The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is not just an event for tourists and sailors, it also involves the community.
The community of St. Maarten is involved in several ways.
For 18 years now, the Regatta Office organizes a Regatta Art Competition for primary and high school students on the Dutch part of St. Maarten. The Regatta Art Competition has as main goal creating awareness about the St. Maarten Regatta by means of art. Since the event has a big impact on the island and the local community, the organization feels that it is important to educate children not only about the sailing event and marine industry but also to make them feel proud of their country, and all it has to offer.
During the Regatta Art Competition children will have to complete assignments, which are divided per age group. Professional artists, like Roland Richardson, will judge the pieces of art after they have been handed in at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club or at both Van Dorp locations. The first, second and third place winner in each age category will be rewarded for their creativity.
Over the past years there has been an increase in the number of participants and it will be exciting to see how many participants the Regatta Art Competition will have this year. Each year organizers add new, fun assignments to the package, challenging the children‘s creativity. This year’s assignments will soon be announced.
For several years now, the St. Maarten Regatta Office organizes a Beach Clean-Up for local primary and high school kids on Kim Sha Beach, one of the event venues. The goal is to make the kids aware of the importance to keep the beaches of St. Maarten clean.
The day starts with a presentation of the Nature Foundation about the dangers of garbage. After the presentation it’s time for the clean-up. All kids will get gloves and garbage bags and try to collect as much garbage as possible. Prizes will be given to the kids who collect the most garbage.
The day will be ended with some fun sport activities, organized by Les Brown of LAB Sports Academy. The kids take part in activities like mini golf, tug of war and games of dodge ball.
The St. Maarten Regatta is always very willing to support Programs that give the local youth of St. Maarten the opportunity to learn and enjoy sailing. Two of those programs are the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program and the Kidz at Sea Foundation.
Sint Maarten Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program gives St. Maarten Youth the opportunity to sail in some of the world’s best sailing circumstances, with great winds and beautiful waters.
The Program has been actively teaching children to sail for over 20 years, starting out with limited boats and equipment, they have now expanded to offer lessons to more than 60 children a week and have branched out to include adult lessons within the program.
The St. Maarten Regatta supports the Youth Sailing Program in several ways throughout the year. For several years now, many Regatta competitors have chosen to make a donation to the Youth Sailing Program while paying their entry fees. These donations have been used to provide sailing lessons to the local youth and new sailors have taken part in the program allowing them to be able to enjoy learning about the sport of sailing at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC).
Furthermore, yard sales will be held throughout the year to raise money for the Youth Program and special activities during the Regatta will be organized to collect money for the local youth.
The Regatta Office is also very proud that the SMYC has its own Youth team that takes part in the St. Maarten Regatta. To support this great initiative, the St. Maarten Regatta gives the SMYC Youth Keelboat Team the opportunity to enter the Regatta for free.
For more information about the SMYC Youth Sailing Program, please visit: http://smyc.com/Youth_sailing.
Kidz at Sea Foundation
Kidz at Sea is a foundation that gives children from the Milton Peters College, which is a local high school at St. Maarten, the opportunity to learn and enjoy sailing. The St. Maarten Regatta donated a big amount of money in the first year of the “Build your future project”, an initiative that focuses on the building of a vessel known as a Skerry by high school students. The main goal of the Build Your Future program is to educate local youngsters about the marine industry and to encourage them to seek employment in the marine industry.
Furthermore, the kids of Kidz at Sea can enter the St. Maarten Regatta for free. Racing the St. Maarten Regatta is for a lot of ‘kidz’ part of their exam.
By now, the St. Maarten Regatta doesn’t sponsor the Kidz at Sea Foundation by means of money, but by promoting the foundation and their projects.
Visit Kidz at Sea at http://www.kidzatsea.com.
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta takes part in the Clean Regatta Program of Sailors for the Sea. Sailors for the Sea is a leading conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean. They are a movement and pragmatic voice for action that offers boaters tangible opportunities to create a legacy and make a difference.
Keeping both local and non-local’s aware of the environment of St. Maarten and the Caribbean is a strong point on the Regatta’s agenda. At this moment the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has been awarded with a Golden Certificate and is very eager to maintain this level and try to improve on various points. Together we can help and keep the ocean clean. Described below is what the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will actually do in order to make everyone involved in this major event aware.
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Office orders several biodegradable products, such as cups, coffee cups, household towels, toilet tissues and garbage bags to be used during the Regatta.
Recycling/ responsible signage:
To make people aware of their garbage, we collaborate with Clean St. Maarten to promote separating waste. All waste bins are clearly marked with ‘Recycling’, ‘Compost’ or ‘Landfill’. Clean St. Maarten provides recycle bins to cover the property at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. Every day, employees of Clean St. Maarten come to empty the recycling bins and to keep everything clean.
Paperless Regatta Management:
Just like previous years, we are aiming to do a (fully) paperless registration for the 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. This will help saving paper and will save us a lot of garbage at the same time! With our online entry and results system, provided by regattaguru.com, and digital results screens on the party locations, there is no need for paper anymore.
All the bow numbers that will be used for our participants are reusable! The Regatta Organization is busy checking all the numbers and make sure they are still in good shape!
All participants are reminded in the Notice of Race that sewage discharge is illegal.
Oil/fuel spill prevention:
Sol, a presenting sponsor of the Regatta and the official supplier of motorized support has already committed to once again provide the free Water Taxi service for all our competitors. How can you better prevent oil and fuel spill, than with carpooling on the water?
To reduce the amount of cars on the island, the Regatta Organization encourages public transportation, by running shuttles between the Yacht Club and the party locations. These shuttles differ from tenders, to busses.
Would you like to know more about Sailors for the Sea? Please visit their website.