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CoastWaterSports 2014

Over 100 Boats Registered for 44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 16 Feb 11:07 GMT February 29 - March 3, 2024
39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta © Icarus Sports

The 44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, February 29 - March 3, will be celebrating key values of sustainability and innovation, and has attracted teams with similar values. Over 100 international boats, 113 at the time of writing, are making the annual pilgrimage by sail to compete in this bucket-list regatta.

Hundreds of boats and sailors descending into Simpson Bay, plus a fleet of charter teams flying in, can make a big impact on an island and the environment. To ensure the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta maintains a positive impact on the island, both economically and environmentally, the event has written sustainability into its core values.

At the Regatta Village at Port de Plaisance and throughout the many event locations, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta promotes and supports environmental initiatives. Last weekend in partnership with the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and the St. Maarten Nature Foundation, the event hosted the annual beach clean up of the sailor and community-favorite Kim Sha beach. Local youth, sailors, and members of the community rallied together to preserve the natural environment and historic host site of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

In addition to Regatta-run sustainability initiatives, the event also attracts many teams with similar values and projects. One such team this year, a Swan 65 Blue Magic, is sponsored by CORE POWER, a global leader in the development of new nuclear technologies for the maritime sector with a mission for zero emissions.

"Moving the maritime industry away from fossil fuels presents an almost insurmountable challenge of scale. New Nuclear for Maritime is that solution, no other energy source or power system gives us a truly zero emissions footprint," said Jen Weineck, Head of Marketing for CORE POWER. "We share many of the core values seen in yacht racing, including a desire to protect our marine environment and the value of teamwork to reach our goals, which is why we have decided to align ourselves with the sport and sponsor our CORE POWER colleague Tony Huston and his crew on the Blue Magic."

The Blue Magic team is made up of long-time friends and competitors, mostly from the International One Design Class. The team has deep big boat racing experience, and includes IOD World and regional champions. "Although a first time St. Maarten Heineken Regatta for some of the crew, we have solid venue experience and expect to be competitive in what is universally known as the premier regatta in the Caribbean," said Blue Magic Captain and CORE POWER Managing Director, Tony Huston.

There are three Swan 65s currently registered for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, from Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, showing the enduring popularity of this historic blue water yacht class. Crafted as the flagship of Nautor's Swan, the Swan 65s ceased production in the 1980s, but are still going strong today. Swan has continued to innovate and a new-century Swan 100, L'Hippocampe from Spain, will join the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta for the first time this year.

Innovation is a driving force of sustainability, and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is integrating technology and innovative solutions to sustainably grow as an event. This year, the event is utilizing Sail Insight technology to trial live tracking and performance analytics with the island's local Diam24 fleet. The growth of this local fleet has provided a new high-performance one-design charter option that attracts international sailors; and the new tech will further attract performance-oriented sailors to the event.

"We are trialing this race software with the Diam24s for both safety, performance and just pure fun reasons. The Diam24 trimarans race around the island with the rest of the fleet, and from personal experience racing them I know, if capsized, they will require assistance. The tracking systems allows our operations team to monitor the Diam24s, while also providing the teams with access to cool performance software and analytics," explained Regatta Operations Chair Morgen Watson. "It also offers a live feed for spectators to see these boats whip around the course — so it's a win-win-win!"

On the shore-side, Regatta revelers will get an enhanced viewing experience with the new access to track the fleet live and where to spot racing. Select "Regatta Ready" venues around the island, such as the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, will have the live tracker and Island92 live video feeds running through the event to offer real-time reporting. Island visitors can connect to all of the "Serious Fun!" on the water by picking the ideal viewing spot and grabbing a Heineken, Tito's cocktail or popping a bottle of Veuve Clicquot at one of the "Regatta Ready" venues during the week of the Regatta: Sint Maarten Yacht Club, Dinghy Beach Bar, K Beach, Holland House, Seaview Beach Hotel, and Bikini Beach Bar.

Then at 6 PM Thursday-Sunday, the Port de Plaisance Regatta Village is open to the public for the daily prize-giving to celebrate the teams' performances on the water. Musical performers then take the stage, including international headliners Tarrus Riley, Kevin Lyttle, Rupee and more. Tickets are available at Divico, Mailbox, Vandorp and other island retail locations, as well as on the Kband app. Learn more about the Regatta schedule and to purchase tickets online on the event website:

This year at the Port de Plaisance Regatta Village, regatta sponsor Divico is leading a recycled cup initiative, supported by Cup Zero, to help reduce single use plastics at the event. Cup Zero is a sustainability company focused on providing reusable products and services designed to eliminate single-use waste. "We believe that there is a better way than throw-away, and want to empower all Regatta visitors with the ability to be zero-waste," shared Tanvi Goklani, Heineken Brand Marketing Executive.

Visitors are encouraged to plan their stay sustainably, and take advantage of eco-friendly transport options such as carpooling and the Regatta Village Shuttle from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. This year, the Regatta Village Water Shuttle will be running in support and benefit of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club's junior and accessibility sailing programs for $5/person/trip. Sailors, visitors and locals are all welcome at the Port de Plaisance Regatta Village to enjoy a melange of Caribbean food, drinks, entertainment and music in celebrations of the 44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: February 29 - March 3, 2024!

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