That Caribbean Regattas can pull in the big names of ocean racing is a testament to the quality of these events. Some regattas have fallen by the wayside, yet the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta seems to get stronger every year.
There’s fierce competition when it comes to attracting quality boats and the ‘rock star’ sailors that go with them. Over the years the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has seen the likes of Roy Disney’s Pyewacket and Hasso Platner’s Morning Glory, then revolutionary canting-keel boats that set the regatta on fire. Record breaking yachtsman and pilot Steve Fossett brought the maxi catamaran PlayStation to the regatta and where Fossett went, the international yachting press followed. Mike Sanderson, fresh from his victory in the 2005 – 2006 Volvo Ocean Race, wowed the fleet with ABN AMRO ONE and made off with the silverware. Tom and Dotty Hill return year after year with their latest Titon. The list goes on.
How does St. Maarten keep on attracting the best? The answer is innovation, a constant search for improvements and a willingness to try something new even if there’s a risk. This year the race committee came up with a workable plan to make late course changes due to unusual weather.
Highlights of the 2011 Heineken Regatta, the 31st edition of this legendary sailing event.