The penultimate day of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

The penultimate day of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta brought on the breeze and some serious action on the water. When you see reefed mainsails throughout the fleet during the starting sequence, you know the day is going to be a big one!

On the first downwind leg for CSA 6 & 7, a couple of bright red kites got redlined; one decapitated and the other a relatively clean halyard blow. These losses translated into wins for competitive teams, who turned the others’ misfortune into their fortune as they forged ahead in heavy breeze.

In CSA 7, J111 Spike’s spinnaker burst caused them to take 5th place and drop down to third place overall, which let J122 Liquid slide into first place in the current standings. Team L’Esperance took a first in CSA 6 Race 1 today, despite having their own spinnaker malfunctions, as close competitor Rebel lost a kite and was also racing on only a jib for a bit themselves.

Gear losses usually means that teams are pushing the limits, which ultimately shows there is some tough competition out there. Team Liquid reports seeing gusts of up to 30 knots today and they may regret leaving their smaller kites back at home in Antigua. Tomorrow is forecasted to be even bigger breeze and swells overall — lows of 20 knots and highs of 30 — so the competitive team’s only option is FULL SEND MODE!!

A few boats in CSA1 had some setbacks of their own, in the form of tactical losses on the race course. Race committee made today’s long 40 NM course for the fleet a navigator’s choice with an ambiguous course of Table Rock near St. Barths over to Blowing Rock at Anguilla — leaving it to the navigator to choose which way to go around St. Maarten.

Several DNFs across the fleet indicated it was a tough day for some teams. While a couple of spinnakers were lost and some suffered other gear failures, those pale in comparison to the entire stick coming down on Suki. Luckily no one was injured when the mast came down on the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 — so much for a relaxing Island Time class! The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and Marines were quick to come in and assist, bringing part of the rig back to shore as today’s fresh catch.

Tomorrow is the final day of racing, which will be the last chance for teams to make gains on the competition. CSA8, Island Time, and Multihull 3 all currently have ties for first places overall, so it all comes down to the last day, which is forecasted to be the biggest one yet! For complete results of the expansive fleet, visit www.yachtscoring.com. Follow @stmaartenheinekenregatta on Instagram and Facebook for all of the action shots on and off the water.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Celebrating 42 years, this Regatta just keeps getting better, four days of world-class racing with some of the world’s most seasoned sailors, hailing from over 35 countries. This is genuinely a Regatta for everyone, including professional teams sailing Maxis, Monohulls, and Performance Multihulls to holiday-makers on chartered Bareboats to live-aboard families cruising the Caribbean. Crystal clear waters and cooling northeast trade winds give the pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off the coast of St. Maarten. This event is your bucket list must-do! Come and enjoy life in the Caribbean; come for some Serious Fun from March 3 – 6, 2022!

For complete information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit: heinekenregatta.com.