Skip to main content

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:
  • Updated:
    Original:

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

Rescue

Cruising: Safety Lessons Learned

It’s not often that sailors get a chance to put their rescue and MOB training to the test, rarer still that they do as quickly as newbie California sailor Khosrow “Koz” Khosravani did recently. If and when an emergency situation ever arises, though, it pays to be prepared. This ...read more

01-LEAD-'22.01.10_FALKEN-Maiden_Emma-Bow

At the Helm: Sailplans

The first thing you notice when you look at the sailplan for the Farr 65, Falken, which Mia and I recently added to the fleet here at 59-North, is the sheer number of headsails. Falken was built in 1999 as a racing boat to go around the world, and the crew would have carried the ...read more

01-PR-2-Throwing-it-Back-_©LaurensMorel

Racing Class Reunion

Where does an old VO70 go to retire? Right back to the racing circuit, apparently. This spring saw a remarkable contingent of Volvo Ocean Race one designs back on the water and duking it out on the Caribbean circuit. While it’s no surprise that some of the VO65 teams intending ...read more

05-Sailboats-moored-in-sheltered-waters-off-of-Kärrsön

Charter: Sweden

With 2,000 miles of coastline, 270,000 islands and seemingly countless bays and inlets, Sweden is truly a sailor’s paradise. One of the top sailing destinations here is the archipelago just outside the country’s second largest city Gothenburg (locally known as Göteborg), on the ...read more

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more