RORC Nelson’s Cup Series: Racing, Rum and Revelling

The second edition of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series kicks off with racing from Tuesday 13th February. An international fleet of boats from 13 countries will be racing: Antigua; Australia; Canada; Cayman Islands; France; Germany; Great Britain; Monaco; Netherlands; South Africa; Sweden; Switzerland and the United States of America.

The intended schedule of races for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series is two races per day on the 13th and 14th February, followed by a lay day. The 52-mile Antigua 360, round the island race, will follow on the 16th February. After a two-day break from racing, the RORC Caribbean 600 Race completes the series with the 600-mile race starting on February the 19th.

The RORC Nelson’s Cup Skippers Briefing and Welcome Party will be held at the Antigua Yacht Club on Monday 12th February from 1700. Download the full programme of events:

A huge variety of raceboats will be racing under the IRC Rating Rule to decide class and the overall winner for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. The RORC fleet includes a stunning fleet of carbon-fibre raceboats, round the world race yachts, Class40s and performance cruiser/racers. The Multihull Class will join the Series for the Antigua 360 Race.

Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff © Robert Hajduk

IRC One | Top of the table clashes

Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff, and Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue (CAY) are the headline boats in IRC One. The offshore multiple record holder Leopard 3 has both a canting keel and water-line length advantage. However, Deep Blue is moded for inshore racing and is significantly lighter. After IRC time correction Leopard 3 will give Deep Blue 130 seconds an hour.

A welcome back to RORC racing for Gilles Barbot and the Atlas Ocean Racing Team which will be racing the Juan K 70 Il Mostro (CAN). While it is unlikely that the pro-am team on Il Mostro can keep up with Leopard and Deep Blue on the water, Il Mostro receives 221 seconds an hour from Leopard under IRC time correction.

A fascinating first showdown will be between Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán (SWE) and Peter and David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA). The latest version of Rán is embarking on its second season, the Carkeek design was purpose built for IRC offshore racing and was the overall winner of the inaugural RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. Wizard was originally built under the box rule constraints of the 2017 TP52 Class before being moded to offshore racing as Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban; a three-time winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Both boats are 52 feet in length, but Rán gives Wizard 40 seconds an hour in IRC time correction.

James Neville’s former INO XXX was the winner of the Antigua 360 in the first edition of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. Past RORC Commodore Neville is back with his new Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR). Direct competition to Ino Noir will be Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 (FRA) which was second to Rán in the 2023 RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. Daguet 3 has a slight waterline length advantage, but after IRC time correction Ino Noir gives Daguet 3 157 seconds per hour.

Three forty-footers are equally matched under IRC rating. Hanno Ziehm’s Marten 49 Moana (GER) impressed in the RORC Transatlantic Race, finishing fourth overall. Bruce Chafee’s RP42 Rikki (USA) rates 20 points lower than Moana, giving the team from the Sakonnet Yacht Club a 57 seconds an hour to beat Moana on IRC corrected time. The smallest boat in IRC One is Jon Desmond’s Mills 41 Final Final (USA). Jon is a member of the New York Yacht Club and is an expression of interest for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup. Under IRC, Final Final receives 17 seconds an hour time correction from Rikki.

Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán (SWE) © Tim Wright/

Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 (FRA) © Tim Wright/

Hanno Ziehm’s Marten 49 Moana (GER) © Robert Hajduk

Gilles Barbot /Atlas Ocean Racing Team racing the Juan K 70 Il Mostro (CAN) © Tim Wright/

IRC Two | United Nations

Three teams that took part in January’s RORC Transatlantic Race will be back on the start line, but this time for inshore racing. The in-form team for the smaller boat class is the young British crew racing Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader (GBR), who were third overall in the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Bernard Giroux’s Solana 55 Team 42 (FRA) is the longest boat in the class and will be hoping for fast reaching conditions for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. This will be a debut RORC Caribbean 600 for Team 42, but their skipper Dan Segalowicz has spent many years racing in the central Caribbean. Team 42 carries the highest IRC rating in the class, giving Dawn Treader 310 seconds an hour.

Frans van Cappelle and Michelle Witsenburg’s J/122 Moana (NED) finished the RORC Transatlantic Race with a smaller crew, which has been increased for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. The team of family and friends from the Yacht Club Scheveningen is competing in Antigua for the first time.

From the Royal Cape Yacht Club, Charles McDonald’s Samoa 47 Argonaut (RSA) is a family-owned boat halfway through circumnavigating South America. The team claim to ‘braai’ (BBQ) as competitively as they race! However, five Cape2Rio races suggests that there is plenty of experience on board. Donald Macdonald (apparently no relation to Charles) hails from the Parkstone Yacht Club in Poole, UK and definitely has a sense of humour, naming his Salona 38 Bonkers (GBR). Donald MacDonald sailed the boat to Antigua from the UK via the Canaries with Jon Lyons. The pair intend to race the RORC Caribbean 600 in IRC Two-Handed.

The lowest rated boat for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series is the Antiguan Lapworth 39 Huey Too (ANT), owned by the legendary Antiguan dentist Bernie Evan-Wong, who has proudly flown the Antiguan flag at previous RORC Caribbean 600 races. It would take a miracle for Huey Too to beat the likes of Leopard 3 across the water. However, under IRC time correction, Huey Too receives a whopping 1,673 seconds per hour on Leopard. For example, if Leopard completes the Antigua 360 in five hours, Huey too will need to finish the 52-mile race in under nine and a half hours, which is by no means impossible!

Frans van Cappelle and Michelle Witsenburg’s J/122 Moana (NED) © Robert Hajduk

Bernard Giroux’s Solana 55 Team 42 (FRA) © Robert Hajduk

The RORC Nelson’s Cup Series features daily informal prizegivings at the Antigua Yacht Club, with English Harbour Five Year Old Rum and Carib Beer as prizes. The Antigua 360 Prizegiving is held at the Sevenstar Welcome Party on Saturday 17th February. The Overall and Class Winners for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series are celebrated at the RORC Caribbean 600 Prizegiving on Friday 23rd February. For more information visit:

ENDS/… Louay Habib

Runners & Riders: RORC Caribbean 600 Race

The Royal Ocean Racing Club is all set for the 15th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised in association with the Antigua Yacht Club. Close to 65 teams are expected to be competing with 500 sailors from 26 different countries racing in a huge diversity of boats. Racing action starts with inshore courses for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series on 13th February. At least 16 teams are expected to be racing in the series, which includes the Antigua 360 ‘Round Antigua’ race.

The 600-mile offshore race, the RORC Caribbean 600, starts on 19th February. The overall winner is decided by the best corrected time under the IRC Rating Rule. Special prizes are awarded to Multihull and Monohull Line Honours, as well as the Class40 Division.

RORC Caribbean 600 – Entries by class on SailRace HQ HERE

Multihull Line Honours

Three MOD70s are set for a line honours battle; Erik Maris racing Zoulou (FRA) is defending their win by 21 seconds last year. Jason Carroll’s Argo (USA) took line honours in 2022, setting the Multihull Race Record of 29 Hours 48 Mins 45 Secs. Alexia Barrier’s MOD70 Limosa – The Famous Project (FRA) is the first MOD70 to enter the race with a majority female crew, including co-skipper Dee Caffari. With C-Foils and T-Rudders, Zoulou and Argo have a speed edge on Limosa in decent breeze. However, the RORC Caribbean 600 course has many twists and turns which may suit Limosa in original MOD70 configuration with less drag.

Monohull Line Honours

Three high performance Maxis are in contention for Monohull Line Honours and the overall win under IRC. Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON), skippered by Chris Sherlock set the original Monohull Line Honours Race Record in 2009. Now under new ownership, Leopard 3 has had a major rebuild shedding tons of weight and a new high performance rig. In the last 4 months Leopard has won line honours in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and RORC Transatlantic Race. The Wally 107 Spirit of Malouen X (FRA) poses the biggest threat to Leopard 3. The longest boat in the race is crewed by the Paprec Sailing Team, managed by Skipper Stephane Neve for the last 25 years. The trio of boats over 100ft is completed by the 102ft Southern Wind Egiwave. The Italian Pro-Crew come from Porto Cervo, Sardinia under the leadership of Mauro Montefusco and Pierpaolo Mori. The Monohull Race Record was set in 2018 by George David’s Rambler 88 (USA) – 01 days 13 hrs 41 mins 45 secs.

Erik Maris’ MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) © Tim Wright/

Wally 107 Spirit of Malouen X (FRA) – Paprec Sailing team © Gianfranco Forza

MOCRA Multihull Class

While all three MOD70s will also be vying for the corrected time win under the MOCRA Rule, reigning champion, Adrian Keller’s Irens 84 Allegra (FRA) is favourite to retain the title. The largest multihull in the race weighs in at about 30 tons but is also capable of over 30 knots of boat speed! In total, nine multihulls will be racing for the MOCRA Class. The smallest is the TS42 Banzai, sailed by Belgian Vince Willemart. Guy Chester’s Crowther 46 catamaran Oceans Tribute (AUS) was sailed from New Zealand to Antigua virtually single-handed by Chester. Closer to home, Wooldridge & Davis’ Kelsall 47 trimaran Triple Jack (BVI) is a legendary Caribbean racer, rebuilt after it was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Yann Marilley Outremer 59 No Limit (FRA), Fabrice Cahierc’s Ocean Fifty Planet-R (FRA) will also be in the mix for a corrected time win in the MOCRA Class.

Adrian Keller’s Irens 84 Allegra (FRA) © Robert Hajduk

Guy Chester’s Crowther 46 catamaran Oceans Tribute (AUS)© James Tomlinson


Class40s have been racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 since the first edition. This year 10 Class40s are expected, including eight launched in the last five years. The latest design is Stéphane Bodin’s 2023 Verdier Wasabiii. The latest Sam Manuard Mach 5 designs in the race are: LHOR One, owned by Cedric Chateau, with a crew including Rolex Fastnet winner Alexis Loison and rising French sailor Guillaume Pirouelle, and Alternative Sailing – Construction du Belon, with English Skipper Mathieu Jones. From the USA, Martin Roesch’s Mach 3 Velocity has an all North American crew and the boat won the 2019 Race, skippered by Catherine Pourre. Alexandre Le Gallais’ TrimControl crew includes Carlo Vroon, son of Tonnerre de Breskens Dutch legend Piet Vroon. Twenty-five-year-old German, Lennart Burke is one of the youngest skippers in the class and will be racing the 2022 Verdier Sign for Com (GER).

RORC Vice Commodore Richard Palmer was all set for his debut race in Jangada 40 (GBR), a 2017 Verdier design. However, due to eye injury, Palmer will miss out and RORC Commodore Deb Fish will race her first RORC Caribbean 600. The Jangada 40 crew includes Rupert Holmes, winner of the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland, and Vendée Globe sailor Pip Hare, as well as the boat’s previous skipper Paul Brandel.

Martin Roesch’s Mach 3 Velocity © Tim Wright/

Sign for Com (GER) © Qaptur/Next Generation Boating GmbH

Overall Winner under IRC

The IRC Fleet for the RORC Caribbean 600 is extremely diverse. The overall winner after time correction will lift the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, but to win the prestigious silver trophy, any team must first win their IRC Class.

IRC Super Zero

As well as the 100ft-plus boats; Spirit of Malouen X/Paprec Sailing Team, Leopard 3, and Egiwave, IRC Super Zero has seven teams in total. Three entries are round the world racing yachts with pro-am crews. The Farr 70 Ocean Breeze (AUT), skippered by Johannes Schwarz was the first pro-am team in IRC to finish the 2024 RORC Transatlantic Race. Oliver Kobale and Gerwin Jansen, with a multinational pro-am crew will be racing the Farr designed VO65 Sisi (AUT). The Juan K designed Il Mostro (CAN) will be raced by the Atlas Ocean Racing Team from Montreal, Canada, led by Gilles Barbot. The smallest yacht in IRC Super Zero is the Marten 72 Aragon (NED) which includes round the world sailors Wouter Verbraak and Carolijn Brouwer amongst a top international crew. In the last 14 editions of the race, the overall winner has come from the IRC Super Zero Class.

Il Mostro (CAN) raced by the Atlas Ocean Racing Team © Tim Wright/

Pro-Am team on Johannes Schwarz’ Farr 70 Ocean Breeze (AUT)© Robert Hajduk

IRC Zero

While every boat racing under IRC has the chance of the overall win, race pundits consider two boats in IRC Zero to be among the favourites. Niklas Zennström’s 52ft (15.84m) Carkeek-designed CF520 Rán (SWE) is taking part in her second race, but technical problems have hampered the team in the last edition, and in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Team Rán won the race overall in Maxi 72 Rán in 2012. Rán team manager Tim Powell leads an all-star cast, including navigator Steve Hayles, trim lead Toby Iles and boat captain Tom Kiff. Team Rán always has young sailors on board racing with the experienced team.

Peter & David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA) will be skippered by the Ocean Race winning skipper Charlie Enright. The Askew Brothers raced their Volvo 70 Wizard to overall victory in 2019. The new Wizard was formerly Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, a RORC Yacht of the Year and three-time winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart. The Wizard crew are mainly from USA and includes two former race winners; Briton Simon Fisher, Canadian Richard Clarke and Australian Phil Harmer.

Three displacement boats in IRC Zero will be hoping for big upwind conditions; Jean-Pierre Dréau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3, Mills 62 Leaps and Bounds 2, skippered by Luca Lanzillo, and Colin Buffin’s Swan 62 Uxorious IV (GBR).

IRC Zero has a highly competitive line-up, including Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 (FRA). This will be the third race for the top French team, who achieved third in class last year and fifth overall. Jon Desmond’s Mills 41 Final Final (USA) from the NYYC is also an expression of interest for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup. Former RORC Commodore 2022-2023, James Neville loves the RORC Caribbean 600 and has competed on numerous occasions. His Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR) will be making its race debut.

Niklas Zennström’s Carkeek-designed CF520 Rán (SWE) is taking part for the second time © James Tomlinson

Previous overall winners – Peter & David Askew will be competing in their new boat – Botin 52 Wizard (USA) © Arthur Daniel


Three well sailed JPK 1180s are set for a thrilling battle in IRC One; Richard Fromentin’s Cocody (FRA), Tom Kneen’s Rolex Fastnet winner Sunrise III (GBR), and Dawn Treader (GBR), skippered by Ed Bell. Cocody showed their mettle in the RORC Transatlantic Race with second overall and a class win after boldly taking the hard northern route. Dawn Treader is a young team that have been racing together for a few of seasons, including a team-building RORC Transatlantic Race. This is the second RORC Caribbean 600 for Dawn Treader and Sunrise III. In 2022, Sunrise III held off Dawn Treader by just 11 minutes after IRC time correction to win the class.

The biggest boat in IRC One is last year’s class winner; Tom Stark’s Nielsen 59 Hound (USA), co-skippered by Dan Litchfield. The classic Hound is 51 years old and has been lovingly restored for cruising the Eastern Seaboard of USA with Stark family and friends. The RORC Caribbean 600 is where the Hound gets let off the leash! Navigator Richard du Moulin has been in four America’s Cup campaigns and multiple offshore races all over the world, including 26 Newport Bermuda and five Rolex Fastnet Races. The smallest boat in the race is Nathalie Criou’s Figaro 2 Envolee, co-skippered by Berenice Charrez. The Swiss Bioengineering scientist is on a mission to merge extreme sports, notably offshore sailing, with scientific exploration.

Tom Stark’s classic Nielsen 59 Hound (USA) © Tim Wright/

Sunrise III (GBR), Tom Kneen’s JPK 1080 won IRC One in 2022 © Tim Wright/


For the lowest IRC rated boats in the RORC Caribbean 600, the race is a real marathon just to finish before the big party at the Grand Prize Giving, but make no mistake, IRC Two produces a very competitive competition, especially after IRC time correction, and is often the class where new sailors learn the art of offshore sailing from experienced competitors.

Well sailed boats in IRC Two include last year’s class winner Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA), representing the Larchmont Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club. In Theory also won IRC Three in 2020. Gavin Howe’s Sun Fast 3600 Tigris (GBR) won IRC Two-Handed in the 2024 RORC Transatlantic Race with co-skipper Maggie Adamson. For the RORC Caribbean 600, Tigris will be four-up with Sam Cooper and Timothée Villain-Amirat joining the crew.

Bernie Evan-Wong’s Lapworth 39 Huey Too (ANT) is a legendary boat in the Caribbean. Skipper Bernie has competed in every edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. Huey Too’s crew includes the youngest sailor in the race; Carrack Jones who was born the year that Bernie did the first race! Fourteen-year-old Carrack has attended the last two Optimist Worlds and North Americans representing Antigua & Barbuda, and last year sailed his Opi 100nm from Antigua to St Martin.

Charles MacDonald’s Samoa 47 Argonaut (RSA) carries the biggest IRC Two rating and is representing the Royal Cape Yacht Club. The family-owned South African-built boat has spent most of its life racing in and around Cape Town, including five Cape2Rio races over the past three decades. Argonaut’s crew for the RORC Caribbean 600 includes members of the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club, Guernsey, UK. The smallest boat in IRC Two is Enrico Calvi’s Dufour 34 Duffy (ITA). The Lega Navale Italiana team come from Naples and have competed in nine Rolex Middle Sea Races and one Rolex Fastnet Race. The largest boat in IRC Two is Joel Aronson’s S&S 49 Rule One (USA) from the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, Bermuda.

Raced every edition: Bernie Evan-Wong – Lapworth 39 Huey Too (ANT) © Mags Hudgell

IRC Two winner in 2023 – Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA) © Paul Wyeth/

Teams in the RORC Caribbean 600 will be sending back pictures and video to a Live Blog on the official website. RORC social media pages includes Instagram and Facebook. All of the boats are fitted with YB Trackers with regular position reports and more data available from the official minisite. The RORC Caribbean 600 is part of the RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world’s largest offshore racing series.

For more information:

#Caribbean600 @rorcracing

ENDS/.. Louay Habib

St. Maarten Heineken Announces Caribbean Mélange Line-up for 2024

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Announces Caribbean Mélange Line-Up for 2024


January 30, 2024 — Simpson Bay — The 44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will be a celebration of Caribbean culture – from the heritage of the island and sailing, to the sights, sounds and flavors of what makes St. Maarten so unique. Prepare to experience a mélange of the Caribbean, where music, dance and flavors come together to celebrate the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta this February 29 – March 3, 2024!

In preparation for the event that is officially one month away, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is proud to announce a local and international line-up that compliments the energy of the Regatta. Thursday, February 29 kicks off the 4-day Regatta Party with an epic DJ Battle featuring local DJs. Lovers of EDM can expect the party island to deliver on the best riffs and loops in the Caribbean.

On Friday, March 1, international artists Kevin Lyttle and Rupee are the evening’s headliners, serenading the crowds with their chart-topping hits. Kevin Lyttle became world famous with “Turn Me On”, his hit single – a dance pop hit with Caribbean vibes derived from his home island of St. Vincent. Rupee will also set the tone, serving up the soca sounds from his native Barbados, including “Tempted to Touch.” Local artists adding to the hot lineup on Friday will include King T-Mo, Control Band and Mix Master Pauly guaranteeing a fun-filled Friday night.


Saturday, March 2 features double the fun with French Urban pop duo DROXYANI. Bringing together one love, one island – St. Maarten and Saint Martin celebrate “Twice the Caribbean” with a French blend of Caribbean sounds from this American Haitian duo. It is sure to be an island-wide dance party! Local artists King James, Latin Sugar, Urmain Drum Band and island DJs, as well as a Carnival Troupe dance performance will set the stage for a true Caribbean celebration.

Sunday, March 3 is the big day with international artist Tarrus Riley as the main headliner. Tarrus Riley is a Jamaican-American, true Rastafarian with pure reggae medlies that he makes his own with an incredible band. The song “She’s Royal” is his signature song that makes everyone sway when these tunes come on. Known as an incredible performer, he was picked up internationally quickly, resulting in collaborations with Major Lazer and Ellie Goulding.

Artist Adam O backed by Blind Earz will also serve up the Caribbean spirit from the US Virgin Islands to get the crowd warmed up with soca and reggae songs. DJ Puffy will also make his debut on the Regatta stage, emerging as the most skilful DJ of his era. DJ Puffy excelled by creating a unique Caribbean-EDM sound that captivates audiences, holding the title as a finalist of the Red Bull Thre3style World Championships. Local artists such as Tamillia Chance and Kenyo Baly will once again rock the Regatta stage, and deliver on some home-grown St. Maarten musical talent.

All of these incredible artists can be found performing at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Village at Princess Port de Plaisance daily starting after Regatta prize giving. The Regatta Village is open to the public daily starting at 3 PM, with prize giving starting around 6 PM, and live music immediately following the daily prize giving. The Regatta Village will also have several bars serving ice cold Heinekens, celebratory bottles and glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne, and plenty of Tito’s Vodka cocktails to choose from! With lots of food and entertainment for all, the Regatta Village is a family-friendly venue with a medley of sailors, locals and visitors who all share in the Regatta vibes.

After-parties will continue the celebrations with Heineken “Green Zones” at top island venues, Soggy Dollar Bar and Moonbar, on Friday and Saturday nights. For those looking to start the party earlier, head on up to Ele8 at Rainforest Adventures at 3 PM Saturday to capture the race finishes in Simpson Bay from a birdseye at the top of the Island! The world’s best EDM artists will elevate your senses with tropical house and beach vibes that take partying in paradise to another level.

The “Serious Fun!” is not only reserved for shoreside festivities; for four days 100+ international boats will be racing around the island for the 44th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta! Sailors are getting prepared, with many race boats already on island, such as Volvo Ocean Race boat Team JAJO, and more arriving each day through the iconic Simpson Bay Bridge. Other expected competitors already registered are 100-ft Maxi race boats, a fleet of 30 Sunsail bareboats, and a home-grown fleet of Diam 24s attracting top performance sailors from around the world.

Those who are without a boat, but are still interested in being part of the action on the water, can sign up to join the official VIP Spectator Boat. The VIP Spectator Boat is hosted by Sint Maarten Yacht Club on Saturday and Sunday during racing, offering breakfast, lunch, and an open bar. Listen to live commentary provided by Sint Maarten Yacht Club sailors who offer the play-by-play as spectators relish in front-row seats to the start line action. Learn more and start planning your Regatta schedule:

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:


And Their Off – Pure Grenada Sailing Week 2024

Monday 29th January, Racing for the International fleet of the Pure Grenada Sailing Week started today. Fantastic weather conditions, though an unusual wind direction from south east. A few showers just before the start always adds to the excitement. The first horn of the 2024 edition blew this morning at 9am as the fleet, 36 boats strong, adjusted their sails for the conditions and the 12-knots of wind. All five classes had good starts making life easy for Race Office James Benoit and his team. With 265 crew over the start line in Tyrell Bay, the boats headed out along the 30-mile course around Carriacou, Grenada.

It became clear at the final registration the day before, that there was an imbalance between class numbers. It was decided therefore, to create a third CSA Class (CSA 3) splitting CSA 2. Also, to merge the Simplified and Classic Classes to create a Spirit Class.

The final Class order across the start line was confirmed as CSA 1, CSA 2, CSA 3, Spirit and Multihull. GFA Caraibes – La Morrigaine was the first boat over the start line.

Watching the Classics Galatea and The Blue Peter slowly coming from behind us to gracefully overtake, that was the sight of our day reported by a crew member on Rasmus racing in CSA 3.

Punch Croisieres, with Jean Michel Figueres took line honours at Tyrell Bay and crossed the finish line, having circumnavigated Carriacou in just over 2.5 hours (2:39:56). Following behind was Category 5, and Emily of Cowes. The next few hours saw the majority of the fleet cruise back into the bay as corrected times were calculated and results accumulated. Just before 2pm the last boat crossed the finish line earlier than expected due to the great weather conditions.

Final results using corrective times saw Richard Szyjan’s Hobie 33, Category 5, take first place in the CSA 1 Class, followed by GFA Caraibes – La Morrigaine, with Sang Neuf  placed third.

CSA 2 Richard Oswald’s Elan 450, Emily of Cowes took first place, followed by Katy Campbell’s Panacea X and Jaguar with Peter Morris coming third.

In CSA 3 Mark Chapman’s Dingolay took first place, followed by Hooligan in second, and Cricket following closely behind. It is good to have Sandy Mair back in the fold after not being able to attend last year.

Spirit Class saw Judd Tinius’s beautiful custom Classic Galatea take first place followed by another Classic beauty,The Blue Peter. Third place was won on corrective time by Nuku Alofa of China. We believe this is Peter Zhu’s first ever regatta having only recently purchased Nuku Alofa, his 42ft Halberg Rassy.

Race 1 – Around Carriacou

Multihull Class, has 4 boats this edition, the competition is stepping up. Leopard 47 Spirit of Everest placed first with Robbie Yearwood, followed by David Slater’s Delphine. Grand Crew with Scott Burkhardt coming in third.

The Hon. Tevin Andrews, Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs and Local Government and the Hon. Ron Redhead Member of The House of Representatives both attended the evenings party hosted by The Original Slipway who had selected several food vendors to offer local delicacies to the hungry sailors.

The Hon Ron Redhead, Carol Gorvett and The Hon Tevin Andrews

Sea Hawk Paints, loyal supporters of this Caribbean Sailing Association sanctioned regatta, Sponsored Race Day 1 and Denis Laker attended to congratulate the winners. First, second and third place prizes were awarded to each of the 5 Classes.

Race Day 1 – Sea Hawk Paints Prize Giving

With a successful and exciting start to the regatta, the 2024 Pure Grenada Sailing Week is no doubt going to be a competitive one as the party has only just started! Thank you Carriacou for a great welcome.

Click here to view the video overview of the day by Arthur Daniel.

For more information or high-res images please email Images by Tim Wright of Photo Action and Arthur Daniel of Arthur Daniel Creative . 

44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Celebrates Generations of Sailing

44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Celebrates Generations of Sailing


This February 29 – March 3, 2024, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta celebrates 44 years of “Serious Fun!” through multiple generations of sailing. As the flagship annual event for the island’s original yacht club, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and the Regatta continue to support generations of sailing on the island through junior sailing programs and sustainable community initiatives.

Earlier this month, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club hosted a successful Next Generation practice day and team presentation in preparation for the upcoming 44th St. Maarten Regatta. In 2023, the St. Maarten Regatta hosted the first official “Next Generation” racing class as part of the international regatta, providing young local sailors the opportunity to participate in their island’s top racing event.

A total of 24 sailors from the yacht club race team, primary school program, and afterschool program were selected to participate in the 2024 Next Generation Race. Under the guidance of Racing Coach Sam Peeks, 12 teams of 2 were chosen to represent their skills and talent during the St. Maarten Regatta. The selection process aimed to highlight the prowess of the participants in facing the challenges posed by the race, while providing an equal and fair opportunity for all level sailors across the fleet.

“The races provide a real-world testing ground, pushing participants’ skills and seamanship to the limit,” remarked Sam Peeks, the Racing Coach overseeing the event. Throughout the practice day, participants engaged in four challenging practice races within the lagoon, navigating through gusty winds and shifting breeze. The proud youth teams returned to the Club for their official team presentations, where the junior sailors got to eye up the competition they will be facing at the 2024 St. Maarten Regatta Next Generation Race!

“Our parents have sailed the Regatta for many years, and now it’s our turn to race!” said junior sailors Charlotte and Ayla. Last year, top youth female sailing talent Emma Lennox skippered in the Next Generation Race, and this year races with her friend Veronica on the boat “Pink Panther.” Emma also comes from a family of sailors, with brother James and parents all active racers on the island. At this year’s Regatta, proceeds from the Water Taxi service will go towards supporting the next generation of sailors in the Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s junior and community sailing programs. Donations can also be made online:

The St. Maarten Regatta is committed to the next generation of ocean lovers, both on and off the water. The Annual Regatta Art competition brings together students from local schools with a “Serious Fun!” competition to showcase young artistic talent and ocean advocacy on the island. This year’s competition celebrated the theme of “Sint Maarten: Sailing Through Nature & Culture” and the creative works were awarded at an art show and prize giving at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club on January 13, 2024.

To further protect and ensure many more generations are able to enjoy the St. Maarten Regatta, sustainability has become one of the event’s core values. Another annual initiative returns on February 10, 2024: the Kim Sha Beach Clean Up. This event brings together the local community, kids, families, and sailors alike to give back to the beach that has given so much to the St. Maarten Regatta. All are welcome to attend!

Sailors of yesteryear will remember Kim Sha Beach as the former legendary waterside location of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. As the event has outgrown the location, and relocated to the equally beautiful Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, Kim Sha Beach is still near and dear to regatta-goers. Many still flock to the location to enjoy the local lolos – the best BBQ on the island – and fan-favorite beach bars and clubs.

During the Regatta, yacht-spotters can enjoy beachside drinks and eats at “Regatta Ready” venues around Kim Sha, Simpson Bay, and other locations around the island. Of course, the best place to spot the yachts is right at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, for the daily bridge show at the iconic Simpson Bay Bridge. Whether it’s your morning coffee for the outbound bridge at 8:30 AM, or starting happy hour early for the inbound at 3 PM – grab a drink and watch the race boats go by – with the Sunday evening show being the best for last!

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is a bucket-list event for everyone. Thousands fly and sail in every year for the first weekend in March to experience the “Serious Fun!” that extends from day to night. The Regatta Village will be open to the public daily from Thursday, February 29 – Sunday, March 3, 2024, featuring hot local music talents, fresh culinary delights, and bottles of Heineken, Veuve Clicquot and Tito’s Vodka on ice.

For decades, hundreds of volunteers from across the island to cruisers and vacationers alike, all come together to be part of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta magic. Many return year after year to be part of this bucket-list event, and can be found on race committees, water taxis, at prize giving and throughout the Regatta village! Those interested in getting behind-the-scenes access and being part of the Regatta community can sign-up to join the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta volunteer team:

Media accreditations are also available for members of the press and journalists with assignments. St. Maarten Heineken Regatta media accreditation include media boat access days as well as press pass access to Regatta Village. Media interested in attending and covering the Regatta should apply, limited spots available:

Stay tuned for special announcements about headliners, after-parties, special concerns and events going on around the island: FEB 29 – MAR 3, 2024! Learn more: and follow @stmaartenheinekenregatta on Instagram and Facebook.

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:

Checking off the Bucket List: Racing the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival

Regatta first timers look forward to sailing the Caribbean’s finest!

An exhilarating aspect of BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival (BVISR) is the opportunity that the regatta presents for a wide variety of boats to participate. This year’s diverse entry list includes three boats new to racing BVISR; Salacia 1, a Beneteau First 44.7 owned by Chris Chart, Rikki, a RP42 owned by Bruce Chafee, and Final Final, a Mills 41 owned by Jon Desmond. Each was purchased with the goal of someday racing in the Caribbean and this year, all three boats will participate in the BVISR for the first time.

Checking off the bucket list – racing at the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival ©Ingrid Abery/

Chris Chart lives near a lake in Proctor in eastern British Columbia, Canada, where he sails in the summer. He started looking for a boat to buy during Covid, which proved a difficult market at the time given all that was going on back then. He finally found Salacia 1, a cruiser racer, in the BVI two years ago and other than needing to install a new rig for insurance purposes, the boat was ready to go. Chart’s been making the most of his time aboard; he’s cruised from the Caribbean up to Annapolis and Long Island Sound, then back to the Caribbean for the 2023 Heineken Regatta. This year he plans to do the Heineken Regatta again with a group of friends from his sailing club in Canada – the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association – before heading to the BVI where he has local friends who are helping him put together a scratch team.

“This will be an experimental run at BVISR as we’ll be a group of people who haven’t raced together previously,” Chart smiled. “We’re looking forward to it. We’re very much enjoying the Caribbean so far, it’s pretty nice to be there especially given the weather back home!”

Beneteau First 44.7 Salacia 1 owned by Chris Chart (CAN) © Tim Wright/

It’s fair to say that Bruce Chafee, from Boston, Mass, USA, loves his boat, and he’s particularly excited to be checking off bucket list items starting with a second run at the RORC Caribbean 600 this year, before making it over to the BVISR in late March. This is his sixth season with Rikki, which he found in New Zealand after an exhaustive search for just the right boat. Built in 2011, she was purpose-built for offshore racing and in recent years he’s successfully finished the Newport to Bermuda race, Annapolis to Newport, and the Pineapple Cup (Miami to Jamaica). The boat now lives near Newport, Rhode Island.

“It was only one of two boats we found that fit my criteria – it’s odd to say but I’m in it just for the racing!” Chafee laughed. “The boat is an offshore machine and I like to race offshore 70% of the time, although it does have a head with a door and habitable bunks… We’re excited for the variety of racing that we will get in the BVI – the courses look great and we’re looking forward to the Round Tortola race.” Chafee will race with his core crew of 10-12 from home.

Bruce Chafee’s RP42 Rikki © Julianna Barbieri

The Mills 41 Final Final owned by Jon Desmond from Cohasset, Mass, USA, is also relatively new to Desmond who has owned the boat for two years and while he will be racing this boat in the BVI for the first time, Desmond is no stranger to Caribbean racing. His dad Jack Desmond owned a Swan 48 called Affinity which he raced for many years in the Caribbean and which the young Desmond grew up with. Since purchasing Final Final, which sails out of Newport, RI, Desmond has put the boat through its paces: last winter he did the RORC Caribbean 600, St Thomas International Regatta, Heineken, and the Voile. This summer they raced on the Great Lakes, competing in the Chicago-Mac and others before trucking the boat to Florida. This year they are taking a second shot at the Caribbean 600 before heading over to the BVISR, noted Matt Wordell, Desmond’s boat manager and friend, who added that Final Final’s core crew comprises a group of some ten of Jon’s friends.

“Jon bought the boat to race the bucket list of races he wanted to do, and the Caribbean 600 last year was our first real race on the boat; we had a lot of takeaways after 600 miles of sailing together!” Wordell said. “We’re looking forward to a whole week of BVI Spring Regatta, including the Round Island and the Scrub Invitational, and many of the crew plan to bring our families to spend the week at Nanny Cay Marina and Resort.”

Mills 41 Final Final (USA) owned by Jon Desmond © Tim Wright/

Regatta Director Cayley Smit, new to the BVISR this year, hopes that in 2024 the event will continue to build on its reputation as one of the world’s favourite sailing events.

“For those of you who are contemplating the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, either as a returning competitor or for the first time, do it!” Smit commented. “We promise world-class racing in superb conditions, and exceptional shore-side hospitality – it’s a racing experience not to be missed! Sign up at”

ENDS/… Michelle Slade/BVISR

© Caribbean Sailing Association 2018