SIMPSON BAY–Legendary Heineken Regatta photographer Bob Grieser has passed away after battling a long illness in California, it was announced Tuesday.
Grieser was a regular feature at every Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten from 1983 until his last one in 2014. A larger than life personality, he will be remembered for entertaining reporters and photographers on the media boats with his humour and travelling with his signature ice box case full of camera equipment.
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta organisation and Sint Maarten Yacht Club extended its deepest condolences to the friends and family of photographer Grieser.
“Bob was a member of the Regatta family for more than 20 years,” the Regatta organisation said in a statement. “His enthusiasm for his work and the event made working with him truly an amazing experience. Bob played a major role in the Regatta and its development. Before Bob started coming down to the Regatta we really struggled with imaging and even more with getting good placement.
“Bob came along and not only did the Regatta get top-class material from an amazing photographer but it also got incredible placement including covers and to cap it all, his bubbling presence at the regattas. His dog bark imitation was unique and his enthusiasm boundless.
“Bob worked with many volunteers and staff throughout the years and had a presence about him that would make anyone smile when they crossed his path. He recorded the event with passion and flair and provided us with hundreds, if not thousands of photographs throughout the years.
“He not only spent countless hours on the Regatta but he also dedicated significant amounts of his time to taking pictures of the island and its people. He loved St. Maarten and she in turn loved him. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. He will be missed.”