Heineken Regatta Turns 30

Although many regattas have struggled of late as a result of the current economic climate, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta marked three decades of serious racing and partying this past week with some 240 yachts taking part.As in years past, the three-day event, organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, attracted some of the world’s most talented sailors, including America’s Cup veterans
Author:
Publish date:
Heineken_instory

Although many regattas have struggled of late as a result of the current economic climate, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta marked three decades of serious racing and partying this past week with some 240 yachts taking part.

As in years past, the three-day event, organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, attracted some of the world’s most talented sailors, including America’s Cup veterans Peter Isler, Peter Holmberg and Gavin Brady, round the world sailor Kenny Read, Olympic sailor and America’s Cup skipper Andy Beadsworth, and Dutch double Europe Olympic silver medalist Margriet Matthijsse.

Standout boats this year included Irvine Laidlaw’s Wally 82 Highland Fling, Tom and Dotty Hill’s brand-new Reichel/Pugh 75 Titan 15, George David’s Reichel/Pugh 90 Rambler, and a healthy mix of Swans, Farrs and top-flight custom builds. As in regattas past, there was also a healthy smaller-boat contingent, including no less that 99 bareboat charter boats.

The final race of the three-day regatta—a 27-mile jaunt around the coast from Marigot Bay on the French side of the island to Sint Maarten Yacht Club on the Dutch side—lacked sun, but had plenty of wind, thanks to a rainy northerly. In the three-way battle between Titan, Highland Fling and Rambler, it was Titan that benefited from a strange twist of misfortune when she blew out her A5 spinnaker. Forced to go with a slightly flatter A3, the sail proved to be the perfect choice when the wind shifted round to a tighter angle. Reveling in the 20-knots squalls, Isler sailed Titan to the limit, storming past Highland Fling and Rambler to take not just line honors, but first overall in class.

Among the smaller boats, Hans-Joachim Tiggels and team from Germany sailing a Beneteau Oceanis 523 were the overall winners of Bareboat 1, with the Duketown Official Royal Sailing Team finishing second. One of the closest regatta-long battles was in Spinnaker 3 between the Reichel/Pugh 44 Peake Yacht Services sailed by Peter Peake and team, and Richard Matthews and team aboard Oystercatcher XXVI. The two raced neck and neck throughout the series, often match racing each other round the course, but in the end it was Oystercatcher XXVI that won the day. The winner of Bareboat 6 was Robbie Nitche and a team from Germany sailing the Dufour 455 Let Me Go, with three straight wins.

For more on the regatta, including complete results, click here

Related

arc18-3981

Stories from the Cruisers of the ARC

Each December, the docks at Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia are abuzz as the fleet of the ARC—the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers—arrives to much fanfare. No matter what time of day or night, the staff of the World Cruising Club, organizers of the 33-year-old rally, are there to ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A sign from outside the box  Rev counters on modern engines are driven electronically from a terminal on the alternator. If all is well, as soon as the engine fires up the revs will read true. If, ...read more

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more