Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

33rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta ready to kick off

by St.Maarten Heineken Regatta on 2 Feb 2013
The 4th annual Budget Marine Match Racing Cup, held on the waters of Simpson Bay lagoon. Seven teams competed with Colin Rathbun from the BVI taken first from David Storrs and his crew from Chicago. Bobby Grieser http://www.outsideimages.co.nz
Talented British Virgin Islands sailor Colin Rathbun tops the impressive field of world-class challengers and ex-Olympians scheduled to take part later this month in the fifth running of the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup. The annual event, scheduled this year for February 26, will once again serve as the official kick-off to the world-famous St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The 33rd edition of 'The Heineken' begins on February 28.

Rathbun will return to defend his 2012 title, but it will be no easy task. The skippers he will need to defeat include two former Olympians-Rodion Luka from the Ukraine, a silver medalist in 2004, and young Cy Thompson from the U.S. Virgin Islands, who participated in last summer's London games. Yet Rathbun's biggest threat may come from another prodigal Virgin Islands skipper, Taylor Canfield, currently the ninth-ranked match-racer in the world.

Last year, Rathbun and his talented crew-bowman Nick Cunha and trimmer and tactician Kevin Wrigley-dispatched American sailor David Storrs in the event finals. Rathbun said the trio is looking forward to the opportunity to defend their title in the challenging discipline of one-to-one match racing.

'We have a lot of fun sailing together,' he said. 'Nick and Kevin both have great instincts. And we all enjoy the additional tactical and technical requirements of match racing. Tactically there is a lot more interaction between you and your opponent. Technically you need to understand how to make the boat go well in every direction, not just fast in one direction.'

Once again, eight teams of sailors will participate in the round-robin tournament, sailed in identical Jeanneau SunFast 20s on the protected but testing waters of Simpson Bay. 'There are a couple of hidden lanes in the madness,' joked Rathbun about the venue, 'but it's like match racing in a mine field!' However, there are ample rewards for those who master the conditions. The winning team earns $5,000, the runners-up $2,000, and the third-place finishers receive $1,000.

This year, rising to the front of the fleet and recording a podium finish will be more difficult than ever. And that's because the caliber of the fleet for the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup has never been better or deeper.

Rodion Luka, in addition to winning an Olympic medal in 2004, participated in two other Summer Games and is a veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race. Professional sailor Anthony Kotoun, from Newport, Rhode Island, is always a threat on any race course. Lorenz Mueller from Switzerland is currently ranked 47th in the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) ranking of the top match racers on the planet. Eugeni Nikiforov has the most experience in the Budget Marine Cup, having sailed all four previous editions of the event. Cy Thompson and Tom Mallindie, from the U.K., are also sailors to watch.

But the main impediment to Rathbun's second straight road to the winner's circle in the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup championship may well be another Virgin Islands sailor, one who's cracked ISAF's top ten match-racing list. Twenty-three-year-old Taylor Canfield, from St. Thomas, holding ninth in the ISAF rankings, may be the youngest in the fleet, but he's perhaps also the most dangerous. And he is definitely on Rathbun's radar screen.

'We have sailed against Taylor in the past,' said Rathbun. 'Taylor and his team have made amazing strides in 2012 and are very well rehearsed, so I'd expect their results will follow suit. We have beaten him a few times. But he was 14 back then!'

So the field is set for the fifth running of the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup. Let the games begin!

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. Heineken Regatta website
Kilwell - 1InSunSport - NZNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr