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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Overall

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 3 Mar 23:08 PST February 29 - March 3, 2024
The bareboat fleets were extremely well-matched this year, but ultimately one team came out on top © Laurens Morel

The grand finale of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta was easily one of the best ones yet, with picture-perfect race conditions for every fleet.

Race Committee was committed to providing a great variety of Serious Fun for the teams, sending the big boats on two deviating adventures while the rest of the fleet played along the south side of the island.

Graced by the weather gods for the final day, the teams showed that they only got better with time. The start lines were closer than ever, with some perfect line ups that left spectators in awe. With breeze in the high teens, competitors got a break from the hair-raising conditions of yesterday, and just got to purely enjoy the last day racing around paradise.

In CSA1, the professional team onboard Maxi Leopard 3 (Farr 100) of course nailed their start, but the Volvo 65 Sisi proved they have pros onboard too. Sisi, positioned strategically as the windward boat, mirrored Leopard's finesse, marking the beginning of what would be a day of exhilarating duels. “It was the most incredible experience, we were so close to the race committee, and we just accelerated right at the start. Amazing!” said Angie Soeffker, local travel ambassador of island-born brand: Magic of the Caribbean, who was onboard Sisi. And it was certainly a magical day in the Caribbean!

Both CSA1 and CSA2 sailed one course today, a long 25-mile course to the uninhabited island of Tintamarre off the northeast coast of St. Maarten and back. Since most of the fleets are competitively well-matched, a bad start can cost a race. Today Pata Negra won the start and ultimately won the race, whereas Warthog had an unideal start and took second in the day’s race.

Meanwhile, Beneteau First 47.7 Dauntless shook up the leaderboard in CSA3 by taking a third and a first. But ultimately it was a battle between the J-boats El Ocaso (J122), Spike (J111) and Moana (J122). In CSA4, the Polish team onboard Fujimo had an incredibly strategic start, and Escapado couldn’t escape their upwind blocks, but ultimately Fujimo did not capture a win by finish.

Quintessence III in CSA4 had a smashing day, catching up to the X-yachts in the class ahead, and taking a first and second in today’s two races. Panacea X, who has been on the podium throughout the event, had a rough start with a sixth place in the debut race of the day. But the team nonetheless proved that was just a fluke, and came back strong in the second race to reclaim first.

In CSA5, honorable mention must go to Huey Too, who despite missing the podium, was always nipping at the heels of the more modern fleet. As the oldest boat in the fleet, the Cal 40 Huey Too is from 1967, but is still handled well by the boat’s expert owner Bernie Wong. Bernie was right in it at the start of the first race of the day, with start-line order being Maelia, Huey Too and then Pepsi.

It is also worth giving Tryst in CSA Multihull 1 an honorable mention, as they were missing from racing today due to a collision on the race course yesterday that left them without the front cap of their starboard hull. Up until the unfortunate crash, Tryst was in a leading position for a podium at least. The team and boat were safely recovered and assisted by the Dutch Marines who help to maintain the safety of Serious Fun from the race course through the Bridge Show.

Last year’s Regatta winners, GFA Caraibes, brought fierce competition from their home island Martinique on fellow Surprise 25. Doub 6 / Clippers Ship performance confirmed that Martinique breeds competitive sailors, and GFA Caraibes’ recapture of a top place in the final race of the day further emphasized the intense competition in the sportboats class of CSA6.

Today in the Diam 24 class, Buzz Race Team and Karibuni passed the hot potato between either a wicked finish in first or arriving mid-fleet in the last two races of the event. In the Island Time Class, Orphie a Beneteau First 21.7 gave it their all for the final day of racing, going from results in the back of the pack, all the way up to first place today!

Ultimately, it was Seabreeze (Ned Orange) in the Bareboat 1 Class who won the entire St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – undefeated!! The bareboat team was amongst tough competition, but they proved to be unbeatable from the beginning. “We were first to the mark for every single race,” shared the captain Silvy Leijh with her arms full of the teams winnings: shining trophies, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and a SEIKO Prospex divers watch. When asked if they will be returning to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta next year, the team replied, “Of course! We must defend our title!”

This massive international and island-wide event would not be possible without the support of sponsors and supporting partners: Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, SEIKO as the official Regatta timekeeper, elite beverage brands such as Heineken, Veuve Clicquot, and Tito’s, and annual Regatta supporters including Windward Islands Bank, Flow, Port St. Maarten, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Seahawk, Remax/Yachtshop, Shipwreck Shops and Island 92 Radio. What makes the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta magic really happen are the near hundred volunteers who year-after-year dedicate their vacation and spare time to support the event. So mark your calendars for the 45th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: March 6-9, 2025.

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

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