Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Level playing field ensured

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on 4 Feb 2014
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Outside Images
World-class sailboat racing, like that which takes place at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, is a dynamic sport, often pitting boats of different sizes and dimensions against each other on an oceanic 'playing field' of shifting winds and changing currents. To ensure that every boat has an equal chance of success - so that the liquid playing field is fair and level for all - race boats often compete under measurement rules that assign handicaps to each yacht. In the Caribbean, home to the planet's best sailing conditions, the highly respected Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) is the governing authority for yacht racing.

For the 34th running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, scheduled for March 6-9, monohull racing will once again be scored by the well-established CSA Racing Rule. If you're planning on joining the action, and you haven't already secured a CSA measurement certificate, it's time to obtain one. The in-the-water measurement process is simple and straightforward, and can be done in several locations throughout the islands.

'You don't have to be a CSA member to get your CSA rating,' said Michele Korteweg, the Regatta Director for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. 'The important thing is to book the appointment for your measurement in advance. If you're sailing to the Caribbean and you know when you're arriving on the island of your destination, make your appointment today. That way, you can prepare well in advance of the regatta.'

CSA measurers are available in each of the following islands: Antigua, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Grenada, Guadeloupe, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Trinidad and Tobago. For contact information and complete details on the CSA rule, visit Caribbean Sailing. The site also has reports on preparing your yacht for measurement, optimizing your rating, and the safety requirements for Caribbean boats. It also details the necessary documents and specifications you can gather beforehand to streamline the procedure.

Alfred Koolen is the Chief Measurer for the CSA and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and he offered several tips for first-time participants. 'The process takes about two hours,' he said, though it may be somewhat longer for larger yachts. 'The measurer needs one member of the crew to help, a knowledgeable person who really knows the boat. If the boat has a lot of gear on it (like a cruising boat), the equipment can stay on board. If you take gear off the boat to go racing, you need to remove that gear for the measurement. If it's a (dedicated) racing boat, it needs to be emptied beforehand.'

Skippers should also have a dinghy or inflatable ready to assist the measurer in recording measurements of the hull. Once all the information is gathered, it's entered into the CSA computer program and a CSA rating certificate is produced for that specific vessel. It's then compared with the ratings of identical racing boats or similar racers in the CSA database. Finally, a handicap is assigned and, just prior to racing at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, classes will be organized by the race committee, comprised of boats of similar ratings.

While rating rules can sound complicated, in practice, they simplify scoring. Essentially, each yacht's handicap number is a 'time correction factor,' or TCF, which handicaps its elapsed time on the racecourse for each given race. Once the race is completed, the TCF is factored in to record the yacht's 'corrected time' for each race. The final scoring is determined using that corrected time.

Of course, monohulls aren't the only boats that race at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Catamarans and trimarans are also welcome, and compete in their own separate divisions. For 2014, a team of race-management experts including Stuart Knaggs, Alfred Koolen and Paul Miller of Regatta Guru has developed a new Multihull Ratings rule, which was conceived to adapt the popular Texel Rating system to the local requirements of multihull racing in the Caribbean. Like the CSA rule, this measurement system is also an in-water procedure. For full details, log on to Multihull Ratings.

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
Naiad/Oracle SupplierSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Day 3 action shots
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three
Posted today at 5:09 pm
RS Feva Worlds – Qualification phase is complete at the end of Day 2
Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds 2016 - Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. A number of boats went into the day in much lower positions than expected for a variety of reasons. Could they make it up?
Posted today at 7:34 am
Chile’s Clemente Seguel wins Youth North American Championship
Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races. The wind didn't come in on Tuesday, leaving the results as they were after Monday: Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races.
Posted today at 4:58 am
Kinetic V wins 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race
Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall. 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall.
Posted today at 4:08 am
TowBoatUS Bay St. Louis now offers 24/7 on-water assistance to boaters
Capt. Conrad Morris, knows what it is like to get stuck on a sandbar in Mississippi Sound. Capt. Conrad Morris, the new owner of TowBoatUS Bay St. Louis, a 24-hour on-water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, knows what it is like to get stuck on a sandbar in Mississippi Sound. “It happened to me countless times when I was a kid,” he said. “Sometimes we had to spend the night waiting for the tide to come in – there weren’t any towing services around back then.”
Posted today at 3:23 am
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Azzurra strikes back
Azzurra delivered their best day of the season so far on the Bay of Palma waters where they won the World Champion title The team of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda scored two second places from the pair of windward-leeward races which were sailed in relatively steady sea breeze conditions. Super sharp starting was the launch pad for race victories today. Prime position on the pin mark of the start line at the gun was key to the wins of Bronenosec and Provezza.
Posted on 26 Jul
Registration open for Rally to the Cup 2017
It will provide dock space at the St. Georges Sports and Dinghy Club for the first 20 to 25 boats to sign up. It will provide dock space at the St. Georges Sports and Dinghy Club for the first 20 to 25 boats to sign up and a designated anchorage area (with launch service) or a berth along the wall in St. Georges for all others.
Posted on 26 Jul
New French leader on Day 3 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Breakfast time today saw some furious adding up to resolve the winning team in the high scoring offshore race Initially France Blue, overall leaders after day one, looked strong with their two big boats, Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine, and the Prietz family's JND 39, GOA, in front. As boats started finishing the Flanders North Sea team edged ahead.
Posted on 26 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Races 3 and 4 images
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four
Posted on 26 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club's Racing Team trio for Rio 2016
Pre-Olympic Brunch at the GYC clubhouse – members, guests and friends gave a Brazilian farewell to the GYC Racing Team. The Gstaad Yacht Clubs sport members are: the Nacra 17 team with Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger who qualified for Switzerland, the 470 sailor Will Ryan, who starts with his helmsman Matthew Belcher for Australia and Billy Besson, who starts in the Nacra 17 class too, together with his crew Marie Riou for France.
Posted on 26 Jul