Thad Lettsome has followed up his achievements at the recent PanAm Games with a bronze medal sailing an ILCA7 at the 2023 Glen S. Foster Trophy, the ICSA Singlehanded National Championships.
Racing across two days on Lake Pontchartrain, the event was hosted by Thad’s college, Tulane University in New Orleans.
Athletes were greeted with overcast skies with breeze at 6-9knots from the Northeast and a steady chop that had built overnight. The breeze varied in both velocity and direction throughout the day, going anywhere from 3-11 knots and big direction swings from the ENE back to the NNE.
In all, eight races were completed in the challenging conditions, and at a little over halfway through the championship the points were close.
Day two saw similar conditions to start the day, with overcast skies and breeze from the NE at 6-11 knots. The racing was incredibly tight, with the top positions up for grabs well into the endgame of the regatta.
Fourteen races were completed in total with Thad achieving first place in race ten and top three positions in five of those races. The battle with Tulane teammate Hamilton Barclay went right down to the wire as they went into the final race tied on points. The race win for Hamilton secured him second overall and Thad third.
In the end consistency was key. Congratulations to Nicholas Reeser of the US Coast Guard Academy for winning the Glenn S Foster Trophy.
SINT MAARTEN – November 23, 2023 – As the excitement builds for the 20th edition of the Course de l’Alliance Inter-Island Regatta, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club proudly reveals the impressive lineup of 18 participating boats for this highly anticipated event. Scheduled to take place from December 1st to December 3rd, 2023, this year’s regatta promises an unparalleled display of sailing expertise and camaraderie among sailors from around the region.
This year, the Course de l’Alliance is combined with the Round the Rocks Regatta, organized by the Holland Regatta club. The participants from the Round the Rocks Regatta start their regatta in Simpson Bay on Wednesday November 29, sailing to St. Eustatius, and return on November 30th, back to Simpson Bay, to join the start of the Course de l’Alliance on December 1st.
The action-packed event kicks off in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten, on Friday, December 1st. The fleet will set sail, navigating the stunning seascape to their first destination, the picturesque Saint Barths. The Saint Barths Yacht Club warmly welcomes the fleet with a happy hour and a dinner on the scenic beachfront, setting the stage for an evening of relaxation and shared experiences.
On Saturday, December 2nd, the excitement continues as the fleet embarks on the next leg of the journey, racing from Saint Barths to the idyllic shores of Anguilla.
The grand finale of this spectacular regatta takes place on Sunday, December 3rd, as the fleet races back from Anguilla to Sint Maarten.
Among the esteemed fleet expected to grace the event are the regular contenders, including the Melges 24, Budget Marine, Island Water World, Team FKG – serving as the title sponsor of this prestigious event, and Caraibes Diesel.
Adding to the diversity and excitement of the Course de l’Alliance, the Race Committee is thrilled to introduce a multihull fleet this year. Among the anticipated multihull participants are the Trimaran Honey Badger and the Nautitech 40 Open, promising a thrilling showcase of speed and agility on the water.
Furthermore, the regatta will feature a one-design fleet of Diam 24s, expected to elevate the competition with their closely matched boats, ensuring a thrilling and closely contested racing experience.
“We’re delighted to welcome such a remarkable lineup of boats to the 20th Course de l’Alliance,” expressed Race Officer Wessel Tangenberg. “The addition of the multihull fleet and the presence of the Diam 24s further amplifies the diversity and excitement of the event, promising an unforgettable spectacle for participants and spectators alike. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Round the Rocks Regatta Committee and it is promising to be a great weekend.”
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is thanking FKG Marine for their support and loyal sponsorship in this event. The competitors and the organization is looking forward to the hand made trophies that FKG Marine creates especially for this event. Their extremely skilled staff surprises the competitors with their art and skills every year.
Team FKG Marine was the winner of the 2022 edition of the Course de l’Alliance in their class. Let’s see if they able to win the 2023, 20th edition of the event!
The Course de l’Alliance has long been a beacon of sailing excellence, and this year’s edition is set to continue that tradition, showcasing the skill, passion, and competitive spirit of sailors from across the Caribbean.
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is getting ready to host the 18th Annual edition of the St. Maarten Optimist Championship on November 25 and 26, 2023, collaborating with a new Sponsor: Budget Marine. Participants from the following islands are confirmed: Antigua, Saint Barths, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. A total of 30 young and motivated Optimist sailors will compete in two different fleets, Advanced fleet, and Green fleet (less advanced).
James Balentien from Curacao was the overall winner of last years Optimist Championship in the advanced fleet, but unfortunately Team Curacao will not be able to defend their title this year. The number two of last years Championship was Carrack Jones from Antigua, who will race again this year. A special mention for the way of transport that Jones chose for his trip to Sint Maarten.
Carrack Jones will attempt to set a world record sailing an Optimist from Antigua to Sint Maarten, unassisted, in open ocean, which includes 115 miles / 185 km, departing from Antigua on November 21st, 2023. Previous record set was 80 NM Antigua to St Barths. Jones will be expected to arrive at Sint Maarten on November 22nd. The SMYC will organize a warm welcome for this remarkable achievement.
Team Antigua will travel with an impressive number of 9 sailors, all participating in the Championship, but fierce competition is expected as well from Saint Martin, Team SXM and Saint Barths.
“Team SXM will be represented during the event with 6 young and motivated sailors that are all part of Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s Racing Team” said Sam Peeks, Racing Coach of the SMYC. “The team has been training hard to participate in this first big regatta of the season, all on their own individual level”.
“We are happy to see that such great interest is shown from surrounding Caribbean islands; it still is challenging to travel these days and we really appreciate the effort that the teams are making to attend the event. The SMYC team and the race committee, lead by Race Officer Jolyon Ferron, are very motivated to facilitate and organize a great event.” Said Dolein van de Loo, event manager of the SMYC.
“We are excited to have Jolyon Ferron back as race officer this year. Ferron was race officer of the event in 2021, wasn’t able to make it in 2022 but is back for 2023! Ferron is not only an active member and racer of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, but as well Sales Manager at the event sponsor; Budget Marine. Ferron has a lot of knowledge about the event, as he sailed multiple of the previous Optimist Championships when he was racing the Optimist in his younger years.” Van de Loo continues.
The St. Maarten Budget Marine Optimist Championship is a collaboration between SIMSAF (Sint Maarten Sailing Federation) and the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. This collaboration makes it possible to name the best Optimist Sailor from Sint Maarten in this event; National Dinghy Champion in the Optimist Class.
Both racing days will take place in Simpson Bay and competitors are scheduled to leave the lagoon in a 9 AM outbound bridge, that can be viewed from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Bar and Restaurant deck.
October 29, 2023 –Scholecher Martinique- During the final day of racing of the 2023 Caribbean Dinghy Championships in Martinique 3 races were completed in shifty wind conditions, varying between 8 and 15 knots. In almost all classes the individual ranking changed with these extra 3 races; the competition was tough.
The Caribbean Dinghy Championships are known for their individual ranking per class and the ‘Nations Cup’, combining the best nations results.
In the ILCA 7 Shanoy Malone representing Antigua remained unbeaten and completed the series with 3 wins, an impressive result. In second place Bruno Aglae representing Martinique, followed by Josiah Alexis representing Trinidad and Tobago.
The ILCA 6 class was won by Ozani Lafond (ANT) with 8 points out of 10 races, he remained unbeaten as well. Stefan Stuven from Trinidad and Tobago took second place, followed by Marius Malody representing Martinique.
In the ILCA 4 class Martinique took the win, Luk Moreau Dhallenne finished the regatta in first position with 11 points, followed by Emily Gaillard from Antigua in second position. Rio Stomp representing St. Maarten finished in third position.
The Fusion Class was won by Sevan Nicolas and Sosa Camilio representing Martinique with 9 points out of 10 races, followed by Veronica Destin and Oskar Jarrett Versteegden representing St. Maarten. Elijah Gibston and Zev Bowman, representing Trinidad and Tobago finished in third place.
Patrick Greensmith from Antigua took the win in the Optimist class with 10 points out of 10 races. Luka Rose Eloise, representing Martinique came in second place, followed by Nathan Sheppard from St. Maarten in third position.
In the Nations Cup Ranking the following results were presented; in 6th place St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados in 5th, Trinidad and Tobago in 4th place, Sint Maarten in third place, Martinique in 2nd place and Antigua took home the Nations Cup trophy in first place. The trophy was presented by the CSA representative Saskia Revelman and the mayor of Schoelcher. This is the third win in a row for Antigua, in 2019 and in 2022 team Antigua won the Nations Cup as well.
The CSA thanks CN Schoelcher for their hospitality, organization and a very warm welcome.
Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) is the must do regatta on the Caribbean circuit for regatta chasers from around the world. Ever evolving, the longest running international regatta in the Caribbean continues to be a melting pot of fiercely competitive international, regional and local sailors uniting at the end of the season for 5 days (plus one optional day) of racing in warm water, big seas and perfect tradewinds.
In 2024, Antigua Sailing Week celebrates its 55th regatta and a wide range of racing classes will be in competition in one of the world’s best sailing locations. State of the art racing machines across multiple CSA Classes, Multihulls, Cruisers and Racer-Cruisers, Pocket Rockets and Bareboats, especially Charters are all welcome. Through the Race, Chase, Celebrate mantra, spectators both local and and visitors from overseas can be part of the action on the sea, the island or from the air.
“Racing has always come first at Antigua Sailing Week,” commented ASW President Alison Sly-Adams. “It’s a week of first-class racing in incredible conditions with the backdrop of iconic UNESCO Heritage site Nelson’s Dockyard. A truly inclusive regatta where all classes of boats and sailors are able to compete. On top of that we remain focussed on giving Antiguan youths a launch pad into their sailing careers and showcasing women in the sport with a view to inspiring more to enter and remain in it.”
The packed schedule at Antigua Sailing Week, starts on Friday 26 April with the first day of the Antigua Wingfoil Championship. Rivalry between high performance Monohulls and Multihulls starts on Saturday 27 April with the stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race. The five-day series for Antigua Sailing Week starts on Sunday 28 April with the Final Prize Giving Party on Friday 3 May.
“Good racing has always been our focus and for 2024 we plan on taking it to another level with One-Design. RS Elites were a trial effort last year but we are going all out to organise One-Design with the Elites, the invitational Dragon Class, and the Wingfoils.” commented ASW Race Manager Jaime Torres. “We have a diverse range of classes, from Maxis and racing Multihulls to Sportboats and Bareboats. Our aim is to deliver awesome racing, tailored to each class, so that it’s safe, competitive and fun.”
“Not withstanding the recent fire devastation at the AYC Marina, the Antigua Yacht Club continues to be the heart of Antigua Sailing Week,” confirmed Rana Jamila-Lewis, ASW Event Manager. “The venue of the Antigua Yacht Club will again host committee desk, registration, daily prizegivings and function as regatta central.”
Each afternoon, the best crews from each class can look forward to rocking up to the Antigua Yacht Club stage to their theme songs to celebrate their achievements. The afternoons are open to family and friends as a meeting place to exchange stories of the day’s activities while having drinks and meals from the various options on hand. The fun doesn’t stop after racing at Antigua Sailing Week and celebrations continue with a highly anticipated mid-week concert – Reggae in the Park, followed by the fun-filled beach activities of Lay Day.
A Certified Clean Regatta, Antigua Sailing Week has operated the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas programme since 2013. “We’re very proud of our 7 year streak with S4S and next year we will continue to take every step possible to make sure our regatta and everyone involved works in a way that’s sustainable and minimises impact on the environment.
New to Antigua Sailing Week 2024 will be a shuttle service between Falmouth Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard. “From our sailors’ survey this year, we identified that we should provide a scheduled shuttle service from Nelson’s Dockyard,” continued Rana Jamila-Lewis. “This is to offer participants the convenience of getting the business of registration completed and to get from their respective marinas to the afternoon prize-givings in a timely (and cool) manner.”
Spectators take in the racing from land at the Shirley Heights Lookout vantage point @Visual Echo
Antigua’s central location is the perfect shipping out lift off point for boats with Peters & May special rates, and airline partner Virgin Atlantic has direct flights to London offering competitor discounts.”
For the Notice of Race and on-line entry to Antigua Sailing Week, plus regular updates on the Caribbean’s most famous regatta go to: www.sailingweek.com
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta offers everything required to make it a top event for the Maxi class yachts, and this year sees early entrants from some of the world’s most competitive racers including Wallycento Galateia and Farr 100 Leopard 3, alongside the Volvo 65s and 70s, who are firm supporters of this event.
For those with their eyes on the prizes – and with Galateia raising the bar having just been crowned first in class in the 2023 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is also one of three Caribbean qualifying events for the International Maxi Association Caribbean Maxi Challenge Trophy, alongside the Caribbean 600 and Les Voiles de St. Barths.
Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the International Maxi Association says, “The Caribbean is one of the greatest places in the world to race and is on the bucket list for many of our members who haven’t already experienced it. We’re delighted that St Maarten Heineken Regatta will once again be one of the three events that comprises the IMA’s Caribbean Maxi Challenge in 2024. Of course, among the Caribbean regattas, St. Maarten with its excellent race area and race management is not to be missed.”
Maxi yachts are classed as racing group CSA1, making a change from the usual ORC/IRC rating. Bastien Pouthier, CSA Rating Officer says this regional rating system is easy to implement with full technical support offered by the Race Management Team at St Maarten Heineken Regatta. He explains: “With entrants including Volvo Ocean Race boats amongst the world’s top Maxi yachts, the Caribbean Sailing Association’s CSA rating is consistently optimized and modernized for all of the yachts that race annually in the Caribbean. It caters for the conditions most typical for the region. During peak racing season, the well-established tradewinds that grace the leeward islands provide perfect racing conditions of around 15 knots consistently, which allows the Maxi racers to go full sail and full send!”
Alongside the island’s geography, which offers the perfect playing ground for the big boat fleet – from the iconic 30+ NM Around The Island Race to long courses around neighboring islands and soaring volcanic rocks used as marks between St. Maarten, Anguilla and St. Barths – the highest standards of race management and organization are key to the event’s success in attracting world class competition.
“Each year we try to balance representatives on our Race Committee and Jury with top race officials from Europe, the US and Caribbean. It always feels great when you have that spread of approach and background getting together, which keeps us all up-to-date on school of thought for a more global, modern approach to race officiating,” said Cary Byerley, Race Committee Chair. The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta race committee and jury have both been led by many top women in the sport; including Ana Sánchez Del Campo Ferrer, who was the first female appointed as Chair of the International Jury for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Understanding the needs of Maxi yachts is also key. Larger vessels can enjoy protected berthing conditions inside the protected Simpson Bay Lagoon with its deep-water dockage (up to 6m), with several marinas that can accommodate Maxis including Port de Plaisance Yacht Club, La Palapa Marina, and IGY Isle del Sol. Regatta partner hotels and RE/MAX offer concierge services for sourcing high-end accommodations around the island, while local yacht service agents and island-favorite restaurants offer catering and provisioning right to the boat.
With the island divided between the Netherlands (Sint Maarten) and France (Saint Martin), the island is part of Europe, making access to products and services easy and cost-effective. Many yachts choose St. Maarten as their Caribbean port of call due to the island’s advanced marine services sector, offering the highest quality of technical repairs and servicing, including hydraulics and advanced systems technicians, equipment supplies and provisioning. The island’s local sail lofts are official service agents for top international brands North Sails and Ullman Sails, offering world-class service and sail repair. For any logistical support, such as shipping in boat parts duty-free, yacht service agents BWA Yachting are conveniently located at IGY and available for any further assistance required by visiting Maxi yachts.
For the Volvo 65s, the additional racing and training time in the Caribbean undoubtedly paid off in the recent edition of The Ocean Race. Top performing VO65 teams at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, WindWhisper Racing Team and Team JAJO, ultimately took first and second place in The Ocean Race, respectively. In 2024, the Volvo 65 fleet will return, with Team JAJO and Team Austrian Ocean Racing already making plans to race, while most of the fleet is expected to again base out of St. Maarten for another winter season.
“From my experience, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is the best big boat race in the Caribbean for teams that want to have challenging races around the cans and a good time on the shore. I have competed 3 times with the V65 in this race and we have been able to race every day,” says Jelmer van Beek, Skipper of Team JAJO Volvo 65.
Registration is now open for the 44th Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – FEB 29 – MAR 3, 2024. New and returning Maxi teams interested in making St. Maarten their base for the season, or exploring options for 5-star marinas, accommodation, and island amenities during their stay are welcome to get in touch with the Regatta team for support. Start planning your stay and register today:www.heinekenregatta.com
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Celebrating 44 years, this Regatta just keeps getting better, four days of world-class racing with some of the world’s most seasoned sailors, hailing from over 35 countries. This is genuinely a Regatta for everyone, including professional teams sailing Maxis, Monohulls, and Performance Multihulls to holiday-makers on chartered Bareboats to live-aboard families cruising the Caribbean. Crystal clear waters and cooling northeast trade winds give the pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off the coast of St. Maarten. This event is your bucket list must-do! Come and enjoy life in the Caribbean; come for some Serious Fun from February 29 until March 3, 2024!
For complete information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit: www.heinekenregatta.com.
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