Innovation is the key to success and with that in mind, the race committee of the 2017 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has added a day to the already packed schedule of the event. Monday March 6th, 2017, is the date for the first edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Star event.
This new racing series will take place on the French side in Nettle Bay, in front of Le Sand Restaurant, Beach & Bar and is sponsored by Yanmar. Winners of selected classes from the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will be asked to nominate a member of their crew to race one of the identically prepared Radio Controlled Laser sailboats. The overall winner will be crowned ‘Heineken Star’ and the day will be closed with a BBQ party at Le Beach Hotel in Marigot Bay.
“We talk to our competitors throughout the year and bounce ideas off of the many sailors that come to the island to compete” explains Race Director Paul Miller. “The interest in fun competitive racing is always at the top of the list so we thought we would try to add something that we feel will attract the spectators. We want the racing to be a real spectator sport, and with this format, the competitors are literally surrounded by the crowd.”
“This unique Heineken Star event will test the sailing skills of crew members from a variety of teams. The Radio Controlled boats have just two controls: a rudder and a mainsheet. There are no excuses and no tweaking; just sailing skills”, continues Miller.
Competitors will have an hour to practice, after which there will be five race series with one discard. The winner will be crowned the first ever ‘Heineken Star’. This spectator friendly event will take place at the water’s edge, which means that competitors can be encouraged by friends and family from the sidelines, adding an aspect of excitement to the racing.
The actual racing will not start before 12pm and will run for the remainder of the afternoon with live commentary and music on the beach. A typical Caribbean BBQ is planned at Le Beach Hotel at 5pm and the general public is invited to come down and enjoy local food, music and Heineken beers. Prize-giving will commence at 6pm and promises to be a great ending to the festivities.
Mr. Gordon Williams, Manager of Simpson Bay Diesel services and official distributor of Yanmar on St. Maarten states “We’re proud to announce that Yanmar will participate in the inaugural Heineken Star event. Yanmar has an incredibly high profile amongst racing and sailing vessels globally, therefore; this partnership is a great fit.”
The St. Maarten Heineken Star event will be the final series of racing for the regatta and takes visitors to the unique surroundings of the French side. Food, camaraderie and sailing will be brought together in a fun competitive atmosphere for everyone involved. For more information or for questions please contact the regatta office.