The Gill Commodore’s Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts, whilst the Bareboat and smaller yachts will have one race around laid marks finisihing in Simpson Bay.
The Commodore’s Cup has been sponsored by Gill for the past 6 years and adds another dimension to the already multifaceted St.Maarten Heineken Regatta, allowing sailors to practice and perfect their racing without influencing their main event results.
Weather forecasts for the Gill Commodore’s Cup predict over 20 knots from the east north east, with gusts in excess of 25 knots. St.Maarten local sailors are talking about the potential for even more wind, which should provide for some thrilling action on the south-side of St.Maarten.
The high performance multihulls will kick off the proceedings for Start Boat A, providing an electric start to the day. Michael Sonnenfeldt’s Gunboat 66, Tiger Lily is an early entry, the headturning high-tech catamaran will be sharpening its claws for the five-strong Gunboat Class racing at the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.
The majority of the big boat CSA 1 class will be racing at the Gill Commodore’s Cup, looking to score bragging rights for the main event, including the stunning Volvo 70, Monster Project, skippered by Andy Budgen. Several yachts should have close duels on the water including Clint Brooks Bajan team on TP52, Conviction and Doug Baker’s SoCal team racing Kernan 47, True. Two well sailed Volvo 60s should revel in the big breeze, the Lithuanian crew racing Ambersail have been racing for several years and Canadian Derek Hatfield, racing Spirit of Adventure, has no less than 27 Atlantic crossing to his name.
CSA 2 will feature some exciting contests; Trinidad’s Peter Peake will be racing his latest rocket ship, Dingo and should have cracking race with Antigua’s Bernie Evan Wong racing Taz. Three Melges 32s will enjoy the opening skirmish, Jamie Torres’s Smile & Wave and Sergio Sagramoso’s Lazy Dog are both from Puerto Rico and will be taking on Sint Maarten YC Commodore, Ian Hope Ross’ team racing Kick ’em Jenny 2. Six Melges 24s will also be duking it out in the fresh breeze including 2 teams from Martinique.
At least 13 yachts will be racing in CSA 3 including Richard Wesslund’s Florida based J/122, El Ocaso, 2014 last year’s class winner. St.Maarten Heineken Regatta founder, Robbie Ferron’s new charge, J/39 Budget Marine Aruba will be crewed by sailors from Aruba off north of the coast of Venezuela. Over a dozen Bareboats will be taking part including Mike Cannon & Neil Harvey’s KHS&S Contractors. Neil Harvey is no stranger to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta placing second overall in the Bareboat division last year.
Boats can still enter online or at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club with entry closing on Wednesday 4th March at 1900. A prize giving for the Gill Commodore’s Cup will take on Thursday evening at 7:30pm. The winners will be awarded Gill gear for all teams making the podium. For those that don’t make the podium, the Gill booth is now open at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta
For 35 years, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing—and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment—in the Caribbean. Now recognized by sailors around the planet as one of the sailing world’s best regattas, each year the event lives up to its worthy motto: Serious Fun. 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.