The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is not just an event for tourists and sailors, it also involves the community. Please read below about the events the Regatta Office organizes year round and how they support the Local Youth Sailing Program.
Besides involving the local community, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta also wants to contribute to help saving the environment. The Regatta cooperates with Sailors for the Sea to get certified for a Clean Regatta. One of their best practices is cooperating with Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) and their sewage pumpout boat, Slurpy.
- Local Youth Sailing
- Regatta Art Competition
- Beach Clean-Up
- Clean Regatta
- 'Slurpy' the Sewage Pumpout Boat
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. One of those programs is the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program.
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.
For more information about the SMYC Youth Sailing Program, please click here.
For 19 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. 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.
In 2009, The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta became the first “clean regatta” in the Caribbean with 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 Silver 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.
Biodegradable Products: 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.
Banning of Styrofoam and Straws: Since the 2017 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the organization bans Styrofoam on the event site. Styrofoam was used by many food vendors as plates or box. Before, the organization had already banned straws at the event. Straws are dangerous when ending up on the beach or in the ocean, where they can injure and kill wildlife, including endangered sea turtles.
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 39th 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.
Bow numbers: All the bow numbers that will be used for our participants are reusable. At the end of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the organization and volunteers are busy cleaning the bow numbers and making sure that they are still in a good shape.
No Discharge: All participants are reminded in the Notice of Race that sewage discharge is illegal. Together with EPIC, a sewage pumpout service (a boat name Slurpy) is provided. You can find more information about Slurpy in the next tab.
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?
Alternative Transportation: To reduce the amount of cars on the island, the Regatta Organization encourages public transportation, by running shuttles and providing water taxi services between the Yacht Club and the party locations.
Would you like to know more about Sailors for the Sea? Please visit their website here.
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Organizers are happy to collaborate with EPIC to offer competitors a sewage pumpout service during the Regatta.
Boats in and around the Simpson Bay Lagoon of St. Maarten/St. Martin can now properly dispose of onboard sewage by using the services of the sewage pumpout boat “Slurpy.” The boat is owned by the St. Maarten-based foundation Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), which recently completed repairs to damage caused by Hurricane Gonzalo, and is operated by The Business Point, a service company located in Simpson Bay.
According to international law, boaters must be at least 12 nautical miles from land to legally discharge untreated sewage. Slurpy provides boaters in and around the Lagoon a much more convenient, hygienic, and environmentally responsible option.
The boat is designed to serve vessels with storage tanks up to 125 gallons. Waste stored in Slurpy’s sealed tank is securely disposed of in a larger land-based holding tank which is then pumped out by a septic truck and transported to the wastewater treatment facility.
Natalia Collier, President of EPIC, noted “Our survey of boaters using Simpson Bay Lagoon showed that pumpout services are expected, particularly among North American and European visitors. A total of 86% of respondents thought the lagoon should be designated a no sewage discharge zone and three-quarters said they would use a mobile pumpout service.”
Hyacinth Joseph, Managing Director of the Business Point, expressed her enthusiasm for the project by saying “We are excited to be a part of this much-needed environmental initiative and are dedicated to ensuring the success of the operation through excellence in customer service.” The boat operator is a licensed captain with many years of experience successfully running charter boats in St. Maarten.
The sewage pumpout boat is part of EPIC’s Love the Lagoon Project, which works to protect and restore the Simpson Bay Lagoon, one of the largest inland lagoons in the West Indies, a crucial ecosystem, and center of the maritime industry.
The pumpout boat service is made possible through key support from CA Technologies, Island Global Yachting, Princess Port de Plaisance, the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (part of the Port St. Maarten Group of Companies), St. Maarten Shipyard, and Wired Sailor.
Boaters can schedule an appointment on VHF Channel 10, by phone at 544-3315, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A representative of EPIC will also be available during registration hours at the St. Maarten Yacht Club to provide more information about the service and to schedule appointments.
To learn more about being a pumpout boat sponsor, interested persons are encouraged to contact EPIC at 545-3009 or email@example.com.