Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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
Southern Spars - 100Barz Optics - FloatersProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar - Back to business
It was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta. From a funky first day of racing when the promising solid morning breeze evaporated to become difficult, shifty and unsettled and then disappeared, it was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at the 48th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta.
Posted today at 3:18 am
2017 Nanny Cay Cup - Winners in light breezes
A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in Nanny Cay Cup A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in the Nanny Cay Cup, the first event of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Rather than the usual Round Tortola race, conditions favoured a 16 NM course starting in the channel off Nanny Cay and taking the fleet around Pelican and Flanagan Islands.
Posted today at 1:43 am
It’s all about time at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta
Several classes were too close to call going into the final day of racing at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta Several classes were too close to call going into the final day of racing at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), held March 24 to 26 out of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The reason? A mix of STIR-signature round-the-island courses combined with conditions that ranged from near breathless calm to blustery gusts over three days of racing that kept competitors on their toes
Posted on 28 Mar
Starting Chicago's racing season the right way
The city of Chicago will be kicking off its racing season with the Skyway Yacht Works COLORS Regatta The city of Chicago will be kicking off its racing season with the Skyway Yacht Works COLORS Regatta June 3-4, 2017 at Columbia Yacht Club. Not only is Columbia’s one level offshore racing series regatta the first major event of the season on lower Lake Michigan, but it is also one of the largest with its sights set on breaking 100 entries in a time when racing is perceived
Posted on 28 Mar
Seattle returns as host and partner in Clipper Round the World Race
The announcement that the Seattle will feature on the global route and enter a team, was made by Official Tourism Board Making its debut in the 2015-16 edition of the race, which saw the city’s name and iconic skyline emblazoned on one of the race’s twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts, Visit Seattle promoted the city as a destination for leisure, tourism and business during its eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile journey around the globe.
Posted on 28 Mar
The America's Cup Superyacht Program – A true highlight
The 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda will feature the fastest yachts in the 166 year history of the competition Superyachts are a very important part of the America’s Cup and, reflecting the high value of their role in the events that will take place in Bermuda in May and June, a dedicated America’s Cup Superyacht Program was created by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), in conjunction with BWA Yachting.
Posted on 28 Mar
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Tristan Brooks
Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills on the Menai Strait in North Wales, and has spent the past 13 years working as a professional skipper, mate and engineer.
Posted on 28 Mar
An Int’l fleet race ready for BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regattamade their way ashore today to register for a racing Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival made their way ashore today to register for a week of world-class racing out of Nanny Cay, Tortola. The Marina is alive with activity - old friends catching up and first-timers partaking of the infamous Mount Gay rum drinks at the beach bar. With the breeze looking light for Tuesday's annual Round Tortola Race
Posted on 28 Mar
Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian images by pressure-drop.us
Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images
Posted on 27 Mar
Single Handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race – Great day on the bay
With the remnants of the the early flood, most boats mad short work of the downhill ride to Blossom from starting area Greg Nelsen, fresh off a Double Handed Farallones race win, adds another pickle dish to his collection, winning Singlehanded Sportboat Division with an elapsed time of 03:20:37 on his Azzura 1000 Outsider. A pending protest should render that the fastest monohull around the track.
Posted on 27 Mar