Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignMackay BoatsBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 - Maserati Multi70 in a fight for lead with Phaedo3
After 24-hours of racing in RORC Caribbean 600 Race Maserati Multi70 trimaran is locked in a fierce struggle for lead After 24-hours of racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race the Maserati Multi70 trimaran skippered by Italian ocean racer Giovanni Soldini is locked in a fierce struggle for the lead with the race record holder Phaedo3.
Posted today at 5:09 am
3rd line honours in a row for Phaedo^3 in the RORC Caribbean 600
After an epic battle with their MOD70 sistership Maserati, Phaedo^3 took multihull line honours in RORC Caribbean 600. After an epic battle with their MOD70 sistership Maserati, Phaedo^3 took multihull line honours in the RORC Caribbean 600.
Posted today at 4:04 am
Phaedo^3 side by side with Maserati South of Guadeloupe
It was a Gybe for Gybe competition for the two MOD70’s in a Monsoon like storm South of Guadeloupe. It was a Gybe for Gybe competition for the two MOD70’s in a Monsoon like storm South of Guadeloupe. Phaedo^3 has now managed to pull away on the leg up to next mark off Barbuda.
Posted today at 4:01 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman talks about a finish on Friday night
The dismasted, now jury rigged entry in the Vendee Globe, Foresight Natural Energy, skippered by Conrad Colman (NZL/USA/ The dismasted, now jury rigged entry in the Vendee Globe, Foresight Natural Energy, skippered by Conrad Colman (NZL/USA/FRA) is making slow progress towards the finish line at Les Sables dÓlonne on the west coast of France. Although he is showing modest speed on the water his progress is still painful
Posted on 21 Feb
Newport Shipyard prepares for busy season, announces major events
Newport Shipyard will once again prove its prowess as New England’s “yachting hub” when a rush of superyachts head north Newport Shipyard will once again prove its prowess as New England’s “yachting hub” when a rush of superyachts head north to the famous “City by the Sea” after the America’s Cup in Bermuda this June.
Posted on 21 Feb
50th anniversary year for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Founded in 1967, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) this year celebrates its first 50 years of existence. Founded in 1967, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) this year celebrates its first 50 years of existence. This morning during a press conference held in Milan at the Riccardo Catella Foundation, an association dedicated to the research and promotion of sustainable local development since 2007, the YCCS presented a programme of social and sporting events to mark the occasion.
Posted on 21 Feb
New gunboat class to join race and festivities at BVI Spring Regatta
With six Gunboats confirmed to race, the competition dial has been notched up for one of the best Caribbean racing With six Gunboats confirmed to race, the competition dial has been seriously notched up for one of the best Caribbean racing events under the sun.
Posted on 21 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 – Day 2 – More Argyll than Antigua
After a champagne start to the race there was a huge change in weather conditions by the end of the first day. After a champagne start to the race there was a huge change in weather conditions by the end of the first day. The low pressure system emanating from the north arrived earlier than anticipated, extinguishing the trade winds to provide a windless night for many competitors.
Posted on 21 Feb
Vendée Globe – Rich Wilson takes thirteenth place
Wilson, at 66 years old the oldest skipper in the race, completes the pinnacle solo ocean racing event for second time. Wilson, at 66 years old the oldest skipper in the race, successfully completes the pinnacle solo ocean racing event for the second time.
Posted on 21 Feb
Vendee Globe - Rich Wilson closing the finish line, due after midday
Rich Wilson is at just over 50 miles to the finish line of his second Vendée Globe and was making just over eight knots Rich Wilson is at just over 50 miles to the finish line of his second Vendée Globe and was making just over eight knots in a direct course for Les Sables d'Olonne. He should cross the line in 13th place in the early afternoon and has until 1530hrs local time to get into the channel.
Posted on 21 Feb