Racing a Regatta, it seems almost like a foreign activity these days, but not in Sint Maarten! 15 participants will compete in the third annual Caribbean Multihull Challenge this upcoming weekend, Feb 6 – 7 and it is bound to be exceptional. Competitors will be racing in the first Caribbean Regatta of the season and the competition is looking top-notch. Racing will commence in Simpson Bay and participants will be navigating their boats through the crystal-clear waters surrounding Sint Maarten, in what looks to be a steady 20 knot breeze.
Entered for this year’s Caribbean Multihull Challenge is a mix of hot racing machines, such as Todd Slyngstad’s Nemo, a HH66, which will be up against the third-place winner of last year’s Multihull 1 division Arawak, a Joubert-Nivelt Custom design, and the first-place winner of the multihull 2 division Tryst, a Dick Newick design. Todd is no stranger to racing in Sint Maarten having competed in the first edition of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge in 2019 on Fujin. This boat, owned by his brother Greg Slyngstad, former Microsoft executive, was flying down the courses at double-figure boat speeds, so it came as no surprise that they took home the Most Worthy Performance Trophy. Let us see if Nemo finds a way to success this year! Local competitors Enola and Le Tri should not be underestimated and could very well be boats to watch in this class.
In the Multihull Cruising Class we find an eclectic group of competitors, including 3 Leopards: the 47-footer Seaduction, Spellbound a 45-foot Leopard and the Leopard 46 Aravilla, newly acquired by Dana Clark. Whereas Seaduction and Spellbound are skippered and owned by local sailing veterans Petro Jonker and Ian Martin, Dana Clark is bringing in local knowledge through the Kidz at Sea Program taking several students on board Aravilla.
While the Leopards will have a battle of their own, let’s not forget about the other entries in the cruising class. Jetwave Avalon, owned by Andrew Morgan from Perth, Australia, is a Peter Wormwood Ocean 55, described by Andrew as “a big version of the Stiletto Small Racing Cat”. Having spent the lockdown in the Caribbean he could not miss out on sailing the Caribbean Multihull Challenge in Sint Maarten. Another cat to appear on the line for the cruising class start is Jean-Michel Ricourt’s Guimamalou.
New to the Caribbean Multihull Challenge are the F18s, better known in the Caribbean as the beach cats. With 5 entries they have their own class and will fly up and down Simpson Bay on lengthy windward leeward courses. You better set up your chair in Simpson Bay Beach because these sporty boats are spectacular to watch.
This year a lot of praise goes to the sponsors and supporters of the event. These challenging times make it difficult to organize anything, let alone an event of such magnitude. “We always pride ourselves on our planning and organizational skills, but this year we just didn’t know what to expect. Can people come, how many people can we expect, will people want to race, so many questions were not answered until the past couple of weeks. Praise goes to our terrific and loyal sponsors, Caribbean Multihulls, Moorings, Yacht Club Port de Plaisance and Oris who stuck with us through all the uncertainty and last-minute decision making. Divico and Amstel Bright are applauded for joining the sponsor pool this year and of course we can be most grateful for the Maritime School of the West Indies, Celine Charters and Zeebest for supporting us with the logistics. The Sint Maarten Yacht Club can be proud of having such great international and local support!” states General Manager, Michele Korteweg.
Racing will start this Saturday in Simpson Bay, this two-day event will finish on Sunday with a prize giving at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club implementing proper COVID protocols.
Information on entries, notice of race, etc. check out: www.smyc.com/caribbean-multihull-challenge