Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Day 1 - Ideal conditions

by Michele Korteweg on 3 Mar 2012
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta http://www.heinekenregatta.com
An impressive fleet of 202 yachts in 15 separate divisions hoisted sail this morning to commence the 32nd edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

Day 1 was a glorious, sun-splashed day with solid easterly tradewinds coursing over the deep blue seas surrounding the Friendly Island of St. Maarten.

Race officials on two separate starting circles off the southern coast of St. Maarten sent their respective fleets on the traditional clockwise round-the-island race that regularly commences the regatta, winds and weather permitting. The 'A' Fleet contained the CSA 1-6 divisions, as well as the Multihull 1 racing class. After a short windward leg, the 'big boats' in Multihull 1 and CSA 1 and 2 commenced on a 32-nautical mile jaunt that included a rounding of the rugged island of Tintamarre off the northeast coast of St. Maarten. The CSA 3-6 divisions sailed a slightly shorter course of 29-nautical miles that cut inside Tintamarre.

Race officer David Campbell James, orchestrating the racing for the Grand Prix yachts racing from the A circle, recorded a top wind speed of 18 knots during the starting sequences. 'The weather was absolutely superb,' he said. 'You couldn’t ask for better conditions.'

Campbell James set a generous 400-meter starting line, but temporarily second-guessed himself later when one of the 100-foot Swans in CSA 2 came power reaching down the line. 'I did have second thoughts,' he laughed. 'But there were really great starts across the board.'

The Multihull 1 class was first off the line, with the silver Irens 63 trimaran Paradox seemingly skipping atop the whitecaps. However, it was another tri from a different generation—Patrick Turner’s bright red, 43-year-old Tryst, a two-time class winner in past St. Maarten Heineken Regattas—that nipped Paradox to take the start. It was a visually arresting sight, the past and present of cutting-edge multihull design in the same frame.

Next up were the powerhouses in the four-boat CSA 1 class, namely the big Farr-designed racing yachts with the towering square-topped mainsails: the Volvo 70 Gran Jotiti and the Transpac 65 Equation. 'Of all the starts, that was the highlight for me,' said Campbell James. 'To see those two boats hit the line at speed, together, was just great.'

CSA 2 was the class of the giants, including two hundred-foot Swans—Varsovie and Virago—and a Swan 90, Nefertiti, as well as another nine yachts over 56-feet, including the Swan 65 The Solden Kings, which, as King’s Legend, was second in the 1977-78 Whitbread Round the World Race.

On the short windward leg before the A fleet eased sheets to set spinnakers and begin the circuit around St. Maarten, there was drama aboard Jaime Torres’s Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave when the lifelines parted and three crewmembers were nearly tossed overboard, but through quick action no one landed in the drink. Later, Jan vanden Eynde’s CSA 3 entry, the Open 750Panic Attack, was forced to retire when one of the boat’s twin rudders was lost, but the lightweight flyer was able to return to Philipsburg without assistance.

The Division B competitors—including CSA 7, Multihull 2, the Bareboat divisions, and the Lottery Class—sailed a slightly shorter course around the island than their counterparts in the A fleet. All eyes, seemingly, were on Dorade, which executed a rare port-tack start in CSA 7 before bearing away shortly thereafter to set her downwind sails. On Dorade, this included no less than five sails: spinnaker, staysail, mainsail, mizzen staysail, and mizzen. The classic beauty, built in 1931, appeared to be from another era, right down to the windsock she flew from her masthead in lieu of a modern windex.

After a short spinnaker run, the fleet once again came hard on the breeze off Basse Terre on the westernmost end of the island. From there, it was a long beat to weather up the Anguilla Channel to Tintamarre. Once past the course’s northernmost mark, the fleet cracked sheets slightly for a close reach down the eastern edge of St. Maarten; a few boats even managed to once again set spinnakers. The final stretch was a short weather leg to the finish line in Great Bay.

When all was said and done, Bill Alcott’sEquation managed to hold off Ernesto Cortina’s Gran Jotiti on corrected time as the big sloops registered a first and second, respectively, in CSA 1. On elapsed time, Gran Jotiti was the quickest spinnaker-flying multihull around the island with a time of 3h, 3m, 26s; Equation was a little less than four minutes in arrears.

In CSA 2, despite having the best start in the class, Tomek Ulatowski’s Varsovie fell to second behind another Swan 100, Bill and Carolyn Titus’s Virago, which also recorded the fastest non-spinnaker spin around the island: 3h, 22m, 38s.

In CSA 3, as so often is the case, the top places belonged to a pair of Melges 24s, with Frits Bus’s Coors Light drawing first blood by topping Andrea Scarabelli’s Budget Marine/Gill, which finished second. Before the racing began, many observers felt the closest competition would be in CSA 4, and after the first day of racing, that certainly appeared to be the case, with Rich Wesslund’s J/120,El Ocaso, registering first place ahead of a pair of J/122s, James Dobbs’s perennial contender,Lost Horizon, and Sergio Sagramoso’s Puerto Rican entry, Lazy Dog.

In CSA 5, another Swan, Jack Desmond’s 48-foot Affinity topped the leader board after Day 1, as did Magras Raphael’s X-34, Maelia, in CSA 6. And in CSA 7, Matt Brooks’s pristine Sparkman and Stephens yawl,Dorade, not only looked terrific, she was also extremely well sailed, and was rewarded with a Day 1 win.

In Multihull 1, Peter Aschenbrenner’s Paradox capitalized on her solid start by topping the eight-boat fleet while also recording the time for fastest multihull around the island, with a time of 2h, 48m, 19s. Dave Nelson’s Catana 471, Pas de Deux, was the winner of Multihull 2, and John Wolff’s Dufour 30 Classic, Turquoise, won the Lottery Class.

In the Bareboat classes, the following boats took the early lead in their respective classes after victories on the first day of racing: Frederick Walters’ Team Kincsem (Bareboat 1 winner, overall Bareboat winner, and fastest bareboat around the island in 4h, 14m, 14s); Martijn Baartmans’ Harten Heer (Bareboat 2); Marieke Poulie’s Something Hot (Bareboat 3); Jan Soderberg’s Oyster (Bareboat 4); Tim Goebel’s and Neil Harvey’s Chillin’ The Most (Bareboat 5); and Yury Kharazyan Matreshki (Bareboat 6).

2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta website
Zhik ZKG 660x82upffront 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted today at 2:51 am
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, Freides takes over
The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship featured two races under shifty conditions 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.
Posted on 27 Aug
Vendée Globe – Yann Eliès and his team relaunch 60-ft IMOCA in Lorient
Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses. Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses organised at the Finistère Ocean Racing Centre in Port-la-Forêt (Brittany). He will also take part in the Azimut Trophy. Yann Eliès tells us about the work that has been done and what lies ahead in the final part of his preparation.
Posted on 26 Aug
Vendée Globe – A long trip between France and Iceland for Heerema
After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. Thanks to this voyage from France to Iceland and back, the Dutch skipper is finding out more about No Way Back, the new generation IMOCA on which he will line up on 6th November
Posted on 26 Aug
Phoenix returns and Cayard is back for the TP52 World Championships
Richard Cohen will compete at the championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 Super Series.
Posted on 26 Aug
Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted on 25 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug