Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

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

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNaiad/Oracle SupplierSchaefer 2016 660x82