Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Gill Commodore's Cup - Action begins amid perfect conditions

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on 7 Mar 2014
The 2014 Gill Commodore’s Cup was raced today in a fresh 15 to 18 knots of breeze. Forty-four boats competed and it was easy to tell who was just starting to sail for the season by the sail handling. Bob Greiser/Outside Images http://www.outsideimages.co.nz
Along the southern shore of St. Maarten, under beautiful blue skies and with an ideal 15-18 knot east-southeast breeze coursing across the waters, 50 spinnaker-division boats in five classes set sail today in the 2014 Gill Commodore's Cup.

Sponsored by Gill North America, the manufacturer of top sailing gear and the regatta's official technical gear provider, the Gill Commodore's Cup serves as the tune-up series to the 34th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, which begins on Friday, March 7.

With the solid wind pressure kicking up a bouncy seaway, racing conditions were decidedly sporty and there was a wide range of skill and prowess displayed across the racecourse. For some crews, especially those shaking off the rust after a season's break from racing, spinnaker sets and douses were spectacular adventures.

In the first of the day's two races - the race committee set up traditional windward-leeward courses south of Simpson Bay and Little Bay - two Gill 4 boats, Whistler, a J/105, and Intuition, a Reflex 38, both went flying past the first downwind mark as their crews struggled to tame their kites. But they were just two of many competitors who were more than happy that the Gill Commodore's Cup was also a warm-up and practice day for the three-day main event.

On the other hand, many teams executed flawless maneuvers from start to finish, and those boats used the Gill Commodore's Cup to send a message to their competition that they'll be a handful to contend with in the days ahead. In Gill 1, after nailing a perfect start and jetting off to an early lead, Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling XII, with Caribbean sailing legend Peter Holmberg calling tactics, made a serious statement right from the get-go. Highland Fling XII went on to win both races in Gill 1 to win the class, followed by William Coates's well-sailed Ker 43, Otra Vez.


In Gill 2, Jim Madden and his fellow Californians aboard the J/125, Stark Raving IV, also performed a pair of faultless starts, and in both contests Madden's men led their 10-boat division around the racecourse on elapsed time. But once the handicaps were applied, Frits Bus and his team aboard the Melges 24, Team Island Water World, was atop the standings in Gill 2, followed by another Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli's Budget Marine/Gill, with Stark Raving Mad IV in third.

In Gill 3, another veteran of both the Gill Commodore's Cup and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Richard Wesslund, skipper of the J/122, El Ocaso - proved that he's still a force to be reckoned with, sweeping the class easily with a pair of bullets. Close behind, however, with two second-place results, was the Beneteau First 40, Team Boston.

It was a very strong day for the J/Boats in the fleet, and that trend continued in Gill 4, where Robert Armstrong's J/100, Bad Girl, was the winner with firsts in both races. And second in Gill 4 was yet another 'J,' Jordan Mindich's J/105, Solstice.

Finally, in Gill 5 - the event's biggest fleet, with 14 entrants - Ross Appleby's Oyster Lightwave 48, Sailing Logic, was an unlikely but apt victor. Just over a month ago, competing in a regatta in Antigua, Sailing Logic was dismasted in the last race of the series. Since then, a new mast section was flown to the islands from the U.K., the damaged spar was repaired, and Sailing Logic found herself in the winner's circle after registering a first and a second in today's racing.

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. Heineken Regatta website

PredictWind.comZhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

Le Cléac'h smashes Vendée Globe race record in spectacular style
Dozens of spectator boats took to the water to welcome their new hero back to the French port of Les Sables d'Olonne. Dozens of spectator boats took to the water to welcome their new hero back to the French port of Les Sables d'Olonne.
Posted on 19 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week – Day 3 report from on board TP52
I was on the TP52 Interlodge. We were boat of the day. Not quite so sure how to explain this one I was on the TP52 Interlodge. We were boat of the day. Not quite so sure how to explain this one
Posted on 19 Jan
Sailing World Cup Miami – New challenge ahead for the 'legend'
Among the 453 sailors racing out of Regatta Park at Coconut Grove, Robert Scheidt is teaming up with Gabriel Borges Among the 453 sailors racing out of Regatta Park at Coconut Grove, Miami from 22-29 January, Brazil's Robert Scheidt is teaming up with Gabriel Borges in an attempt to master the 49er like he has the Star and Laser.
Posted on 19 Jan
Armel Le Cléac'h wins the Vendée Globe in record time
Armel Le Cléac'h has today won the Vendée Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has today won the Vendée Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race in the process.
Posted on 19 Jan
Clipper Race – Qingdao ambassadors selected after intensive trial
Qingdao has a rich history in the Clipper Race, the only event which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers Qingdao has a rich history in the Clipper Race, the only event which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers, and is the event’s longest standing Team Sponsor. The 2017-18 race edition will mark the seventh time Qingdao, also a Host Port, has entered a team in the biennial race across the world’s oceans.
Posted on 19 Jan
RORC Caribbean 600 – Winning ways
American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler, starting and finishing in Antigua.
Posted on 19 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week reels off three races in fading winds
After a windy and wavy start to the regatta today's conditions were far more manageable. The Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day was awarded to J.D. Hill's (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) in the ORC Class.
Posted on 19 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted on 19 Jan
Vendee Globe - Le Cleac'h flying home
Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. At the 0400UTC position report he had 145nm to sail to the finish at Les Sables D'Olonne and was expected to be greeted by a crowd of hundreds of thousands of French sailing fans on Thursday afternoon or early evening local time.
Posted on 19 Jan
Le Cléac'h closes in on Vendée Globe finish line
French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. At the latest position update Le Cléac'h, skipper of Banque Populaire VIII, was 146 nautical miles from finishing the solo round the world race with a lead of 87nm over second-placed Alex Thomson.
Posted on 19 Jan