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Bucket-list boats to race at 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 5 Nov 2022 11:01 PDT 2-5 March 2023
Racing to the Max! Maxis Deep Blue (Botin 85) and Leopard III (Farr 100) led the Maxi fleet in the 2022 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, both vying for top points towards the IMA Caribbean Maxi Challenge Trophy © Laurens Morel

From March 2-5, 2023, hundreds of international sailors and their racing yachts will gather in Simpson Bay for the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Renowned for the "Serious Fun," the regatta attracts the best of the best and some of the bucket-list boats are now available for team charter!

Following the RORC Caribbean 600 Race, many of the big boat fleet will take the quick downwind run from Antigua to St Maarten to rematch in the inshore regatta format. Big boats and offshore racers are treated to long courses at St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, with a good mix of upwind, downwind and reaching legs between St. Maarten, Anguilla and St Barth. Expect to see some epic maxi racers, as St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is the second of just three elite events to earn points for the IMA Caribbean Maxi Challenge trophy.

"I really like the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta because it's the perfect opportunity to have quality racing in the beginning of the year. Big and small boats all race against each other in great conditions and share a drink afterwards. A perfect combination," shared Jelmer van Beek, Skipper of VO65 Janssen de Jong, which has opened their VO65 to team charters for some bucket-list racing at St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

There's certainly a boat for everyone at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. In 2023, RSW Racing is coming from across the USA for their first St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. No strangers to serious competitions, the team has run 12M racing campaigns, but was looking to try out the renowned tradewind racing in the Caribbean. "When I heard about chartering opportunities for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, I thought to myself: now that's a big bucket-list event! Our team has chartered the J120 JAGUAR for 2023, which is perfect for our team size, experience and conditions we are expecting," said Marcos Weinstein, RSW Racing Syndicate Manager.

There are plenty of dream boats still available to race - with no dream too big or out of reach! Race a piece of history onboard local catamaran Arawak (Island Water World), which was built to participate in the iconic Route du Rhum Transat Race. Now you and up to 5 guests can enjoy a wet and wild ride, hitting 25 kts as part of the team. Similarly, VO70 Hypr, former Camper 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race second place boat, and VO65 Ambersail 2 are both available for charter. Team charters come with a professional captain, often extra crew and training, so even sailors new to multihulls or ocean race boats can have some 'Serious Fun' racing these machines.

For those looking for speed and comfort, there are also a selection of modern yachts that beautifully mix luxury and performance available to charter. Reichel Pugh 86 - Way of Life, First 53 - Yagiza and Swan 601 - AKOS, all offer bucket-list racing within the big boat classes. All of these race boats are offered for team charter through charter agent LV Yachting.

"St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is a fantastic combination of windward leeward, coastal races and of course, the much loved round the island race. The regatta organizers work hard to ensure class splits are correct and each class are set courses that compliment each style of yacht. This focus on tailoring the racing to each fleet is one of the many reasons the regatta continues to flourish in the Caribbean. Attracting 30' sports boats, bareboats, multihulls, all the way to maxi's and ocean racing yachts, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will always be a must do event for serious racers," said Lucy Jackson, owner of LV Yachting.

Big things can also come in small packages, and this goes for the growing Diam24 fleet that made a big impression at the 2022 St Maarten Heineken Regatta. When these 24-ft trimarans blasted past the Volvo fleet in the Around the Island Race, matching or exceeding boat speeds, they turned heads! Bucket-list speeds are well within reach, Diam24s are available for charter to race within the competitive local fleet.

At the end of each race day, teams from all classes gather for daily prize-giving and apres-sail libations in the race village at Port de Plaisance. Teams docked at Yacht Club Port de Plaisance get front row seats to all of the action: nightly entertainment, hot food, cool bars and great company. Special rates on docking at Yacht Club Port de Plaisance are offered for registered boats - first-come, first-serve - so be sure to register now!

Registration is now open for the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on Join the "Serious Fun!" March 2-5, 2023 - BYOB (bring your own boat) or charter your bucket-list boat. Learn more about all race charter options on our website:

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