Positive changes for St.Maarten Heineken Regatta

Published on November 26th, 2014

Additional racing, improved logistics and guaranteed Serious Fun at the 35th St.Maarten Heineken Regatta. Here’s an update from the regatta organizer…

Running the same event year after year can be challenging, especially after 35 years. It is up to the regatta organizers to listen to their competitors and spectators to be able to continually improve the event as a whole. Currently there are many changes to the racing, logistics and safety rules, all of which were well thought-out with the competitors in mind and the race committee has been putting in additional hours to come up with a variety of options depending on weather. The old adage of quality over quantity still rings true at this one of a kind regatta.

Regatta organizers announced earlier this month that the ever popular Gill Commodore’s Cup would now be open to all regatta participants (except Lottery class). With that in mind and to help accommodate the 200+ entries that the event receives each year, the opening of Registration has been brought forward by a day to Tuesday 3rd March and will run for 2 1/2 days until lunchtime on Thursday.

All of this information, including the new opening hours of Registration, can be found in the Notice of Race which is available via the regatta website www.heinekenregatta.com

For those who take care of their crew’s scheduling, your regatta just got a lot less complicated. Race committee has chosen to keep things simple this year and all starts and finishes will be in one location, Simpson Bay. What does this mean for participants? Simplified logistics! Berthing arrangements as well as hotel reservations just got a lot easier, as crew and vessel can remain at the same location every evening. On Saturday, March 7th, racing will not end in Marigot, French St.Martin like in previous years, rather in Simpson Bay.

There are also new Official Safety Rules that will be implemented on all racing days. These rules can be found on the registration website: https://app.regattaguru.com/heineken/100083/docs

All sailors are urged to download the new Safety Rules and to review them to make sure that you and your boat comply.

The host island, St.Maarten, is known for its diversity in culture and people, and the regatta is no different. Although it is offering diversity in another form, racing! With a continued effort to make racing better, more exciting and competitive, the race committee has confirmed that weather permitting, they might be able to offer two races on Sunday for some classes rather than one, allowing competitors as many racing opportunities as possible. What does this mean for the competitors? If entered in both the Gill Commodore’s Cup and the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta, the potential is there, weather permitting, to complete at least six races over the course of four days!

Now that the sailing logistics have been fine tuned, and safety has been put under the microscope, there is only one thing left to do…Race! So mark your calendars for March 5 to 8, 2015, and prepare yourself for some SERIOUS FUN!

For 35 years, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing-and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment-in the Caribbean. Now recognized by sailors around the planet as one of the sailing world’s best regattas, each year the event lives up to its worthy motto: Serious Fun.

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