March 28, 2022 – Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club hosted the Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta this past weekend March 26 and 27th. 32 teams participated from 5 different Caribbean sailing clubs, including Club de Voile de Friar’s Bay from Saint Martin, Saint Barths Yacht Club, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Sailing School and a special mention goes to Coen van der Gulik that came over from Curacao to race in the Laser class.
The teams were divided over 5 classes: Sunfast 20, Laser, RS Zest, RS Quest and Optimists and witnessed excellent racing in somewhat challenging wind conditions. Rain and passing squalls made it very difficult for both the race committee and sailors. The different weather systems caused very light and shifty winds that picked up approximately one hour after the squalls, ending in great sailing weather with 17 knots of wind on Saturday. The Sunday started the same, all competitors left the lagoon into Simpson Bay with a lot of rain, followed by no wind, but all of them battled through an were rewarded with races in beautiful sailing conditions.
The Optimist Class saw 6 entries. The four top sailors in this fleet enjoyed very close and competitive racing. Correntine Corroy and Clement le Normand from Club de Voile de Friar’s Bay sailed very well on the Saturday and Clement took first place after the first day of racing. But Sarah Michaux and Thomas Magras sailed more consistently over both days, which lead to an overall 4th place for Correntine Corroy, with the same points as Clement le Normand in 3rd place. Thomas Magras from the St. Barths Yacht Club came in 2nd with the same number of points as Sarah Michaux in first place.
A special prize was rewarded for the “Benjamin of the Optimist Fleet”, selected based on age; This prize was won by Stanley Haes from Club de Voile de Friar’s Bay.
The RS Zest class saw 6 sailors compete. The Sint Maarten Yacht Club recently renewed their older Laser Pico’s with these brand-new RS Zests and it is safe to say the boats attract a new group of youth sailors to join in on the racing. Massimo Lapierre came in third, Melina de Vries and Dax Henriquez came in second place and Rio Stomp, sailing together with Arhan Baharani on Saturday, took the win in the RS Zest Class.
The RS Quest Class had 3 teams. Two teams from the Saint Barths Yacht Club and one team from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club: Joris van den Eynde and his 7 year old son, Axel, who only started sailing in the Youth Sailing Program in the Optimist in September 2021.
Lucca Magnan and his crew came in third place, Joris and Axel came in second place and Antonin Sciou and his crew took the win after two days of close racing with only 2 points difference.
The Laser Class was the most popular one in this year’s Grant Thornton Multiclass Regatta. With 14 lasers there was stiff competition in all age ranges. ON the water were 7 Laser 4.7 sailors, 2 Laser Radial sailors and 5 Laser Standard sailors took the challenge to compete. There were a lot of familiar faces in the Laser 4.7 that were racing in the Optimist Class before. It’s a great thing to see that the sailors keep improving their racing skills and growing through the program into other classes.
Jules Fortunati from the Saint Barths Yacht Club came in fourth place with his Laser 4.7, this made him win the best placed Laser 4.7 sailor. Frits Bus from Sint Maarten finished in third place, Justin Pieterse, from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club as well came in second and Benoit Meesemaecker from the Saint Barths Yacht Club took the overall win.
3 Sint Maarten teams competed in the Sunfast 20 class. Rien Korteknie and his students from the Maritime School of the West Indies came in third as they only sailed the morning on Saturday. Jordan Pieterse and her crew came in second and Robbie Ferron and his team took the win in the Sun Fast 20 Class with 5 bullets.
“It was a challenging weekend; the weather conditions were hard to deal with, but the race committee did a very good job. Jolyon Ferron, the Race Officer on Saturday had to re-lay the course a couple of time as the wind kept shifting, but the conditions ended up being perfect. On Sunday the race officer Paul Henriquez managed to start the fleet off in very light conditions and shortened the first race for the Optimists and the RS Zest fleet halfway through. This made it possible to do more starts in stable conditions. I am proud to see all the progress that the sailors are making, it was a great event.” Said Sam Peeks, Racing Coach of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.
The Grant Thornton Multi Class 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.
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club would like to thank as well; Dominos Pizza and Zee Best Bakery, Budget Marine and the Scuba Shop. Besides the sponsors and partners, the event wouldn’t be possible without the help of all the volunteers on the Race Committee, Mark Layers, on-shore support and SMYC Staff.
There was great activity in the Sint Maarten Yacht Club building throughout the weekend, with a yard sale on Saturday and Sunday. Saskia Revelman explains: “We cleaned out the container and manage to sell a lot of old event t-shirts, St. Maarten Heineken Regatta memorabilia, as well as other left over equipment, all to raise funds for the youth sailing program. We can definitely say it was a great success! In addition, the ladies from the social committee were selling raffle tickets that will be held on April 9th to raise even more funds for our youth sailing program.” More information about this raffle: smyc.com/auction.
For more information, photos, results and much more about the Grant Thornton Multi Class Regatta visit smyc.com/multiclass-regatta.
About the Sint Maarten Yacht Club:
Established in 1980 with the goal to promote sailing on the island of St Maarten. It 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 team work, 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 destination it is located at. For more information visit www.smyc.com