It may be blowing dogs off chains elsewhere in the world...

But not in St Maarten for the last day of the Heineken regatta reports a sun drenched, rum soaked Dick Johnson

Sunday March 9th 2003, Author: Dick Johnson, Location: Caribbean
More blue sky, wind north east at 15 knots, warm water, little white fluffy clouds, stinking hangover from the previous night's ravin' on the Waterfront at Marigot to Onyon and Holland's Intwine: It must be St Maarten and it must be the 23rd Heineken Regatta.

One great thing about St Maarten's three day regatta format is that you can just about - if you are little younger than your reporter - race your ears off all day and party all night for the whole three days, and still be able to be poured aboard the 'plane home on Monday. What you will be like back at work on Wednesday, however, is anybody's guess.

But I suggest that, if you try it next year, and you should, you should go into serious training. Your musculature needs honing to the normally accepted athletic standards for sailing, as the winds are always moderate to fresh, but most of all, the liver needs careful nurturing to the normally accepted standards of the trainee dipsomaniac, as the partying is always storm to hurricane force.

Of course the bareboat classes, the major partying classes, are given the longest recovery time each morning, with Bareboat 1 starting after 10 am. Today, like every other day, Bareboat 1 came to the line with the enthusiasm of Labrador puppies and about the same knowledge of the racing rules. The classic barging start - from outside the Committee boat on a reach - is apparently the generally accepted form of start in Bareboat 1 and I have to offer my sincere congratulations to Mr Jaap Koomen for the best example of the genre that I have ever seen. He came in at speed with his crew yelling for the other boats to get out of the way. And they did!

At the end of the race Dougie Brookes slotted in another win with Island Flyer which gives him two wins and a 2nd - and the coveted overall prize. Our friends in Heart for Kids dropped back from the dizzy heights of a 13th yesterday to their regular 17th - they did that Friday too. But despite their position, they were still happily raising money for the local hospital and anyone who wants to contribute can email them at heartforkids2003@hotmail.com

Pin end starts were the order of the day as for a change the committee had biased the line that way, and a good example came from Coor van Aanholt at the helm of the Melges 24 Slam in Spinnaker 5. Slam crossed the fleet and ran away into the distance, winning by almost 12 minutes. She won by over 11 minutes on corrected time from Jamie Dobbs' Lost Horizon and trousered the class overall.

Another port tack starter was Claude Thelier in the pocket rocket in Multihull 1, the CDK28 catamaran An Nou Ay. They crossed the fleet with masses of room - even with PlayStation coming down the line on starboard at speed. The Newick 36 tri Tryst was overtaken to leeward by PlayStation, and for a moment it looked as though Steve Fossett was playing with a little red bath toy alongside his big cat.

Bharlin Blue has been having a good regatta and today put the icing on the cake with a charging start and an even better win. That put her on top of Spinnaker 2 overall too by just one point from Alex Thomson at the helm of Formula 1 Sailing's Spirit of Juno. Early class leader, Justin Heap's Tazani, had to count a retirement yesterday afternoon, which ruined her chances overall, despite a 2nd today.

Throughout the week the Turner 56 Entrada, sailed by John Thompson from Canage has been attracting attention, if only for the fact that they seem to sail with just four crew - unless there's a crowd below that come on deck when they are out of sight of the press. Racing in Non-Spinnaker class 1, Entrada has had a bit of an up and down regatta in terms of results, but won on the first and last days, though their poor mid day result gave them only 3rd overall.

Local wonderboat Synergy, a Frers 49 resurrected from a hurricane wreck by Carl Vaughan at his St Maarten Shipyard, sneaked in another win in Spinnaker 3, giving them a 1, 2, 1, 1, series and, unsurprisingly the overall title.

Pity poor Peter von Danzig, she recorded an OCS on the first race yesterday, dropping them to 6th overall when they might have recorded 2nd. The French Open 50 ketch from Martinique, Florys, under the command of Luc Coquelin, is not entirely suited to this round the buoys racing, she looked as though she was always about to fall over every time she essayed a windward leg, but put together a reasonable series to finish 5th overall.

Richard Matthews must leapt out of bed with a light heart this morning, thinking that he was only a race away from a class win in his 50 footer Flirt. But as is always the case in sailing, it ain't over 'till the fat lady sings and this time the song she sung was for Graham Smith's Vellamo 2.

Vellamo 2, a Swan 56, held out Carlo Falcone's Caccia Alla Volpe, Jean-Marie
Vidal's IMX 40 Near Miss and Flirt today, dropping the British boat to 2nd overall, two points behind Vellamo 2 and two ahead of Caccia.

A slightly more convincing win was in Spinnaker 6, where Tony Maidment's Dehler 34 Tango Mike posted another win to add to her tally of three, a clean sheet marred only by a 2nd on the first day. Interestingly, Tony is a CSA measurer and measurers always have an eye for a fast sailing and faster rating boat; the Dehler is clearly that. Visitor ARC-Belgium, Diederik Demesel led Tango Mike home on the water, but slipped to 2nd by 2 minutes, though held on to 2nd overall by just a point from Phillipe Herve's Beneteau 30 Vanille.

Yesterday, we reported a protest between two top boats in Bareboat 2, Kipling and Brinks Movin' Money, a protest that resulted in a slightly less than happy Kipling adding a DSQ to their tally. Today, still spitting tacks in all directions, they won their class by three minutes on the water and by almost six on corrected time, a result that availed them little overall.

Mark Duranty has been conducting the Beneteau 460 Carnival around the course to great effect, getting a five minute win today in Bareboat 3, a win that almost but not quite got them the overall prize in the Bareboat class. This prize, on cumulative corrected time, went to Jan Soderberg in Lofoten 1 from Bareboat 4, but interestingly, all three of the top boats were sailed by sailors from the USA, despite being outnumbered to a vest scale by the Dutch.

International relations between Antigua and St Maarten might plunge to almost USA/Iraq levels in the near future thanks to Hugh Bailey winning the battle of the marina owners between himself and Bobby Velasquez. Bobby, from St Maarten, won today in L'Esperance, with Hugh 2nd ahead of his Antigua playmate Bernie Evan-Wong in Huey Too, but Hugh's previous wins gave him the overall win. Bobby shouldn't be too upset though, his new boat seems to be going well and his skills, and those of his crew, seem to be getting better too. Just don't wait until the first day of the regatta in 2003 to go sailing for the next time Bobby.

As just one final footnote to the regatta, Steve Fossett agreed to have an attempt on a proper round the island record after today's racing. A special line was set up as a transit due south from Pelican Rock, on the east side of Great Bay. PlayStation wound up for the run after lunch and shot off into the distance. Two hours, 4 minutes and 36 seconds later she crossed the line again, not quite breaking the two hour barrier thanks to the dying wind down the east coast. It's there for the taking if anyone else fancies a go.

So to the finale of the regatta, the prize giving and tonight's party, is all that remains before some 2,000 and more sailors, and hundreds more friends and family, go back to their normal lives, left with just a glowing memory of a great regatta sailed in a fine spirit - and an even finer beer.

Tonight's headline band is Carlos Santana's backing band, Puro Bandido, keenly awaited by just about the whole Island population it seems. The venue is the new cruise ship pier at the eastern end of Great Bay. There are still thousands of cans of Heineken waiting to be consumed and just as many tall tales to be told before the curtain finally comes down on a great regatta.

See you next year?

You betcha!



Results Sunday's racing Provisional

Multihull 1

1, An Nou Ay, Claude Thelier GDP
2, Triple Jack, Richard Wooldridge, TOR
3, Charis +, llwellyn Westerman, SCX

Spinnaker 1

1, Sotto Voce II, Arien van Vemde, SXM
2, Chippewa, Clay Deutsch, USA
3, Mischevous, Trey Fitzgibbons, USA

Spinnaker 2

1, Bharlin Blue, Kees Jan Kuyt, NED
2, Tazani, Justin Heap, GBR
3, www.dutchsailingteam.com, Denise Caffari, GBR

Spinnaker 3

1, Synergy, Carl Vaughan, SXM
2, Peter von Danzig, Joachim Muller-Deile, GER
3, Igoodia, Milt Baehr, USA

Spinnaker 4

1, Vellamo 2, Graham Smith, USA
2, Caccia alla Volpe, Carlo Falcone, ANT
3, Near Miss, Jean-Marie Vidal, FRA

Spinnaker 5

1, Slam, David de Vries, SXM
2, Lost Horizon II, James Dobbs, USV
3, Wild at Heart, Heiko Godel, GER

Spinnaker 6

1, Tango Mike, Tony Maidment, ANT
2, ARC-Belgium, Diederik, BEL
3, J Doe, Cynthia Ross, USA

Non Spinnaker 1

1, Entrada, John Thompson, CAN
2, Island Water World Express, Ina Martin, SXM
3, Perseverance II, Tom Puett, USA

Non Spinnaker 2

1, L'Esperance, Bobby Velasquez, SXM
2, Hugo, Hugh Bailey, ANT
3, Huey Too, Bernie Evan-Wong, ANT

Bareboat 1

1, Island Flyer, Douggie Brookes, SXM
2, The Arawaks, Michel Schaymaker, NED
3, Gamepoint, Frank van Kempen, NED

Bareboat 2

1, Kipling, Walter Freyne, BEL
2, Panorama Golf, Lex van der Velde, ESP
3, Brinks Movin' Money, Joop van Werkhoven, NED

Bareboat 3

1, Carnival, Mark Duranty, USA
2, Inn Harmony, Henrik van der Lip, USA
3, De Heeren II, D. van der Pluym, NED

Bareboat 4

1, Lofoten 1, Jan Soderberg, USA
2, Noname, Jan Arts, NED
3, Dulon, Gerard Loos, NED

Bareboat 5

1, Prebon Yamane 1, Patrick Clous, NED
2, Apalachicola, Douwe Remery, NED
3, Mapa, Leo Ligthart, SXM

Open Class

1, Tamaya, Franck Berger, STM
2, Blue Spirit, Cameron Ricks, SXM
3, Dnjepr, Jan Harkes, NED

Multihull 2

1, Calabra, Maurice Flowers, IRL
2, Valpar, Jean Laval, GDP
3, Palm Palm, Jean-Francois Monnier, STM



Series results

Multihull 1

1, An Nou Ay, Claude Thelier, GDP
2, Triple Jack, Richard Wooldridge, TOR
3, Charis +, Llewllyn Westerman, SXC

Spinnaker 1

1, Sotto Voce II, Arien van Vemde, SXM
2, Chippewa, Clay Deutsch, USA
3, Mischevous, Trey Fitzgibbons, USA

Spinnaker 2

1, Bharlin Blue, Kees Jan Kuyt, NED
2, Spirit of Juno, Alex Thomson, GBR
3, Tazani, Justin Heap, USA

Spinnaker 3

1, Synergy, Carl Vaughan, SXM
2, Igoodia, Milt Baehr, USA
3, L'Escape, Sigbjorn Mansaker, GBR

Spinnaker 4

1, Vellamo 2, Graham Smith, USA
2, Flirt, Richard Matthews, GBR
3, Caccia alla Volpe, Carlo Falcone, ANT

Spinnaker 5

1, Slam, David de Vries, SXM
2, Lost Horizon II, James Dobbs, USV
3, 2 Contact Carib 2, Frits Bus, SXM

Spinnaker 6

1, Tango Mike, Tony Maidment, ANT
2, ARC-Belgium, Diederik Demesel, BEL
3, Vanille, Phillipe Herve, FRA

Non Spinnaker 1

1, Island Water World Express, Ian Martin, SXM
2, Yocahu, Jeffery Rose, USA
3, Entrada, John Thompson, CAN


Non Spinnaker 2

1, Hugo, Hugh Bailey, ANT
2, L'Esperance, Bobby Velasquez, SXM
3, Huey Too, Bernie Evan-Wong, ANT

Bareboat classes overall

1, Lofoten 1, Jan Soderberg, USA
2, Carnival, Mark Duranty, USA
3, Inn Harmony, Henerik van der Lip, USA

Bareboat 1
1, Island Flyer, Douggie Brookes, SXM
2, Gamepoint, Frank van Kempen, NED
3, The Arawaks, Michel Schaymaker, NED

Bareboat 2

1, Brinks Movin' Money, Joop Werkhoven, NED
2, Panorama Golf, Lex van der Velde, NED
3, Mill. Sail Team Roden, Bert Oosterling, NED

Bareboat 3

1, Carnival, Mark Duranty, USA
2, Inn Harmony, Henrik van der Lip, NED
3, Novair, Eric Goedel, NED

Bareboat 4,

1, Lofoten 1, Jan Soderberg, USA
2, Dulon, Gerard Loos, NED
3, Noname, Jan Arts, NED

Bareboat 5,

1, Apalachicola, Douwe Remery, NED
2, Zeilen, Jan Mulder, NED
3, Mapa, Leo Ligthart, SXM

Open

1, Tamaya, Franck Berger, STM
2, Little Wing, Luc Godefroy, STM
3, Zeebra, V J Donraadt, NED

Multihull 2

1, Calabra, Maurice Flowers, IRL
2, Palm Palm, Jean-Francois Monnier, STM
3, Valpar, Jean Laval, GDP

Spirit and Style Award

Heart for Kids, Jeroen Meyerling, NED (For raising money for St Maarten
Hospital)

Most Worthy Performance Overall

Lofoten 1, Jan Soderberg, USA

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Tags

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top