Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clew Ring New Generic

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
Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250NaiadBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

North Atlantic Record - François Gabart is off!
François Gabart waited for first day of July before he set off on an attempt to secure North Atlantic crossing record This is it! François Gabart waited for the first day of July before he set off on an attempt to secure the North Atlantic crossing record, held by Francis Joyon, who sailed it in 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds (26.2 knots average true speed), in June 2013. “My challenge is to sail well from the start.
Posted today at 4:45 am
Azzurra is in third place at Audi Settimana delle Bocche
On the fourth day of racing in Costa Smeralda winds were light, never over ten knots. On the fourth day of racing in Costa Smeralda winds were light, never over ten knots.
Posted on 1 Jul
Quantum Racing stages a big comeback at Audi Settimana delle Bocche
It was a difficult day of racing. The light SE’ly breeze was uneven up the course. After poking their bow over the start line too early Quantum Racing restarted smartly and fought back from their tenth at the top mark to fourth and so maintain a two points lead going into Saturday’s finale.
Posted on 1 Jul
2016 52 Super Series – Action shots from Day 4 by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day four. Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day four.
Posted on 1 Jul
François Gabart to attempt the North Atlantic record in under 5 days
As the standby period approached, a weather window looked possible early in the week and was confirmed this Wednesday. As the standby period approached (2 July), a weather window looked possible early in the week and was confirmed this Wednesday. The skipper and his team arrived in New York on Thursday morning. The departure procedure was stepped up to level four this Friday, confirming the departure window.
Posted on 1 Jul
2016 TP52 Super Series – Images from races six and seven by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races six and seven of Audi Settimana delle Bocche Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races six and seven of Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted on 1 Jul
A jam-packed, fun filled stopover awaits the Clipper Race fleet
Seven teams have completed the Ocean Sprint in the LegenDerry Finale, in a bid to get the final bonus points on offer. At 0900 UTC, Daniel’s team holds a one nautical mile lead overClipperTelemed+ which has chosen a more northerly route, and has stretched to 14NM over third placed LMAX Exchange, whose Skipper Olivier Cardin is looking forward to big surf off the west coast of Ireland.
Posted on 1 Jul
Entries open for Invited Classes at Sailing World Cup Final
Racing for the 14 classes begin on 8th December, except for the 2.4mR non-classified class who will begin on Tuesday six This year, event organisers have catered for sailors who would usually compete in the Laser Standard, Laser Radial and 49er FX Olympic Classes but were unable to make a top 20 position. These sailors will have an opportunity to be part of the Sailing World Cup scene and compete in close proximity to the highest rated sailors in their class.
Posted on 1 Jul
BoatUS asks boaters to say “no” to more ethanol in 2017
EPA is asking for comments on proposal to increase amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline supply for 2017 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for comments on a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply for 2017. If adopted, these proposed levels will require the use of a record amount of ethanol, forcing higher-level ethanol fuel blends (including E15 or 15% ethanol) into gas pumps and at more gas stations.
Posted on 1 Jul
Two ways to buff up on boating hurricane preparedness
Of the 26 “major” hurricanes (Category three or greater) over the last decade, remarkably none have struck the US. Of the 26 “major” hurricanes (Category three or greater) over the last decade, remarkably none have struck the US. However, with Tropical Storm Colin — the earliest third storm on record when it struck Florida June 5 — BoatUS recommends taking time now to develop a plan for the boat to weather the next storm.
Posted on 1 Jul