This year's St Maarten Heineken regatta attracted plenty of competitors and spectators with 18-20 knots of tradewinds every day and a generous dose of winter sun.

The most well attended of all the Caribbean regattas, the St Maarten Heineken regatta boasts a wide variety of competitors as well as a big spectator fleet, in terms of number of boats and just how big those boats are. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the full gallery of great photos!

The maxi class racing yachts were made to look small up against some of the giant powerboats inside and outside of the lagoon at Simpson’s Bay, and the mighty dynarigged giant, Maltese Falcon, anchored off outside the lagoon, is a regular at the St Maarten Heineken regatta – a jaw-dropping sight to any newcomers to the event; just part of the scenery for everyone else!

The 100-strong race committee based out of the St Maarten Yacht Club, Simpson’s Bay Lagoon, works year-round to organise this, the largest warm-water regatta in the world, according to Race Director, Paul Miller.

“This is a very substantial regatta with four committee boats and a full international jury,” Miller commented. “Organising it is an honour and a privilege and seeing it come off as well as it has this year makes me very proud of this wonderful team.”

The final tally of competitors was 164 this year, down from last year due to the lack of a beach cat fleet. “The weather for the event itself was lovely,” said Miller, “but in the days leading up to the regatta the winds were too strong for the beach cats to arrive.”

The fleet was divided into 18 classes, some of which were doing three races per day. One race in the bareboat class had to be discarded when a mark went missing off the course, but overall there were very few problems on the racecourse. “One of the smoothest events I’ve been to,” remarked Miller.

For the full results, see

View from onboard maxi class yacht Muzuni. Photo Laurens Morel

Former Puma Il Mostro – the Volvo Open 70 SFS broke the round-St-Maarten monohull record. Photo Laurens Morel

Fujin – a one-off Bieker 53 design and fastest offshore multihull. Photo Tim Wright

The outrageously fast Open 750 Panic Attack – Photo Laurens Morel

Close quarters maxi class racing – Photo Laurens Morel

More spectators arriving for the event – Photo Laurens Morel

The huge rig of Maltese Falcon overseeing events – Photo Laurens Morel

A motoryacht in the background enjoying the sights and sounds of the regatta – Photo Laurens Morel

Muzuni – Photo Tim Wright

Sapphire – Photo Tim Wright

Spectators galore – Photo Laurens Morel

Sean Carrol’s modified Sea Cart 30 – Photo Laurens Morel

Team Sail SXM in the Melges 24 class – Photo Laurens Morel

Riding the rail in the Melges 24 fleet – Photo Laurens Morel

The smallest, most uninterested observer… Photo Laurens Morel