St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – Day 2

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – Day 2

by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Mar 5 06:40 UTC
March 3-6, 2022

The Diam 24 fleet stole the show neck and neck with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in the Around the Island Race on day 2 of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta © Laurens Morel

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Small boats race around the island

Day two of racing at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta certainly did not disappoint as the majority of the fleet enjoyed the favorite round the island race. From the Diam 24 to the 100-foot Maxi yacht, all the teams found a great challenge and a reward in this course of more than 30 NM around Saint-Martin.

All went well, with the entire race fleet heading to a windward buoy off Pelican Key before heading back to their respective courses for the day. The Island Time class flew to Saint-Barth with a slightly later start and a more relaxed course to enjoy the race at their own pace. Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet engaged in a close chase on their clockwise circumnavigation of St. Maarten, resulting in a “Serious Fun!”

The bareboat fleet may have only partially circumnavigated the island today, but they certainly didn’t miss all the action! The fleet converged at the leeward mark, as the big boats howled across the course with raised spinnakers, encroaching on the bareboat fleet towards the southwest corner of the island.

Since the start of the Maxis last today, the big boats have had to maneuver through a very mixed fleet as they push over 20 knots of boat speed. Like a wildcat stalking its prey, Maxis like Leopard3 were quickly over the shoulders of the bare hulls, creating massive wind shadows that left the bare hulls dancing breathlessly.

The downwind mark was certainly chaotic with maxis, multis and monos of all shapes and sizes cutting her too close for comfort as the mark passed. Unfortunately, a collision occurred between the monohull Isobel and a multihull, leaving an unsightly gash on her stern, but luckily didn’t prevent her from finishing the race. In the end, the team secured second place in CSA3 for the day.

In CSA1, VO65 Janssen de Jong doubled up, taking first place today after second place yesterday, and now securing his place in first place overall. However, the most impressive jump in CSA1 was Przemyslaw Tarnacki and his Ocean Challenge Yacht Club team, who took second place in the Round the Island race, a big leap from 10th place yesterday, and now standing in the middle of the fleet at General.

“Our Ocean Challenge Yacht Club team is 70% amateur, settling here for the first time on Tuesday. This means that every afternoon we are twice as good as the morning of the same day. The learning curve is a big step.” for us. Thanks to our pros, our brave hearts and the hard work of our amateurs, we experience a unique blend that is the hallmark of our club. It’s a great process that we are happy to develop here in Saint-Martin, with Ukraine in our hearts at the moment, waving two flags at the stern: Polish and Ukrainian!” shared Tarnacki.

While the big boats should excel over a long 30 NM course, the real headliners were the Diam 24 fleet of Class 2 Multihulls which rounded Pelican Rock during the final leg of the race alongside the Volvo65s! You have to see it to believe it, because these pocket trimarans spin flying hulls, sailing in a big ocean swell that sometimes only leaves the end of their square-headed mainsail in sight. To put it into perspective, it took 03:02:03 hours for the Diam 24 Cry Macho class winner to complete roughly the same round-the-island course as CSA1 VO65 winner Janssen de Jong, whose time elapsed was 02:54:38 hours.

“It was an unforgettable day of sailing today where our series of Diam 24s left almost last and the first Diam crossed the finish line at the same time as the first 2 Maxis! Sometimes the noise of the winch easing on the Maxis next to us reminds us of such a difference in size.Also trying to overtake a Maxi boat through the wind is quite impossible as the dead wind zone would literally stop our small craft and give us such a big work to get back up to speed. What a great race — salty day!” said Pierre Altier, Diam24 representative for North America and owner of Diam 24, Cry Baby, who is currently second in Multihull 2.

In CSA5 there was a complete change in class, with local team Melges24 FKG taking 5th place after their 1st place yesterday, but still securing 2nd place overall. Team Arabella on their brand new Cape 31 appear to have found their groove, taking 1st place in today’s Round the Island race, having finished 6th on Day 1, and now moving up to 4th place at the general. There are no clear favorites for the winners of this class, so it will certainly be necessary to wait until the last day of racing to see who reigns supreme.

The CSA7 class continues the tight competition, with the top 7 places determined by less than a minute difference between each place on corrected time for the Round the Island Race. This class is also a game for everyone, with J111 Spike and J122 Liquid currently tied for first place overall. These two boats changed places, taking second and third place respectively today. Meanwhile, Dauntless and El Ocaso seemed to have traded hats, with Dauntless taking 1st place today and 6th place yesterday while El Ocaso did the opposite.

In CSA8, GFA Caraïbes – La Morrigane, a Surprise Archambault 25, comfortably found its place at the head of the fleet, taking 1st place on both days of racing. The second and third places are still to be determined, Maëlia CEPAC Antilles (X-Yacht 34) and Solstice (J105) tied for the podium.

For full results from the extensive fleet, visit www.yachtscoring.com. While there are still two days left in the regatta and the breeze is stronger this weekend, all the teams must continue to put in their best efforts!


Saint Martin 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 truly a regatta for everyone, from professional crews sailing performance maxis, monohulls and multihulls, to vacationers on chartered bareboats, to families living aboard cruising the Caribbean. Crystal clear waters and refreshing northeast trade winds provide pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off St. Maarten. This event is your must-do list! Come enjoy life in the Caribbean; come and have some serious fun from March 3 to 6, 2022!

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

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