ORIENT BAY—Benoit Meesmaecker may well have earned copyright on the Heineken Light Caribbean Open Laser Championships after winning it so many times. If not, he has certainly made it his own, and his presence every year comes with that air of authority top sailors seem to have.
He just happens to be in a higher league, and his fourth place in Masters at the Laser Worlds in Mexico two weeks ago only confirms his level of skill.
The St. Barths sailor successfully defended his title over the weekend at the 27th edition held in Orient Bay (even he is not sure how many times he has won it) fending off the talented Rhône Findlay, now a top US College sailor, and the always tenacious Frits Bus.
Benoit won five of the six races on Saturday, and two of three on Sunday.
“The conditions were excellent, 14 to 15 knots Easterly on Saturday and about 18-20 for the first race today then to 17-18 knots,” he reported. “It was a wonderful regatta as usual.
“At times I had close sailing with Rhone but I expected to have more of a battle with him. I told him once when you can beat a Master, then you are sailing well,” he joked.
His future plans include going to Marblehead, near Boston, this September for the US National Laser Masters and again to the Laser Worlds in Croatia next year.
The Open category was won by Benoit Meesmaecker, Rhône Findlay was second and Asher Drijgers third.
Frits Bus won the Masters category, Olivier Bernaz was second, and third place went to Dominican Republic’s Jorge Abreu. Radials was won by Cindy Pumbo, second place went to Carson Gifford, and third to Sébastien Luir.
“We had strong wind on Sunday which suited us heavier sailors,” added Frits Bus. “It was always close racing and Rhône especially did well, finishing second overall.”
The regatta organised by the St. Maarten Yacht Club was made possible by Heineken Light, Island Water World, Sunsail, Club Orient and Fiji Water.
Race Officer’s duties were handled by the always capable Andrew Rapley and helpers.
Source: Daily Herald
Benoit still unbeatable after Heineken Light Laser win