January 16, 2023 – Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club hosted the Grant Thornton Multiclass Regatta this past weekend January 14 and 15th. 25 teams participated from 3 different Caribbean sailing clubs, including Club de Voile de Friar’s Bay from Saint Martin, Saint Barths Yacht Club and the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Sailing School.
The fleets were divided over 4 classes: Laser, RS Zest, RS Quest, and Optimists. Saturday started off with 30 knots of wind whilst the competitors were rigging their boats, two big squalls came rolling over the mountain, into the Simpson Bay Lagoon. The Race Committee decided to postpone 30 minutes to see how the weather would clear up. The wind stabilized to a firm 18 knots of wind in wavy conditions. The competitors completed 5 races on Saturday.
The conditions on Sunday were very light, the day started with only 6 knots of wind, but became a steady 10 knots of wind, which made it possible to complete 4 races on Sunday.
The Optimist Class counted 11 entries. Thomas Magras from the Saint Barths Yacht Club dominated this class. He won almost all races and ended up in 1st place. After him, there was a great competition between Clement le Norman, from Club de Voile de Friar’s Bay and Tao Carmona, from the Saint Barths Yacht Club. With a difference of a few points, Clement took 2nd place and Tao 3rd.
On Saturday there were 5 RS Zest sailors. Antonin Sciou took the lead this day and won all races. Some of the RS Zest sailors on Saturday, sailed in the RS Quest on Sunday.
The results after Sunday in the RS Zest were Alexander Tiefenbrunner on first place. Massimo Lapierre came in second place with only 1 point difference.
The RS Quest fleet was racing on the Sunday only and was dominated by Antonin Sciou and Lucca Majnan. Joris van den Eynde and his son Axel van den Eynde took second place.
The Laser Class was the biggest fleet this year’s Grant Thornton Multiclass Regatta. With 10 lasers there was stiff competition in all age ranges. On the water were 6 Laser 4.7 sailors, 3 Laser Radial sailors and 1 Laser Standard sailor took the challenge to compete.
Benoit Meesemacker from Saint Barths Yacht Club took the win in the Laser Class in his Laser Standard. Frits Bus from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club became 2nd and Jules Fortunati, from Saint Barths Yacht Club took 3rd place.
Frits Bus, Commodore of the SMYC and competitor in the Laser Radial during the Multiclass Regatta; “I’m impressed by the quality of the youth sailors in this regatta. Emilien le Normand broke his mast on Saturday and again on Sunday, but if it wasn’t for that he would have scored high in the top 3! It was close racing with Jules Fortunati as well. A great regatta! Rough conditions on Saturday and light conditions on Sunday, very challenging!”.
The Grant Thornton Multiclass Regatta would not have been possible without the support of Grant Thornton that is not only a sponsor for this regatta but is a very loyal sponsor for the Sint Maarten Yacht Club as they are supporting both the Dinghy and Keelboat Series as well.
Herbert Beldman, Managing Partner Grant Thornton in the Dutch Caribbean: ‘We are exciting to see the number of participants for all sailing events organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club increasing. Well done competitors and organizers and let’s go for the next event!’
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club would like to thank as well, Dominos Pizza and Zee Best Bakery. Besides the sponsors and partners, the event would not be possible without the help of all the volunteers on the Race Committee, Mark Layers, onshore support and SMYC Staff.
For more information, photos, results and much more about the Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta visit smyc.com/multiclass-regatta.
Sint Maarten Yacht Club
The club was established in 1980 with the goal to promote sailing on the island of St. Maarten. The Sint Maarten Yacht Club organizes multiple sailing events throughout the year, with the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta as its crown jewel. A youth sailing program stimulates local youngsters to become part of the sailing community, teaching them life skills like teamwork, perseverance and confidence. Always looking to further develop sailing on St. Maarten, the Club is active in promoting the sport, as well as the beautiful Caribbean island destination of St. Maarten. For more information visit www.smyc.com