The La Course de l’Alliance Regatta was originally designed to be an alliance between the four ‘hot spots’ of sailing in the North East Caribbean namely, St. Maarten / Saint Martin, St. Barths and Anguilla. Each of these locations have their own sailing Association or Yacht Club. Sint Maarten Yacht Club / Marina Fort Louis, St. Barth’s Yacht Club and the Anguilla Sailing Association.The Marina Fort Louis and the Sint Maarten Yacht Club are also sponsors of this event. Other sponsors are Budget Marine, Windward Island Bank, Siapoc, MP Yachting and Saint Martin Yacht Charters. The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is the organizing body of the regatta.. Over the past 9 years the La Course de l’Alliance has evolved into the very popular season opening regatta. 19 boats entered the regatta this year .
The strength of this regatta is the low profile basis and that it has retained the same formula for the past 9 years. Every boat can compete as long as they are fast enough to sail from St Barths to Anguilla within the time limit. With the registration and skippers briefing at Yacht Club Fort Louis, the atmosphere was set. A lot of old friends gathered for an exciting race between three islands.
On Friday morning 23rd Nov—Race Officer Paul Miller blew the horn for a race from Simpson Bay to St. Barths. Perfect opportunity for Commodore of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, Ian Hope Ross to test his new ‘Kick em Jenny 2’ (Melges 32) in what may be considered as an interesting field of racing boats. A couple of hours later, at the Bay of Gustavia the St. Barths Yacht Club had a finish laid and some racers had found out that their racing skills were a little rusty— which was easily forgotten with a night out at Eddy’s Restaurant in Gustavia. Every year the organization of La Course de l’Alliance, one way or the other, manage to designate a “place to be” for all the sailors and racers.
The next morning the wind prediction was very low and after an early assessment, principle race officer Paul Miller decided to move the start in the direction of Tintemar—north of St. Maarten. Due to the suggestions of the fleet during the cross over, it was decided to start next to Isle Fourche, as the wind picked up by mid morning. This turned out to be a very interesting race as the fleet was left the option to either go north or south of St. Maarten, with the next mark being Anguilita on the way to Road Bay—Anguilla. Bobby Velasquez, with his L ‘Esperance decided to take the gamble and pass his hometown Philipsburg on the south course, followed by Quality Time and Budget Marine, amongst others, only to find out that this gamble was unfortunate as Frits Bus with his Coors Light crew were already on their third drink when Bobby dropped anchor in Road Bay. The night out in Anguilla with dinner at Roy’s and Johno’s— drinks and dancing at the Pumphouse and Elvis meant that a lot of sailors had a slow start on Sunday morning. For this reason Race Officer Paul Miller to put in a downwind start, using the red channel marker in Road Bay to make it easier on all the sailors.
SMYC Commodore Ian Hope Ross, the owner of a new Melges 32 – “Kick Em Jenny 2” is on a steep learning curve, getting used to steering with a tiller instead of a wheel. He is also flying a Genneker instead of his usual spinnaker. Michele Korteweg, current St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Director, debuted as a bow woman on “Aqua Maniacs”. This was the crews first time flying a spinnaker and Michele was quoted as saying “I’m very happy with this achievement, It was incredibly exciting to fly the spinnaker down the Anguilla Channel in 8 knots of wind with a boat speed of 8 knots! We agreed to sail the Voile des St. Barths on this boat as a team.”
The finish of the regatta was in Simpson Bay. Lots of stories were told during a vibrant Prize Giving at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, where all the sailors were awarded with a recent picture of their boat from photographer Robby Cijntje.
All the three organizing Yacht Clubs are looking back at a very successful event and have set the date for next year. 22—24 November 2013. The organization would like to take the opportunity to announce that the race is open for international competition and bare boats. Contact the Sint Maarten Yacht Club for more information firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website: www.coursedelalliance.com
RESULTS: Racing Class: 1/ Coors Light – Skippered by Frits Bus 2/ Kick em Jenny 3/ Budget Marine 4/ Wild Devil – Island Water World 5/ French Connection 6/ Panic Attack
Cruising Class 1/ Bel Aurora – Skippered by Roger Petit 2/ L’Esperance 3/ Lancelot – Lil’E St. Barths 4/ Aqua Maniacs 5/ Painkiller 6/ Lacalaca
Multihull 1/ Dauphine Telecom – Skippered by Erick Clement 2/ Quality Time 3/ Lagoonies Triumph 4/ Billboard Media Guimamalou 5/ Green Flash 6/ Carib Cat 7/ Dual Flyer