Match racing in the Caribbean

The latest addition to 2009 Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta

Monday October 13th 2008, Author: Heather Tackling, Location: United Kingdom
The Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta will, for the first time in the history of Caribbean Regattas, run a match racing event just before the actual 2009 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and offer prize money to the winners.

This event will be sponsored by Budget Marine who has been supporting the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta since its inception in a host of different forms, including pioneering the Commodores’ Cup. According to Budget Marine founder, Robbie Ferron, “Sponsoring Match Racing is a great opportunity for Budget Marine to promote new and exciting forms of racing to the Caribbean”.

The Budget Marine Match Racing Cup will look to take advantage of the presence of the many top-level sailors that are so often present to crew the magnificent big boats that participate in the Heineken Regatta. These top sailors will have the opportunity to win the $5,000 USD first prize by coming a few days early. The rest of the crews and the early arrivers will have the opportunity to see some of the top world sailors in tight action very close to where the majority of the fleet will be anchored.

The race takes place in Jeanneau 20 boats with three man crew in the Simpson Bay lagoon. This will make it possible for the early arrivals and the boat crews to watch the racing from their dinghies and see world renowned yachtsmen like Peter Holmberg in action. The match racing will be open to 6 teams on an invitation basis. Interested persons with match racing experience are asked to request an invitation from the Regatta Organization at director@heinekenregatta.com.

The event takes place on Tuesday 3 March 2009. On Wednesday and Thursday there is General Registration, and on Tuesday March 3rd there will be early registration for those participating in the Commodores Cup, the one day only pre event for the Heineken Regatta only for spinnaker boats which takes place in a windward leeward format. On Friday March 6th the first race of the three day St.Maarten Heineken Regatta starts with the traditional around the island race.

The addition of the match racing means that the Heineken Regatta now encompasses a range of sailing that spreads from the most intense and aggressive match racing on the one end of the spectrum to the laid back “Open Class” where casino-like rating allocation complements real racing skill.

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