The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is ready to welcome back another expansive and international fleet to race the waters surrounding the island for the 42nd edition, hosted March 3-6, 2022. From local 24-ft mono- and multi-hull racers to international Maxis, the competition is guaranteed to be fierce!
Leopard 3 aims to be king of the Maxi fleet, coming in at a roaring 100-ft, and guest skippered by Volvo Ocean Race legend Bouwe Bekking. Another beautiful Maxi will be gracing the Caribbean, co-founder of 11th Hour Racing, Wendy Schmidt’s new Botin 85 Deep Blue will make its St. Maarten Heineken Regatta debut.
On the other end of the spectrum, a collection of Diam 24s will rival the long-standing local rivalries between Melges in the sportboat classes. The Diam 24s take the sportboat One Design concept into the multihull class, with easy access and expanding fleets of these pocket performance trimarans in France, US and the Caribbean. The island is home to its own fleet of Diam 24s, which enjoy weekly racing, and are looking to welcome fellow owners to St. Maarten Heineken Regatta with two Diam 24s available for charter.
“It feels great to be back in action! We just hosted another successful edition of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge with an international fleet this past weekend at Sint Maarten Yacht Club — which was a perfect warm up for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta next month,” said Michele Korteweg, Director of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and Sint Maarten Yacht Club.
“The momentum continues… Our local race scene has exploded, from the growing Diam 24 fleet to our record youth sailing programs. The return of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will have something for every kind of racer; and we look forward to hosting a robust fleet of international and Caribbean boats of all shapes and sizes.”
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Race Committee is certainly committed to serving all racers — big and small. As the first Caribbean regatta to host race classes and courses specifically for Ocean Racing yachts, which favor long reaches, RC has strategically designed a coursebook that complements the expansive fleet. A new Caribbean Youth Keelboat class will further ensure more access and opportunity at all levels. Racecourses and classes will be announced in advance and adjusted to accommodate any late entries.
“We will start all classes in Simpson Bay, then the fleet will split on a variety of courses around the island. There will be plenty of offsets and long reaches to create dynamic courses that highlight the island’s spectacular coastline.” shares Race Director Mark Townsend. Full regatta details can be found in the NOR at heinekenregatta.com.
A few things will be different for this year’s event, with shoreside activities adapted for health protocols to ensure teams are having “Safe and ‘Serious Fun!’”. The Registration process will be streamlined with Crew information collected via online survey in advance. On Wednesday, March 2, teams will provide proof of COVID vaccine or a negative test at registration, and will receive Heineken Green wristbands — serving as a “go” health pass for the Race Village and ‘Green’-zone bars and restaurants around the island. Organizers decided not to host any concerts for the 2022 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, as a result of the recent peak in COVID cases worldwide.
Post-race hospitality will be hosted at race sponsor Yacht Club Port de Plaisance (PDP), where competing teams can gather each day for prize giving, light entertainment, cold Heineken beers, and island food favorites. Dockside delivery and VIP services will provide all competitors at PDP a special post-race social experience. A docking discount for registered teams is being offered by Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
If you haven’t secured a boat yet, there are still a few opportunities to race in this year’s St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Team charters are available via sail operators, such as Ocean Racers’ Pogo 12.50, EH01 with Global Yacht Racing, and a selection of performance racers with LV Yachting. Charter operators can provide logistical support, as well as training and coaching for teams to get the most out of the Regatta.