Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden
Product Feature
Harken 25mm Wire Shackle Block - 300
Harken 25mm Wire Shackle Block - 300
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

X-402 MYXY & Leopard 45 Spellbound earn most worthy performance honors to conclude Heineken Regatta

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 9 Mar 07:10 GMT 5-8 March 2020
X-402 MYXY - St. Maarten Heineken Regatta © Laurens Morel

After four sensational days of racing, parties and entertainment - and some of the closest competition ever seen in the long history of this storied Caribbean event - the 40th Anniversary Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has concluded in the same fine fashion with which it started, with the waters south of the isle dotted with tall, white mainsails and billowing, colorful spinnakers of every size and description.

With a huge spectator fleet soaking in the visual feast, and a fleet of racing sailboats encompassing everything from Melges 24s to Volvo 70s to cruising catamarans to veteran America's Cup 12-Meters, it was literally a waterborne Festival of Sail and a fitting way to wrap up the milestone event.

At the awards ceremony this evening at the regatta village on the grounds of the Port de Plaisance Resort, Marina and Casino, the top honors for Most Worthy Performance for monohulls and multihulls, respectively, went to James Barker and Jeno Amanav, the co-owners of the X-402, MYXY, and St. Maarten's own Ian Martin, the skipper of the Leopard 45, Spellbound.

In presenting the prize to the crew of MYXY, race founder Robbie Ferron said the overall Most Worthy Performance award is presented to the team that wins the most competitive class most convincingly. And that's just what MYXY did in the 13-boat CSA 5 class. After accepting the Oris watch given to the winner, Barker said, "We're so happy to win this, we actually bought this boat off Facebook in 2017. We both work on super yachts and we've worked very hard to get here. We stripped the bottom with angle grinders and actually borrowed the sails to do this regatta. This has been such an amazing event. The organization's been great. I don't know what else to say."

Martin and his crew were the decisive champs of the 13-boat Multihull 2 class, which they captured convincingly. The Most Worthy multihull prize is named the Randy B. West Trophy, in honor of the longtime, revered Caribbean sailor who was a driving force in catamaran sailing in the islands for many years. Martin said, "This is very special, to receive this in honor of our dearly departed friend. Randy was my mate, he's a legend. I had the same crew on this regatta that sailed with Randy and me in the Marion-Bermuda Race, the Newport Bermuda Race and the Caribbean 600. We even had Randy's book onboard to remember." Martin presented the trophy to one of Spellbound's young crew, Flynn Hiddes, the son of another old friend with whom he competed in the Whitbread Round-the-World Race several decades ago, Henri Hiddes.

Earlier on Sunday, before the prizes were awarded and headline artist Flo Rida took the stage to continue the festivities, there was the not inconsequential matter of finalizing the scorecards with a series of races starting along St. Maarten's southern shores. Race Committee Boat B set up shop in Simpson Bay and sent the CSA 5, Multihull 2, four Bareboat divisions and the cruising Island Time contingent on a single race to the isle's southeastern point and back.

Meanwhile, stationed off Cole Bay, Race Committee A sent the Ocean Racing 1 division on a 27-nautical-mile jaunt to a mark south of Tintamarre and back to a finish in Simpson Bay. Ocean Racing 2, Multihull 1 and CSA 1 sailed a slightly shorter distance race of 22.5-nautical-miles, also concluding in Simpson Bay. The remainder of the top racing classes—CSA Sportboats 1 and 2, and CSA 2, 3 and 4—all sailed a pair of windward/leeward races south of the island. The folks cramming those spectator craft surely got their money's worth.

The Ocean Racing 1 class, yet again, put on a terrific show, with the flashy red Volvo 70 I Love Poland off to her usual launched-off-the-starting line tricks. But on corrected time, the Poles have not been able to shake the pesky Australians on Grace O'Malley, and today's action was no different. It all came down to this final race, which I Love Poland won, with Grace O'Malley taking third. That knotted the score at 10 points apiece, but the big Volvo won the class by version of the tiebreaking final contest.

As the Ocean Racers and the big Multihulls disappeared around Pointe Blanche, the Sportboats and smaller CSA competitors got down to the serious business of wrapping up their series. The windward/leeward format puts a premium on close-quarters boathandling and sharp tactics, and on Sunday, those who displayed superior crew work were amply rewarded.

The CSA 3 class consistently engaged in the regatta's tightest and fiercest competition, and fittingly, it continued on the final day of the event. Sam Talbot's J/111, Spike; Rob Butler's Reflex 38, Touch 2 Play; and Pamala Baldwin's J/122, Liquid, traded places on several occasions on the first, twice-around-the-course race. Spike's fifth in that race looked to be the death knell to their hopes for overall victory, but they roared back with a first in the final race, evening the score at 14 points in a tie with Liquid, who recorded two seconds on the day. The crucial final win gave Spike the tiebreaker, in what was easily the event's closest class.

"This regatta was just so much fun," said Talbot, whose crew is based in the British Virgin Islands. "And it was amazing racing with Liquid, they're a really, really good team. This is the first multi-day regatta we've sailed with Spike. We've got a great crew that we've put together over the years. It's been a long, slow process, but we made it happen, and I couldn't be happier."

The 40th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will also be remembered for the very, very solid showing from a slate of local favorites who know these waters well. The winning skippers representing St. Maarten and, in some instances, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, included, along with Ian Martin: Ian Hope Ross aboard the Melges 32, Kick 'em Jenny 2 (CSA Sportboat 1); Frits Bus at the helm of the Melges 24 Team Island Water World (CSA Sportboat 2); Francois Nel and Rodney Williams, who make it look easy shorthanding the Joubert/Nivelt 52-foot cat Island Water World Arawak (Multihull 1); and Ross Applebey on the bright red Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster (CSA 2).

Other winning skippers included Jordan Mindich on the J/105, Solstice (CSA 4); Vincenzo Adessi on the all-carbon beauty Fra Diavolo (CSA 1); and Eric Stallings on the Sun Odyssey 509, Heinefish (Bareboat 1).

Heinefish crewmember David Pritchard, part of a team out of Lake Lanier near Atlanta, Georgia, said, "It's the best racing I've done in big boats in a very long time. The round-the-island race was amazing. After nearly 40 miles we had 5 boats within a minute of each other, from Germany, Holland, all over the place. What a special regatta." Nearly every crew could say the same.

For complete results for all 17 classes, visit www.yachtscoring.com.

As always on the concluding day of racing, the mad dash back through the bridge into the Simpson Bay Lagoon brought out all sorts of costumed crazies: large men in women's bathing suits, pirates galore, a boatful of striped "Where's Waldo?" impersonators, and plenty of sailors just happy to soak it all in with a cold Heineken. And of course, afternoon gave way to evening, and the music lasted well into the night. It was all Serious Fun. And with the 40th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in the record books, it's on to Number 41.

For more information visit www.heinekenregatta.com.

Related Articles

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 3
Moving day as the fleet jockeys for podium positions There comes a point in every regatta, after several races have been recorded and the top contenders have begun to establish their supremacy, when the competition becomes especially critical. Posted on 8 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 2
Local knowledge leads the way in classic Round-the-Island Race It's an annual highlight not only of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, but of the entire Caribbean yacht-racing circuit. The point-to-point round-St. Maarten race has something for everything: challenging currents and geographical features Posted on 7 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta day 1
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta begins in Spectacular Fashion On a picture-perfect day for yacht racing, with bright sunshine and 14- to- 20-knot easterly trade-winds coursing over the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the 40th Anniversary Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta commenced today. Posted on 6 Mar
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta ready to set sail
There's only one thing left to do: Go racing The practice sails are over, the crews have assembled on the island from all around the globe. The race committee has made final preparations, the army of volunteers all have their assignments. Posted on 5 Mar
Cruisers welcome to St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
40th edition has the Island Time class just for cruising yachts The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is well-known among racing sailors for its close and intense competition. But the 40th Anniversary Edition of the event is also an island-wide festival of sailing, parties and music. Posted on 24 Feb
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: Countdown underway
Over 130 entries competing in a half-dozen dedicated classes The countdown for the highly anticipated 40th running of the renowned St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is well and truly under way. The 2020 Anniversary Edition of the famed event is scheduled for March 5-8. Posted on 16 Feb
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta CSA Rating Rule
How an expert team of measurers and race officers level the playing field From the earliest beginnings of yacht racing, one of the most controversial aspects has been the creation and implementation of rating rules. Posted on 13 Feb
8th St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up
Over 60 kids collect 430 kilos of garbage This weekend, the St. Maarten Regatta organized the 8th Annual Beach Clean-Up which took place at Kim Sha Beach. Over 60 children participated in the event, collecting over 430 kilos of garbage from the beach. Posted on 22 Jan
Flo Rida to headline St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Every year thousands of sailors and party goers make their way to the island Tramar Lacel Dillard (born September 16, 1979) known professionally as Flo Rida is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and composer from Carol City, Florida. Posted on 19 Oct 2019
Registration open for St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Enter now for the the 40th Anniversary edition Sailing Holland, entered by Gideon Messink - Campaign Director Sailing Holland, is a Volvo 65 winning third place in the 2017 - 2018 Volvo Ocean Race as Team Brunel, and will be most certainly a team to watch. Posted on 24 Sep 2019