GREAT BAY – For the very first time in a 10 year span, under 200 boats were registered to compete in the 37th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, but with the emphasis on quality racing, Lionel Pean and his able crew aboard SFS 11 , a Volvo 70 established a new record around the course with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 37 seconds.

SFS 11, competing in the Ocean Racing class and attaining speeds over 24 knots, were able to shave off five seconds from the Monohull record that was set in 2016. This time they emerged as the winners in that class. Second in that class was Ambersail, a Volvo 60 followed by British Whitbread, in third.

The days racing started off with the Melges 24 and that was where some of the local entries were concentrated. That list included Frits Bus aboard ‘Team Island Waterworld’ Gill Race Team, Team Island Water World and Team Sail Sxm-Island Water World. In the end, Bus and his crew had to settle for the number two spot behind the ‘Gill Race Team.’

The largest concentration of boats participated in the Maxi class and their mere presence provided a colorful scenario for the videographers and still photographers that were deployed aboard several media boats.

Getting a jump start was the key, but maintaining the lead as they proceeded into the headwinds was more than challenging until they reached the marker before making the right turn, heading to Tintamar. The eventual winners in the Maxi Class was Nix followed by Simple Harmony and Spirit of Juno.

It took the boats in the CSA 1 class over three hours to complete the course, but Scarlet Oyster was able to defy all odds to finish ahead of Affinity and EH01. In the CSA 2 class, Sergio Sagramoso from Puerto Rico continued his winning ways aboard his Melges 32, ‘Lazy Dog.’ In the number two spot was, Sir Richard Matthews, with Oystercatcher XXX1 followed by Taz.

In one of the most dramatic finishes of the day, El Ocaso, a seasoned entry was able to separate a winning position or settling for the number two spot by 5 seconds when they crossed the line ahead of Spike followed by Sonadio in the CSA, 3 class.

Rebel, skippered by Sir Hugh Bailey from Antigua was able to take Rebel, a Farr 44, accross the line ahead of Defiant, a NY40, followed by a man that needs no introduction, Robbie Ferron, J/39, Micron 99.

After securing a 1st place in the Gill Commodore Cup on March 2nd, Whistler was able to repeat that performance after edging Maelia into the 2nd spot followed by Speedy Nemo in 3rd.

Elethea, a First 38 owned by Rick Gormley was able to pick up their first win in the regatta when they crossed the line ahead of Cricket, a First 35 and the Caribbean Alliance Insurance, a J/30, in an all Antiguan affair.

Morticia, took the line honors in the Bareboat 1 category, but the winner in that class went to Arawak from St. Maarten. Selika was the winner in the MH 2 class and winning the MH 3 class was Laguna. The fastest elapsed time in the race was recorded by Fujin, a baker 53 owned by Greg Slyngstad.

As was expected, the Bareboat class was extremely competitive with less than 10 minutes separating to top five finishers after more than four hours of sailing. Ty Mcadean, an American was the eventual winner aboard Texas 2 Step followed by Jan Worwag’s Sea Otter 2 from Poland and Cracker Jack, with IOwen Larsen from Denmark.

The Flying Swedes were the Bareboat 2 winners followed by DILLIGAF, an American racing team and Sitting Duck, a Dutch team. The KHS&S Contractors recorded another impressive win after the Gill Commodore Cup. Breeze Club, a Russian crew was 2nd and United Region Boys were 3rd.


Source: TODAY http://today.sx/marine/sfs-11-record-breaker/