the majority of the fleet on a clockwise spin around St. Maarten.

The top monohulls and multihulls sailed an extended course of 32 nautical miles with an extra leg around Tintamarre on St. Maarten's northeast coast. Most of the other classes raced slightly abbreviated courses with a mark set inside of Tintamarre.

The fastest elapsed time in the monohull fleet was recorded by the Volvo 70 Monster Project, skippered by U.K. sailor Andrew Budgen, with a time of 2h, 57m,13s. Monster Project's blistering time was just 7 minutes behind the course record for monos set by another Volvo 70, ABN Amro One, in the 2007 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The New Zealand boat, skippered by Mike Sanderson, was on a victory tour after winning the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race.

Budgen's largely British crew might have bested the Kiwi's mark had they not missed a turning mark off Tintamarre that forced them to tack back and re-round it. 'We didn't spot it until we were past it so we had to quickly go back,' said Budgen. 'So that was a bit of an error.'

Otherwise, Monster Project sailed a mostly flawless race, much of it in close quarters with Irvine Laidlaw's Reichel-Pugh design, Highland Fling XII. Upwind, however, Monster Project had a decided speed edge. Was Budgen surprised about his advantage? 'No,' he laughed. 'It's called a canting keel.'

Monster Project was conceived for long-distance racing, and Budgen conceded that he sailed conservatively at the start. 'We wanted to keep it simple, basically,' he said. After a one-tack beat to the short windward mark, Monster's crew hoisted their big A-four asymmetric kite for the run down to a turning buoy off the southwest corner of St. Maarten. At one point, a surfing Highland Fling surged into the lead, but when they were forced to execute one more jibe before rounding the mark, Monster Project regained first place and never looked back.

Creaming down the island's east coast on a close reach before rounding Point Blanche and making for the finish line in Great Bay, Monster Project was hauling the mail, topping 20 knots of boat speed in bursts in the building afternoon breeze. 'That was very good,' said Budgen, in a moment of understatement.



Still, once the handicap allowances were factored in, Monster Project finished fourth in CSA1, with Highland Fling XII atop the leader board, followed by William Coates's Ker 43, Otra Vez, and John Wilson's R/P 78, Idea of London.

Highland Fling was one of several boats that fared well in Thursday's tune-up event, the Gill Commodore's Cup, but several competitors who scored highly in that pre-regatta series proved that their earlier performance was no fluke, and they did indeed represent the cream rising to the top.

That was the case in CSA3, where Jim Madden's J/125, Stark Raving Mad IV was Friday's winner, and also in CSA4 and CSA5, won by Richard Wesslund's J/122, El Ocaso, and Andrea Scarabelli's Melges 24, Budget Marine/Gill, respectively. In CSA2, Youri Loof's Nautor Swan 82FD, Alpina, topped the 6-boat class.

In CSA7, local legend Sir Bobby Velasquez aboard the Beneteau 45, L'Esperance, returned to his usual winning ways; his feat was matched in CSA8 by Jean Michel Mariziou's Dufour 45 Classic,Triskell.

There was plenty of hair-raising excitement in the multihull divisions, as well, including Multihull one, a.k.a. the 'Gunboat class.' Five ballistic Gunboats hit the line almost in unison for the start of the round-the-island race. Gunboat 62, Tribe won the start by inches, but Gunboat 62, Elvis controlled the fleet heading into Pelican Bay and came out on top at the turning mark. But the lead was short lived. Elvis' spinnaker failed to deploy properly and Coco de Mer took full advantage, passed Elvis to leeward. Elvis fought back and just got inside Coco de Mer at the Long Bay mark and into clear air. Shortly rounding Tintamarre, Elvis unfurled their screecher and took off like a scolded cat, hitting 27.7 knots of boat speed. Elvis finished the 32-mile race in 2h, 44m, 22s to take line honors. The two Gunboat 66s, Slim and Coco de Mer had a photo finish for second place. Coco de Mer took the line just three seconds ahead of Slim.

Nils Erickson's Formula 40, Soma, won Multihull two; Petr Kochnev's Lagoon 500, Belisima, was top boat in Multihull three; and Ermolenko Viacheslav's Lagoon 400, Ruby, was the winner of Multihull four. In the Lottery Classes, the victorious boats on Friday were Unwind (Lottery one) and Amideau (Lottery two).

For over three decades, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing-and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment-in the Caribbean. 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 results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit website.

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesBakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race
LMAX Exchange was confirmed last night as winner of Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.
Posted today at 9:03 am
Nic Douglass - On the dock and on board with the 'fat bottomed girl'
Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission Adventures of a Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission and had chopped 27.5hrs off the trans-Atlantic Race Record for a manually powered monohull. The last time I was waiting for Comanche to arrive after achieving a goal that they had set out to achieve was a very different scene
Posted today at 5:25 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Replay coverage of the start
Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start. The fleet got away to a clean start this afternoon in Sydney. The supermaxi, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) led the 177 strong fleet through Sydney Heads, with ScallywagHK, the former Ragamuffin 100 in second place. Commentary bought to you by Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn.
Posted today at 4:33 am
SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi apply the pressure in Hamburg
Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act. 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ - A sunny day on the River Elbe coupled with a lively breeze saw SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi challenge Oman Air for honours on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Hamburg, but it’s Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act.
Posted today at 2:55 am
Comanche sets new trans-Atlantic Record - Video of the Finish
High definition video of Comanche crossing the virtual finish line off the Lizard to set a new monohull trans-Atlantic r High definition video of Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s supermaxi, Comanche setting a new, provisional world record for crossing the Atlantic for a monohull, in a manually powered sailing vessel of 5 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes 25 seconds. The video was recorded on and off the boat as she crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, southern England.
Posted today at 1:06 am
Close fight around Wight on Day 6 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
20-25 knot winds and glorious sunshine made for one of the most memorable races around the Isle of Wight on record With a win for Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine (despite destroying a kite), and a second for Daniel Andrieu's Sun Fast 3200, Cifraline 4, France Blue have leapt ahead in the overall results, now holding a 35.5 lead margin over the second placed Flanders North Sea Team.
Posted on 29 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Azzurra concludes with a win
Azzurra closes PPSW, the third event in the series with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come Azzurra closes the PPSW in Mallorca, the third event in the series, with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come. Quantum is the Series’ current leader, followed by Azzurra.
Posted on 29 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing takes the prize
Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma, winning 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec completed a notable comeback after a disappointing ninth at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted on 29 Jul
Oman Air faces some infamous challenges at Extreme Sailing Series
All teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty All seven teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty in achieving any sort of consistency in a very shifty and unstable breeze that topped out at a bracing 14 knots when all the GC32s catamarans took off on their foils and flew around the race course.
Posted on 29 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted on 29 Jul