Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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

NaiadNorth Technology - Southern SparsBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

2016 TP52 Super Series – More action shots from Day 3 by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted today at 7:32 pm
2016 TP52 Super Series – Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted today at 7:22 pm
Azzurra remains in the top three at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
The course was beautiful and short enough so that the windward/leeward race that had to be abandoned could be recovered. The third day of racing saw breezes kick in a bit late. The Racing Committee decided on a 12 nautical mile course that took the fleet from Porto Cervo to the Secca di Tre Monti between Sardinia and Caprera, and back.
Posted today at 7:13 pm
A fistful of winners at Audi Settimana delle Bocche Regatta
So far Bronenosec, Provezza, Azzurra and Quantum Racing have all led the table and the points remain extremely tight. So far Bronenosec, Provezza, Azzurra and Quantum Racing have all led the table and the points remain extremely tight. Quantum Racing, with Doug DeVos on the helm, achieved their own points goal for the day.
Posted today at 6:54 pm
2016 TP52 Super Series – Images from races four and five by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five
Posted today at 6:02 pm
14th C. Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic and Regatta in history books
Many of the sailors taking part have competed in at least five regattas with some returning to sail 10 or more years. Many of the sailors taking part have competed in at least five Clagett regattas with some returning to sail 10 or more years. Both the US and Canadian sailing teams heading for Rio in September for the 2016 Paralympics are Clagett alumni and six out of the 15 teams taking part in the Sonar class in Rio have attended The Clagett over its 14 year history.
Posted today at 4:41 pm
GC32 Racing Tour – Can one town tip the scales for Armin Strom Team?
With a population of 6500, Kerikeri is known for rural surroundings, plentiful orchards and a true laid back Kiwi life Kerikeri, one of New Zealand’s most northernmost towns is where team manager Sharon Ferris-Choat, bowman Alex Bryning, boat captain Ned Dalbeth Hudson and two-time Kiwi Olympian Andrew Murdoch, the latest addition to Armin Strom Sailing Team, all grew up. Their passion for sailing ignited while attending Kerikeri High School.
Posted today at 3:34 pm
Clipper Race fleet enjoys strong westerlies at start of Ocean Sprint
The frontrunners have started the Ocean Sprint, gunning for all-important two extra points to add to leaderboard tally. LMAX Exchange is now leading the fleet, 6.5 nautical miles ahead of yesterday’s race leader ClipperTelemed+, which is four nautical miles ahead of home port entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire in third position. Those three teams have started the Ocean Sprint section this morning.
Posted today at 11:42 am
18ft skiffs - Yamaha wins the long race lottery at Mark Foy Worlds
After a general recall and an individual recall the fleet set off on long race in a light breeze of about four knots. After a general recall and an individual recall the fleet set off on the long race in a light breeze of about four knots. C-Tech won the start with a port hander and the remainder of the fleet quickly tacked over to head towards the top mark, MalaMala Island.
Posted today at 6:37 am
2016 52 Super Series - Day 2 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 3:00 am