The Sint Maarten Yacht Club has a long tradition of sailing and racing:
On the beach in Great Bay a group of sailors came together to form the “Sint Maarten Sailing Club Foundation” and at the same time to organize a regatta nowadays known as the Heineken Regatta. Nobody had in mind major regattas that would attract anybody’s attention. It was more focused on getting at least something to happen for the local sailing enthusiasts who lived on the quiet island of St. Maarten.
The Heineken Regatta organized by the Sint Maarten foundation transformed itself into one of the most dynamic regatta's of the Caribbean. The strong volunteer corps and the enthusiastic quality of their work is the essential ingredient of this event.
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is still the place to be for the local enthusiasts who love sailing. Old or young.
At the very outset of the SMYC (1980 to 1985) there were a small group of keel boats that sailed out of Great Bay. In 1986 the first group of Lasers were purchased in a single lot of 8 boats. The boats buyers included Rien Korteknie, Robbie Ferron, Frits Bus, Paul Dielemans Chris Goedhart and Paul Stoutenbeck.
The sailing activity shot up and soon a second container of another 8 boats was purchased. Soon after an annual Laser regatta was started which at its peak boasted over 50 participants.
This was a great period for SXM sailing and sailors; we went to many other regatta’s (Antigua and St. Thomas) and they came to us. This created a friendship that also generated many participants for the still fast-growing Heineken regatta’s. We also participated in many other events and therefore also generated more interest for competitive sailors to come to St. Maarten over the years.
The fleet was largely wiped out in the 1995 hurricane Luis which resulted in keel boat sailing being much more limited for a number of years after that the fleet was rebuild. More recently (2018) hurricane Irma hit the island. Again, the fleet was largely wiped out. But SMYC’s sponsors helped rebuild the entire fleet!
2018-present: Michel Soons
2016-2018: Christopher Marshall
2010-2016: Ian Hope Ross
2009-2010: Robbie Ferron
2005-2009: Frank Hoedemaker
2004-2005: David Schuttleworth
2002-2004: Jerry Blakeslee
2000-2002: Cees Schoonbeek
1999-2000: Heather Judd
1998-1999: Jerry Blakeslee
1996-1997: Andre v.d. Akker
1995-1996: Gail Rapley
1993-1995: Paul Virgo
1990-1993: Jan van den Eynde
1989-1990: Gail Rapley
1987-1988: Jack Beentjes
1986-1987: Tom Pas
1980-1986: Robbie Ferron