SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - 18 selected youth sailors from the Sailing School of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club raced against each other in the RS Zest in a new program as part of the St. Maarten Regatta, the Next Generation Race. Each team consisted out of a sailor over 12 years to captain and helm the boat, a sailor under 12 years old and a sailor from the SMYC Primary School Sailing program, a school program that allows children to enjoy free sailing classes during school hours, for a full year.
A great mix of St. Maarten’s sailing talent, showcasing Sint Maarten’s next generation in sailing where teamwork was the key to success!
“This Regatta in a Regatta concept was a great success, said Michele Korteweg, Regatta Director. The goal was to inspire the next generation and involve them in the 43rd St. Maarten Regatta. The sailors know that the regatta is organized every year, but this was the first time that they could be a part of it and learn more about what the sport of sailing has to offer for them on a later age.”
On Friday, all team captains gathered at the St. Maarten Regatta village for Daily Prize giving, where they were interviewed right before prize giving about the set up of the sailing program and their intentions to win.
Saturday afternoon 5 races were sailed in Simpson Bay and Veronica Destin and her team ended the strongest in the fleet after the first day of racing. Only 1 point ahead of Rio Stomp and his team.
On Sunday Morning the sailors watched over 80+ Regatta participants go out of the Simpson Bay Bridge into the crystal blue waters preparing for their final day of racing. The sailors watched the racing boats from a spectator boat witnessing the starting sequence of Start Fleet A, while Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s Racing Coach Sam Peeks talked them through the starting procedure to ensure it be an educational activity.
In the afternoon the six teams completed 5 more races to complete their Next Generation Race of this year’s St. Maarten Regatta.
“Don’t we all remember starting sailing in an Optimist? Most of us had no idea at that age that there is a whole regatta circuit in the world of racing keelboats. The SMYC is very proud that by running this program we can inspire the next generation of sailors to keep sailing and to grow their love for this sport, said Sam Peeks”.
The cherry on the cake was to have the prize giving of their class combined with the other 14 racing classes, during the overall prize giving of the 43rd St. Maarten Regatta on the big stage in the Regatta Village.
Emma Lennox, Adilyn Treadwell and Elianny Papisca came in third position. Rio Stomp, Axel vanden Eynde and Tim Scholz ended in second position, but the win was for Veronica Destin, Nathan Sheppard and Deshawn Allen.
Many proud parents cheered on their children, and realized: This is the next generation!