For the last day of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, Caribbean sunshine and 12 knots of warm south-easterly breeze, greeted the 193 teams taking part in the 36th edition of the regatta. Just one nerve jangling race was scheduled with all competitors enjoying spectacular conditions on the leeward coast of St. Maarten. With no discard, every class was hanging in the balance and Super Sunday produced some of the closest racing in the long history of the regatta. All results are provisional at the time of this report.
Peter Harrison’s British TP52, Sorcha dominated the class, executed text manoeuvres and boat handling during the entire regatta to reel off four straight bullets. Irvine Laidlaw’s British RP82, Highland Fling X1 was second but will take comfort from setting a new monohull course record for the Round St. Maarten Race. Kip Curren’s American Farr 60, Prospector scored four podium finishes to claim third.
During the regatta five yachts shared the podium in the class, with competitive racing right through the fleet. Jeroen Van Dooren’s Dutch Swan 66, Lot66 held on to take the class win in the last race by a single point from Giancarlo Gianni’s Durlindana 3. The Italian team won the last race of the regatta but that was not quite enough for victory. Alan Edwards’ British Swan 65, Spirit was a solid third in class.
PrzemysÅ‚aw Tarnacki’s Farr 60, Ambersail scored three straight bullets for a famous victory over Team Brunel. This is the first occasion that the Lithuanian boat has won class at a major Caribbean regatta. No doubt the team will be celebrating hard tonight. Team Brunel’s Dutch Volvo Ocean 65 was sailed by Red Bull Eyewear and was second in every race. The runners up in last year’s Volvo Ocean Race were a mixture of professional and amateur sailors and truly entered into the spirit of the regatta and should be applauded for that. Chris Stanmore-Major’s Whitbread 60, Challenger was third and sailed to the Caribbean from Canada in January and literally had to cut the boat free from ice for an epic delivery including a 70 knot storm.
Of the 26 multihulls racing at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, Lloyd Thornburg’s American MOD70, Phaedo3 was untouchable. Hitting speeds of well over 30 knots, Phaedo’s ballistic form secured the Multihull 1 Class with straight wins and an astonishing lap of St. Maarten in one hour and nineteen minutes. Mitch Sylvano & Michaux Corroy’s striking Carib Cat was the winner of Multihull 2 by a single point from Sergei Kischilov’s Selika. In Multihull 3 Andrey Arbuzov’s Karla scored straight wins to take the class but was pushed hard by Petr Kochnev, Nala.
Jason Carroll’s Elvis is the king of the Gunboat class for the third year in a row, having scored three straight bullets in the regatta. Elvis has been turboed since the last performance with a taller rig and an uber increase in sail area. Look out for the Elvis costumes tonight. Greg Gigliotti was second in every race. Angus Ball’s Coco de Mer held off a strong challenge from Jonathan Bush’s Zenyatta to take third.
Frits Bus’ Island Water World completed a highly polished performance to win the Melges 24 class from last year’s winner Andrea Scarabelli’s Gill Race Team. Henry Leoning’s Firewater won the last race to take third in class on countback from Nicolas Gillet’s Gfa caraibes.
Having scored four straight wins Mark Chapman’s Ker 11.3, Dingo was over eager on the last start of the regatta and had to return to restart the race, eventually placing fourth for Race 5. However, the error of judgement was not enough to affect their overall performance and the team from Trinidad is the winner of the class. Sergio Sagramoso’s Melges 32 Lazy Dog finished second in class with fellow Puerto Rican team, Luis Jarbe’s Soca, winning the last race to place third for the series.
Holed in the Gill Commodore’s Cup, Ross Applebey’s British Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster, came back to win class in the Round St. Maarten Race. The charter boat was then beaten twice by Renato Jose Da Cunha Faria’s Brazilian Dufour 500, Ventaneiro 3. However, Scarlet Oyster came back to win the last race of the series and the class by a single point. Don Terwilliger’s American First 47.7. Dauntless, held off a strong challenge from Jack Desmond’s American Swan 58, Affinity to take third.
Philippe Charret’s A40, Lipton got off to a fantastic start in the last race and was looking set for class glory but Richard Wesslund’s Florida based team on J/122 El Ocaso came storming back to win the last race and take the class. David Sampson’s Australian King 40, Corrs Light Racing took second in the last race to place third in class.
Ben Jelic’s St. Maarten custom Kiwi 35, Wild Devil, nailed the final start to win the closest encounter of the entire regatta. Conor Fogerty’s Sunfast 36, Bam also got away well. After time correction on the final race, which lasted over two hours, Wild Devil was the winner by a single second. Overnight leaders; Jonathan Lipuscek’s Dark Star and Jordan Mindich’s Solstice were third and sixth in the last race, which meant that Wild Devil was the class winner on countback. Wild Devil was effectively class winner by a single second.
Sir Bobby Velasquez has won the battle of the St. Maarten knights, his Beneteau 45, L’Esperance crossed the finish line of the last race, just over a minute and a half ahead of Sir Robbie Ferron racing J/39, Team Budget Marine Micron 99, to take the class title. Jeremi Jablonski’s American Hanse 430, Avanti won the last race of the regatta to place third.
Ralph Magras’ x-34, Maelia claimed the last race of the regatta to defeat his bother Raymond Magras, racing Dufour 34 Speedy Nemo. Both yachts are from St. Barths. Antiguan J/30, Caribbean Alliance Insurance, skippered by Tanner and Shari Jones was third.
Turenne Laplace’s Alizés won the last race of the regatta to win the class from David Guiheneuc’s Carib Cleaning with Pierre Altier’s PYC third. The rip roaring speed machines are back at the regatta and many more are expected to participate next year.
Aleksei Dushkin’s Kiev Team Racing won the last race of the regatta to win the 60 strong Bareboat Class overall for the team from Ukraine. Jan Soderberg’s Swedish team racing Bageal scored a third in the last race to take second overall to Burkhard Fahrenkrog’s German team, racing Baltics.
Quotes from the boats will be published after tonight’s Prize Giving on Kim Sha Beach, which is expected to be a fantastic finale, a party fitting for a superb regatta. For full information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com.