Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

The Volvo Fleet Returns to St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in 2023

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 12 Dec 2022 07:19 PST 2-5 March 2023
Three VO65s are confirmed to return for the 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: Team Austrian Ocean Racing, Team JAJO, and Ambersail II © Laurens Morel

With just months to go before the start of the 43rd edition of the St Maarten Heineken Regatta, many race teams are now finalizing their arrangements to attend this bucket-list event.

Breaking news from the Volvo fleet confirms that at least three VO65s will be taking part in the 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Team JAJO, supported by Janssen de Jong with 28 year old Jelmer van Beek from The Netherlands on the helm, will be competing against fellow Dutch skipper Gerwin Jansen on Team Austrian Ocean Racing, with Ambersail II from Lithuania also now committing to race again in the Maxi class.

In the 2022 edition, the big boat class had incredibly close competition between four VO65s and four VO70s, plus two custom Maxis Botin 85 Deep Blue and Farr 100 Leopard 3. There are at least two VO70s slated to return in 2023, including I LOVE POLAND, helmed by Grzegorz Baranowski.

I LOVE POLAND will be back to defend their reign as 2022 IMA Caribbean Maxi Challenge champions, a separate trophy for Maxi yachts based on collective scores from three top Caribbean events, for which the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is proudly one of them. In the 2022 Regatta I LOVE POLAND finished third in class, but their consistent top performance across all events secured their position as IMA Caribbean Maxi Challenge winners overall.

Team navigator Konrad Lipski shared his reflections, "We already took part in three editions of St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, showing that we enjoyed the race and the atmosphere. In 2022, we had a different race course each day. It required smart navigation, tactics, and excellent crew work to handle all sail changes. All courses were challenging, but that's what makes us better sailors. We hope to repeat this scenario in 2023 with a better final result."

Race organizers have made it their mission to design unique courses that are best fit for these ocean racing machines. Whether it be a sprint to neighboring islands Anguilla or St. Barths, or the crowd-favorite Round the Island Race, the long courses are well-suited for these maxi boats. In 2022, the Race Committee threw in a navigator's challenge, which allowed the Maxi boats to decide if they would go above or below St. Maarten on a race back from St. Barths - the fleet split and there were certainly big winners and losers in this navigational choice.

The international regatta team, who chartered VO65 Sailing Poland in 2022 and won first in class, is coming back again; but this time on VO70 HYPR to match-race fellow Polish competitors. Team manager Rafal Kaplar says that St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is one of the international events most admired by Polish sailors, which explains why they keep coming back.

Kaplar reflects: "There is a long story behind our participation in the race, I guess it was 2012 when we first arrived there onboard Quokka, a Grand Soleil rented from Global Yacht Racing and taking 3rd place in our class." Since then, Polish crews have won the regatta many times, and they keep coming back to enjoy the "Serious Fun!" both on and off the water.

Kaplar continues, "The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta guarantees fantastic racing in a lovely place. It's also great for the families of our sailors, which combined with the amazing evening entertainment, creates the unrivaled atmosphere of the regatta. We love Poland, and Poland loves St.Maarten Heineken Regatta!"

When the on-the-water action is over, the fun continues on shore with teams from all classes gathering in the race village at Port de Plaisance for daily prize-giving and apres-sail libations from top sponsors Heineken, Veuve Clicquot and Titos Vodka. 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 on a first-come, first-serve, so be sure to register now for the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on

Don't have a boat? Don't fret! There are many opportunities to get in on the action with race charters available through OnDeck, LV Yachting, Global Yacht Racing and Ocean Racers. Individual berths and team charters are still available for the Volvo fleet; contact or , respectively, to learn more.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Celebrating 43 years, this Regatta just keeps getting better, four days of world-class racing with some of the world's most seasoned sailors, hailing from over 35 countries. This is genuinely a Regatta for everyone, including professional teams sailing Maxis, Monohulls, and Performance Multihulls to holiday-makers on chartered Bareboats to live-aboard families cruising the Caribbean. Crystal clear waters and cooling northeast trade winds give the pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off the coast of St. Maarten. This event is your bucket list must-do! Come and enjoy life in the Caribbean; come for some Serious Fun from March 2-5, 2023!

For complete information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit

Related Articles

Multihulls Steal the Show
At the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Whether you have one, two or three hulls, there is plenty of opportunity to shine at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Posted on 24 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta overall
Friendly and fierce competition Sun-tanned, grinning and on that post-racing 'high' from a successful regatta, the competitors, families and friends at the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta are now packing up their kit and preparing themselves to leave the Regatta Village. Posted on 6 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 4
Down to the last race It was another sunny Sunday in St. Maarten for the final day's racing at the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. With slightly lighter winds forecasted, PRO Mark Townsend set two courses for most of the fleet. Posted on 6 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 3
Intense racing around the island The famous Around the Island Race at the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta took place this year on Saturday, the penultimate race day. Posted on 5 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 2
The Next Generation takes the lead The presence of more than 1000 competitors plus families, friends and supporters is creating a stir not only onshore, but also on the water, as Friday's racing took most of the sailors over to the French side of the island. Posted on 4 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 1
The wind delivered more than the low teens forecasted After several days of preparation, the first race day at the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta saw the competitors streaming out through the lifting bridge into the open waters of Simpson Bay. Posted on 3 Mar
Over 100 boats for St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Eager teams lined up to formally register their entry Registration started early at the 43rd St Maarten Heineken Regatta, as eager teams lined up to formally register their entry and pick up their yacht's bow numbers and class flag. Posted on 2 Mar
2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta interview
We talk with Michele Korteweg about the 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Sail-World checked in with Michele Korteweg, regatta director of the 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, via email, to learn more about this exciting Caribbean regatta. Posted on 28 Feb
43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta preview
Over 90 international teams from over 25 different nations registered With over 90 teams representing more than 25 nations from as far afield as Australia, Norway and Sweden, Canada, Poland and Greece, competitors and their yachts are starting to congregate now in the crystal clear waters around St.Maarten. Posted on 19 Feb
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta connects the island
Opportunity to join Beach Clean Up February 11 and Mangrove Planting February 28 & March 11 Whilst many international race regattas focus on leaving no impact behind, this is far from the case for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Posted on 9 Feb
Rooster 2023 - Aquafleece Robe - FOOTERT Clewring One Design 728x90 BOTTOMArmstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOM