The final day and overall results
Sunday, the final day at the St Maarten Heineken Regatta, turned out to be the classic Caribbean day: 15-18 knots with the occasional gust, blue skies reflected in the blue sea and the occasional fluffy white cloud to add a little contrast. The race was to be from Marigot, still reeling under the onslaught of last night’s party, a scenic tour of the Anguilla channel and then round the corner again past the end of the airport’s runway, finally coming to the finish in Simpson’s Bay from a mark up by Phillipsburg.
Spinnaker 1 came to the line with Morning Glory leading, clearly wanting to claim the pin end. She bore off along the transit with Titan 12 astern and as the clock ticked down, these two took the start, Rosebud too well placed. Pyewacket was left floundering, buried in the pack at the committee boat end – if you can bury a boat that has a mast so tall. Chippewa had yet another excellent start, on top of Pyewacket.
After two minutes Morning Glory tacked and Hasso Plattner at the wheel must have been pleased to see that he was going to cross Pyewacket by about three boat lengths. Pyewacket and Titan 12 stayed on starboard heading offshore, while Morning Glory followed standard local knowledge and went inshore to pick up the lift there just north of Marigot. Morning Glory led Pyewacket and Titan 12 from then on, coming back under spinnaker, gybing down the Anguilla Channel, just an hour after the start.
Observers might have seen the two Z86s about 500m apart, doing probably 15 knots, Titan 12 well back about another 1000m, but between Pyewacket and Titan 12 was a flash of green, the sails of CNS Tiger, a Hobie Tiger from the Beachcat class, sailed by Franc Valentin and his crew. Franc’s boat probably cost him the same in thousands as the Z86s cost in millions and they were flying!
Not surprisingly Morning Glory won on the water and by three minutes and 20 seconds from – Rosebud the very quick TP52, this is clearly a breakthrough boat – or is the handicap helping?
Next came Titan 12; Tom Hill peeping over the wheel with a big grin on his face as he had triumphed over Pyewacket again, this time by 45 seconds or so.
And, for the record, Franc Valentin won the Beachcat class by almost ten minutes.
Overall in Spinnaker 1, the big winner was Hasso Plattner in Morning Glory, from Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud and Pyewacket, despite Roy Disney’s absence in 3rd by a point from Titan 12.
A depleted multihull class came to their start, three mast breakages having taken it’s toll of the division. The little Newick 36 Tryst, sailing with an old mainsail after their fancy racing one succumbed to the windy first day, was having a good first leg inshore, though the bigger boats in the class, Rocketeer and Profligate were doing their thing further offshore. At the end though, the very fast Free Air Racing Team from St Croix, better known as Charis T, was second to Triple Jack, with Tryst in 3rd.
Overall it was a Caribbean clean-up in the Multihull racing class, with Triple Jack from Tortola winning, Free Air Racing team from St Croix in 2nd and Tryst from St maarten in 3rd.
Partying hard seems to suit the – how shall we put this? – mature crew of the Swan 45OD Vim. At breakfast on the Waterfront in Marigot they were discussing their dancing exploits at the previous night’s party and drinking copious quantities of black coffee. Then on the racecourse they lifted themselves off the bottom of the pack to finish over a minute ahead of Storm who finished second on the water to Flirt, but ended up on the bottom of the pile. Winner was Plenty with Bandit 2nd, a familiar paring. Flirt was 3rd. Another breakfaster, Andy Beadsworth from Flirt, was not so happy with the boat’s placings, but was very happy with the regatta, its organisation and the parties. He admitted to not partying too hard so far, well he is working here as a professional tactician after all, but threatened to cut loose on the last evening. Overall Flirt was 3rd, Bandit 2nd, Plenty 1st – hardly surprising.
For once, White Wings, the classic shaped W72 belonging to Donald Tofias sailing in Spinnaker 2, had a cracking start. She port tacked the fleet – which it has to be said were a little tardy – and headed inshore in fine style, looking lovely in the sunshine. But as usual, she came out less glamourously after the WinScore program had done it’s stuff, only beating Gabor Bona’s crew of happy Hungarians in the Javelin 57 Extra Dry. Unsurprisingly, Robert Mulderig’s Starr Trail took the class overall with straight bullets. With the leaders in Spinnaker 4 tied on points, it was all to play for today. Milt Baehr’s Igoodia and Bill Jacobson’s Vanish were equal on 6 points and both managed shockers of starts. Vanish was late at the pin end, while Igoodia was buried at the Committee boat. But, being the big boat in the class, Igoodia was able to dig herself out and go on to win. Vanish almost did that in the pack, coming 8th and dumping her overall position from equal first to 3rd behind Disco Inferno in 2nd, Igoodia on top.
In Spinnaker 5 and 6 it was change for one and more of the same for an other. In 5, Budget Marine, sailed by Tony Maidment and crewed by Antiguan locals and yachting business workers – including Jess , who I promised I’d mention – plummeted from the top to finish 5th, but still Bernie Evan Wong couldn’t win, the lead being taken by Finn, Diederik Demesel. In Class 6, it was more of the same as Tim Kimpton’s Guardian Star came home in front by minutes. They even won yesterday after their main halyard broke and they sailed the last half of the last leg under headsail only. That’s Trinis for you. Expect to see tham all face down on the beach later.
St Maarten’s annual inter-island war between Antigua’s Hugh Bailey and local man Bobby Velasquez was fought to a standstill again – and with the same outcome. Antigua 3, St Maarten 0. Bobby had a good start today, leading Hugh off the line well ahead of the rest of the class, and trying to keep a close cover on his opponent. But once the troops went over the top, Antigua’s heavy artillery went into action and despite a valiant rearguard action, Velasquez’ troops were overrun, losing by 53 seconds. As usual, both these boats came in over 15 minutes before the 3rd placer. Amazing how a little competition gives you an edge. You can guess the overall top two for yourself, Kent Richards’ romantically named Elevator Service filled the remaining podium position.
In the Open class the final race was won by St Nik, Phil Frosts Bavaria 40 with SamSam another 40 in 3rd, but overall, thanks to the handicap trickery, the overall winner was Nick Malley’s Pumpkin, a C&C 27, with Goeie Mie, Tom Deegenaars Beneteau 43.5 in 2nd and Piet Postma sailing a Van der Stadt 418 in 3rd. The whole idea of this class is just a bit of sailing fun, with no stress.
Competition in the Bareboat classes has been intense throughout the regatta. Bareboat 1 piled in to the start on the last day in a fashion that had hardened race officers closing their eyes and bracing themselves for the crunch – which never came. The class was won in three straight races by Douggie Brookes, but the charity collectors, Heart For Kids, who support the local Orphanage took a well deserved 2nd.
In Bareboat 2 the top places have been handed back and forth between three boats, and eventually it was Team Teerenstra who triumphed over Easy Tiger and Nirvana.
In Bareboat 5, the competition has been so tight that the Most Worthy Performance of the regatta award went to the winner, Hans-Joachim Richter sailing Vague a l’ame. This award is made by the organisers not on a scoring basis, but by examining the class results to see who has won the toughest class in which to compete. In Bareboat 5, there was only minutes from front to back of a 17 boat division.
As the competitors begin to leave St Maarten for home, the organisation is already planning next year, the 25th anniversary of this great regatta that has grown from a handful of local boats into one of the top International regattas. St Maarten hosts boats as diverse as the Z79 maxis and live-aboard cruisers and next year the plan is for more boats, more people, more variety and more serious fun.
Most Worthy performance
Vague a l’ame, Hans-Joachim Richter, GER
1. Morning Glory, Dr Hasso Plattner, GER
2. Rosebud, Roger Sturgeon, USA
3. Pyewacket, Roy Disney, USA
Caribbean Big Boat Series Racing
1. Morning Glory, Hasso Plattner, GER
2. Pyewacket, Roy Disney, USA
3, Titan 12, Tom Hill, PUR
1. Starr Trail, Robert Mulderigg, USA
2. Dutch Sailing Team, Formula 1 Sailing, NED
3. White Wings, Donald Tofias, USA
Caribbean Big Boat Series Racer/Cruising
1. Starr Trail, Robert Mulderigg, USA
2. Spirit of Minerva, Formula 1 Sailing, GBR
3. Spirit of Isis, Formula 1 Sailing, GBR
1. Plenty, Alex Roepers, USA
2. Bandit, Andrew Fisher, USA
3. Flirt, Richard Matthews, GBR
1. Igoodia, Milt Baehe, USA
2. Disco Inferno, Matt Abbott, GBR
3. Vanish, Bill Jacobson, USA
1. Budget Marine, Tony Maidment, ANT
2. Huey Too, Bernie Evan Wong, ANT
3. Vanille, Phillipe Herve, FRA
1. Guardian Star, Tim Kimpton, TRI
2. Lost Horizon, Jamie Dobbs, ANT
3. EIB-Marina bas du Fort, Sylvain Homo, GDP
Non Spinnaker 1
1. Volador, Bill Higgenson, USA
2. Yocahu, Jeffrey Rose, USA
3. Island Water World, Ian Martin, SXM
Non Spinnaker 2
1. Hugo, Hugh Bailey, ANT
2. L’Esperance, Bobby Velasquez, SXM
3. Elevator Service, Kent Richards, SXM
1. Island Flyer, Douggie Brooks, SXM
2. Heart for Kids, Warden Hoffman et al, NED
3. Double Dutch Sailing Team, Ronald Lutjten, NED
1. Team Teerenstra, D.J. Kluft, NED
2. Easy Tiger, Daniel Walsh, USA
3. Nirvana, Francois Brassard, CAN
1. BVI Yacht Charters, Mark Durnanty, USA
2. Guadeloupe Sailing Team, Phillipe Quere, GDP
3. Wishing Star, Chris Godehart, SXM
1. DiffManagement.com, Erik den Burger, NED
2. Sea Biscuit, Pat Nolan, TOR
3. SG Aschaffenburg, Peter Sommer, GER
1. Vague a l’ame, Hans-Joachim Richter, GER
2. Approache Spanish 3, Antonio Escribano, ESP
3. Foxy 2, Bob Smitts, NED
1. Boudoux, Malcolm Brown, USA
2. Mexx, Natasja Sesink, NED
3. Cybele, Scott Lorette, USA
BVI Yacht Charters, Mark Durnanty, USA
1. Ma Poule, J Trauadel, FRA
2. Fantastic Lady, Dominique Mouillac, NED
3. Mighty Oak, Dominique, Chene, NED
1. Triple Jack, Richard Wooldridge, TOR
2. Free Air Racing Team, Lyewellyn Westerman, SCX
3. Tryst, Patrick Turner, STM
12 Metre Exhibition
1. Stars and Stripes 87, Travis McGary, SXM
2. True North IV, Charlotte Franquette, SXM
3. True North, Ernst Light, SXM
1. Quicksilver Eye Wear, Pascal Marchais, GDP
2. CNS TIger, Tibo Vauchel, STM
3. Krahe, Birgit Krahe, St Maarten
1. Pumpkin, Nick Maley, ANT
2. Goeie Mie, Tom Deegenaars, NED
3. Aeson, Piet Postma, NED