St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Worthy performances on final day

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The final day of the 31st St. Maarten Heineken Regatta was one to remember, starting early on Sunday morning with a full slate of racing and ending very early Monday morning after a Prize-Giving ceremony on Kim Sha Beach and an epic line-up of musical entertainment headlined by Wyclef Jean, the ex-Fugees front man whose four hour performance was simply one for the ages. In other words, it was just another one of your basic St. Maarten Heineken Regattas.

Between the first starting gun at 10:30 a.m. and Wyclef Jean’s last set some 15 hours later, the final race of the three-day series was conducted and awards were presented to the first-, second- and third-place boats in each division. The regatta’s steering chairman, Robbie Ferron, did his usual fine job hosting the proceedings with help from a host of local politicians and dignitaries.

The evening’s top prize—the St. Maarten Cup—for the regatta’s Most Worthy Performance Overall went to Mark Plaxton’s Melges 32, Team Intac, a BVI entrant with an all-star island crew that included Peter Holmberg, Maurice Burg, Ben Beer, among many other fine local sailors. Team Intac also won the Caribserve-NTG Cup for Most Worthy Performance during Friday’s racing.

The Heineken Cup for Most Worthy Performance on Saturday was presented to Marieke Poulie’s Sun Odyssey 44, Something Hot, in the Bareboat three class. Something Hot also received the Goldendog Cup for the team’s contribution to charity, a goal for many individual yachts that compete during the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Another Bareboat, Eggbert Schuett’s Team Hamburg, racing in Bareboat 1, was the Most Worthy Performer on Sunday. The Overall Bareboat winner was KH+P Sea You Later, Hans Robert Nitsche’s Dufour 455.

The Panama Jack Cup for Fastest Multihull Around the Island on Friday’s opening race was the impressive Seacart 30, Blanca. The Fastest Monohull (Spinnaker classes) was the blazing quick Dubois 90, Genuine Risk.

J/Boats are always well represented at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and the award for Best 'J' was accepted by Tanner Jones, the skipper of the Antiguan-based J/30, Blue Peter. Likewise, there’s always a marvelous contingent of regal Swans at the event, and the best in the fleet for 2011 was the winner of CSA 1C, Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 82, Team Selene.

You don’t need to bring your own boat to the Heineken, by the way, participate in the action. You can charter a berth on the small fleet of 'Head Boats' that enter the regatta on an annual basis. The best of that bunch for 2011 was a Beneteau First 50, the winner of CSA Four, Philippe Falle’s Hydrocarbon Logic.

Finally, the tongue-in-cheek prize for the Most Unworthy Performance was presented by none other than Captain Morgan, the iconic pirate representing the distinctive spicy rum. The Captain Morgan Cup was given to The Wind Gods, whose fluky, spotty breeze was most uncharacteristic for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Perhaps embarrassed by their performance, or lack thereof, none of the Gods turned up to accept the prize.

Next year, they’ll have a chance to make amends, when the Thirty-Second annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will take place from March First through the Fourth, 2012. It’s never too early to start planning!

St Maarten Heineken Regatta