BAREBOAT RACING: The perfect blend
Published on March 6th, 2013
THE MOST COMPLETE SAILING EXPERIENCE OF THEIR LIVES
By Kristen Berry, J World Annapolis (MD)
While east coast sailors are preparing this week to dig out of another winter snowstorm, nine J World Annapolis clients are wondering just why they boarded the plane to leave the Caribbean behind.
As part of J World’s winter racing and cruising training programs, two teams competed in the 33rd running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on March 1-3. After finishing 1st and 4th in the 13 boat Bareboat 4 division aboard Moorings 43.4’s, the sting of sleet on sunkissed cheeks might be too much – if not for all the amazing memories.
With only three days of racing scheduled – along with music, parties, sun and fun – the program kicked off with three days of race training, cruising and exploring in St. Barts. Most of the participants in this event came from cruising and daysailing backgrounds and were attracted to the healthy mix of experiences and the allure of some “real racing.”
Tuned up after the St. Barts training, the two teams match raced back to Simpson Bay. Stopping midway at the deserted Isle Fourchue for debriefing, snorkeling and a croissants and cheese lunch – the pace and expectation for this adventure was set.
Three days of close racing (five teams held or shared first place) in incredible conditions, sandwiched between huge concert parties, and delicious crew dinners culminated in a final windy race where four boats had real shots at first place.
The two J World boats battled one another for the pin and rounded the short windward leg in the top four. For the first time, the more than 200 registered boats shared the same race course. Excitement built as Gunboats traded tacks with Bareboats and big boats ducked cruising cats with dinghies on davits. After a long and windy battle J World Two finished more than three minutes ahead of the top pack and secured first place while J World One, finished in a very respectable fourth.
We’ve identified that in order to keep our returning customers happy we have to continue to provide new opportunities for them to learn and experience performance sailing. The Heineken Regatta is a great example of a program that is perfectly tailored to customers that have done our racing and cruising programs and are looking for new challenges or “bucket list” events.
The coolest thing is that we’ve done the Heineken Regatta before. We’ve done it with Grand Prix boats – and we will again – but the response from our clients has been that because we raced and cruised they felt that this was the most complete sailing experience of their lives. Serious fun!
More photos on Facebook
Event website: http://www.heinekenregatta.com