The 2023 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta attracted 95 teams across 14 classes for racing on March 2-5. The 43rd edition featured random leg and around-the-island courses for a fleet that ranged from VO 70s to Melges 24s to an assortment of bareboat charter boats. The Sint Maarten Yacht Club also had six identical RS Zests raced by young talent from the junior sailing program.
Getting sailing teams together for high quality racing during the cold winter months up North is often named as the main attraction of attending the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. This year saw an increase in Canadian teams, with two bareboats independently chartered by members of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
For others, what looks like a fun-filled week of regatta sailing in the sun is actually work. Heineken has entered an all-female team of employees in the regatta for 25 years, with this year’s crew from Heineken’s offices in Australia, the US, and the Netherlands. The chartered bareboat is always named Something Hot and tactician Maxine Burgers, revenue manager with Heineken, says the company recognizes that having staff racing together helps them develop their skills with teamwork and encourages female empowerment.
The final day’s racing saw many fleets battling for points to earn their place on the podium of the massive Heineken prize giving stage.
In CSA Class 1, despite Wind Whisper pulling two bullets from the day’s racing, it was I Love Poland who emerged first overall in this hotly-contested fleet.
In CSA 2, with just a few points between them all, it was a final bullet in the last race which gave Hooligan first overall in this class, with Privateer coming second overall and Final Final’s consistency giving them third place.
Also enjoying one final race, CSA 3 gave spectators one last chance to enjoy Flying Jenny’s spectacular spinnaker featuring a gorgeous image of owner Sandra Askew’s mother, Jenny. But it was the team on board Lazy Dog who pulled all the stops out to get a final bullet, with Team Island Water World second and Flying Jenny third overall.
With only four races to count in CSA Class 4, Fatjax maintained the first position overall with Ossiana second and Axonite third. For full results and news about the 2024 event visit the race website at www.heinekenregatta.com