Battle Begins with Gill Commodore’s Cup

Published on March 1st, 2018

St. Maarten (March 1, 2018) – The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta started with a bang today, with 68 of the 100 teams taking to the water for the event’s separately scored Gill Commodore’s Cup.

In light but consistent breeze, Maxi, Ocean Racing, CSA and Bareboat Classes set out on a series of stadium-style racing off Simpson Bay, competing in short around the buoy courses. Taking home the event’s coveted “Most Worthy Yacht” trophy was Sam Talbot and his team racing J/111 Spike, which finished the three races in fiercely competitive CSA 3 Class with straight bullets.

“We were up against a lot of very competitive boats that are well known on the Caribbean circuit, so we were excited with this outcome,” said Talbot whose team – of U.S. and BVI sailors – is probably one of the younger ones competing, with the average age onboard being 30.

The team has its work cut out for them, with heavy hitters such as the likes of U.S. entrants El Ocaso, Touch2Play and Apollo biting at their heels.

“This is my second time racing in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and we are so happy to see such an incredible turnout of competition. We owe today’s win to some great crew work onboard, and will have to stay on our ‘A Game’ for the remaining three days, as we now have a target on our back with the competition.”

Also finishing the day off with bullets was Neil Harvey and Mike Cannon’s Dufour 44 KHS&S Contractors in the event’s highly competitive Bareboat Class. The U.S. team raced with U.S. Paralympic sailor Brad Kendall trimming the main.

“We have an awesome crew sailing with us and the conditions really worked well for the boat today,” said Harvey who has raced in the regatta for the past 15 years and is always a top contender for the win. “We normally race on a different charter boat, but weren’t able to get that one due to the damage from the Hurricane. However, this boat today was incredible and complemented our team beautifully. We are curious to see how we fare as the conditions lighten in the coming days, but regardless we know it will be a fun time.”


Tomorrow, the fleet will embark on the event’s famed 26 nautical mile Around-the Island Race before taking to buoy and coastal races on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4.

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Source: Kirsten Ferguson, Media Pro International


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