Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Options aplenty for racing hopefuls

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on 1 Feb 2014
The 33rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta comes to a close on Sunday Outside Images
Each year, hundreds of boats of all types and sizes enter to race in the annual St.Maarten Heineken Regatta. Anything, from family owned live aboard vessels to multi-million dollar racing machines, are readied and entered to join the other boats in the years most anticipated Caribbean Regatta. For those individuals without a personal ride, the possibilities are vast. From Charter boats complete with captains to the 100ft, carbon fibre technology of the pro's, there are several options available for those wishing to race but lacking in the sailing vessel department.

Have you ever wanted to race in the Caribbean's most famous regatta, the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta? Wish you had a boat to enter or perhaps you wished that one of your many friends had space on his/her boat that was already entered?

Space as crew during the regatta is always limited and potential crew members can be seen cruising the local bars hoping to run into someone who is looking for crew. Some sailors are desperate enough that they make custom made shirts advertising their sailing skills. You can post your name and qualifications on various crew forums and on the local yacht club bulletin board both in St.Maarten and on the surrounding islands, but there is no guarantee that you will be chosen to crew for the main event. The fact is there are more sailors looking for spots than there are spots available. Luckily there are other opportunities available.

One of the more popular options is renting a charter boat from one of the charter companies located on the island of St.Maarten like Sunsail or Moorings sponsors of the Regatta itself. With more than 80 charter boats entered in the event every year, this option can offer lots of fun racing in charter boat classes. For sailors located in Europe there are even more options available as charter companies offer package deals including flights, hotels, transportation's on island and much more. Generally it all boils down to your individual budget and how many team members you have.

One of those charter companies is Kras, which is based out of the Netherlands. Kras offers all-inclusive packages for the 2014 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta which includes round trip flights with their own TUI airline Arkefly from Amsterdam, a charter boat from either Sunsail or Moorings and on the spot assistance. In addition they offer assistance in booking other airlines should your dates conflict with the Arkefly dates of travel. Their hands-on approach makes it very easy and fun to race in the regatta.

ATP Event Experts, which has been sending participants to the regatta for over 10 years, offers customized packages and specializes in teambuilding trips for co-workers and company heads. Their packages offer boat rentals, flights, pre-registration as well as pre- briefings both in the Netherlands and in St.Maarten to make sure their customers are aware of the challenges when racing in the regatta. Customer service is high on their list of priorities and with their list of repeat customers, their track record is most certainly proven.


For those sailors looking for more of a challenge there are several boats available that will most definitely peak your interest. Not looking for that average sailboat? Looking for excitement and that once in a lifetime experience? You are most likely looking for a 'headboat' experience.

Headboats are individual boats that charge by the head rather than renting out the entire boat to one person or group, making this a very enticing and cost effective way to participate in the regatta without the work and preparation that goes into making a boat ready to race. Stress free racing which means all you have to do is just show up, man your station, make new friends and compete on some of the fastest and most unique racing boats available.

One boat available this season is the Volvo 70 'Monster Project'. Starting its first season in the Caribbean the team took four hours, 42 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race. This time shaved 21 minutes off the previous record starting their charter season off with a bang. This is truly a high performance yacht and crew for those wanting to push their boundaries and experience the more extreme side of sailing. This opportunity is available for the 34th St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and included in your 'head' price is all entry fees, on-board training, racing skipper, drinks and snack as well as foul weather gear if needed, all of which will lead to an experience of a lifetime.

Perhaps your looking for something different? Then perhaps the headboat of choice is the 30 meter 'Cape Arrow', a winning collaboration between Farr Yacht Design for the naval architecture and Nauta Design for the general concept and interior design and exterior styling. This distinctive competitor is available for those sailors looking for something different, and can offer an exciting action packed day on the water.

All the options mentioned above and many more can be found on the regatta website with full contact details, websites and pictures. Contact should be made directly with the individual boats or charter companies.

If you still want to try your luck finding a boat, or perhaps you have a boat and are looking for crew, you can log on to the crew forum on the regatta website here.

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
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
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 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
North Technology - Southern SparsNaiadBarz Optics - Melanin Lenses