The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is Warming Up!

The 44th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta started off with a bang with full sails up and full energy turned ON! Over 110 boats took to the startlines – split between two committee boats responsible for 5-7 classes each, running a total of 23 starts for an incredible kick off to the 2024 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

Competition really heated up in the sportsboat class, and the starts meant everything in this hyper-competitive fleet. The local Melges boats proved their local knowledge, with Jolyon Ferron, Skipper of Budget Marine, nailing the final race start and favoring the committee end of the start line, while the rest of the fleet went pin-end. The lighter wind conditions today hovering around 10-13 knots forced a lot of the fleet offshore, as the mountainous island laid large wind shadows over those who dared to try a shoreside route.

Budget Marine, despite often making it around the marks first in the fleet, was ultimately scored in second place overall, with a new-to-the-Regatta Surprise 25 from Martinique taking everyone by surprise. No, this isn’t the Surprise 25 you’re thinking of – GFA Caraïbes – La Morrigane, who came in 3rd today – this Surprise 25 also came from Martinique to give their fellow islanders a run for their money abroad. Doub 6 / Clippers Ship took first in class, proving that sailors from Martinique are a great match for St. Maarten’s top sportsboat sailors.

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