The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta attended the Regatta Organizers Conference in Puerto Rico over the weekend. The Regatta Organizers Conference is a unique event where the Caribbean Regatta's come together to share ideas, experiences and knowledge to further develop the quality of the Caribbean Sailing Calendar. This collaboration was started by the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) and every year runs alongside the Annual General Meeting for the CSA. Both meetings help to further promote the Caribbean as a World Class sailing destination.
11 Caribbean nations were represented bringing together traditionally competing events to this unique meeting of minds. The event kicked off on Friday night with a group dinner at the Sheraton hotel where everyone caught up with old friends and met new faces. The following morning the Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Sailing Association was in full swing with input from all the Islands helping to strengthen and improve an Association that is so important to the region.
After lunch the AGM made way for the Regatta Organizers Conference where delegates listened to key speakers and discussed the topics. St. Maarten Heineken Regatta's experienced Mark Layer Ramiz Abuhaydar made an appearance. Ramiz entertained and informed the group with his presentation on mark laying and its pitfalls, many laughs were had and delegates left with something to think about when returning to their own events. Michele Korteweg St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Director presented on Social Media and explained to delegates its importance and application, whilst Sea Hawks' own Denis Laesker discussed the value of good sponsorship relationships.
At the end of the first day with their brains full of knowledge the delegates were graciously invited to a drinks reception at the lovely Club Nautico, San Juan. After a warm welcome by the Commodore, Gustavo Hermida, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club swapped Burgies with Club Nautico cementing a friendship with this wonderful Puerto Rican Club.
Fresh from the night’s entertainment, delegates continued the discussions the following day. Alfred Koolen a great supporter and volunteer of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week, tackled the difficult task of enlightening the group about the measuring process and answering questions from organizers with great clarity. The last day of the conference was capped off with open discussions about numerous topics, such as marketing, the rating rule, and much more, and left all with many useful and interesting ideas to return home with.
The Regatta Organizers Conference adjourned for another year with all delegates excited for the opportunity of hosting the AGM and conference for 2014. Puerto Rico were fantastic hosts and all delegates commented on how much they enjoyed the Island and its hospitality.
For over three decades, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing 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.
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has the privilege of having its very own Regatta Director, Michele Korteweg, nominated as Manager of the Year for the 2013 SHTA Crystal Pinapple Awards. Show your support for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the Sint Maarten Yacht Club by voting for her here