Simpson Bay, St. Maarten – November 27, 2019
The first day of the Stuyvesant series had more boats sailing (34) than in the past number of years that anybody can remember. This was achieved through the participation of the French side sailing school and some private boats. Sailing took place on the south side of the causeway in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Moderate wind speeds allowed for a focus on strategy and tactics in the moderate windshifts of the Simpson Bay lagoon (for a change).
The laser fleet, with 8 entries experienced some tight competition especially in the front where Frits Bus and Jolyon Ferron shared a point total (both 1,1,2,2) but Bus took the day win due to having won the last race. A situation that was created in the last few meters of the course. Chris Cilliers was third but a developing pair being Ryan Hope Ross (4th) Arthur Banting (5th) are ready to pounce on mistakes. The laser fleet was exceptional by having its own “groupie boat” monitoring the races!
The Laser Pico fleet saw 4 first time competitors from the French side, but they showed that they can challenge our own Pico sailors more than enough. In 1st and 2nd place were Elliot (9 points) and Christopher (11 points) from the French side, but in 3rd place Jayden Aventurin is defending the honors of our sailing school. With Melina de Vries and Ajani Blake still close to the podium the battle for 1st, 2nd and 3rd will be very interesting the 2nd day.
In the Optimist fleet where there were 9 entries. Caii Banting showed that he was the most experienced racer in the Opti fleet by having great starts every race. Chris de Wilde sailed a very consistent regatta, always finishing a couple of boat lengths behind Caii. Adriaan Coppelmans had some difficulty sailing to his level in the first races but by race 4 Caii and him had a very close finish with Caii only a couple of inches ahead of Adriaan.
In the Vision class Summer Jean Morton and Mathijs Detering continue to out sail all comers although a breakthrough occurred with Justin Pieterse and Ajani Destin. Managed to take line honors in one race thus proving that it can be done and we are looking for them to raise their game in the interests of the fleet.
In the Sunfast 20 class, Robbie Ferron managed to hold off Rien Korteknie on all but one occasion. Tony came third and Mark van Dongen took fourth place.
The Stuyvesant series is the second mini-series that is part of the Grant Thornton Season Championship that continues right through the 2019/2020 sailing season. The first one was the Soons series. The second race day of the Stuyvesant Series is on Saturday the 14th of December.
The French side of St Martin has a recently created sailing school that uses two of the same class types as the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. This opens up the opportunity for larger fleets, more competition and a consequent higher standard of sailing. The school ‘le club de voile de Friar’s Bay’ was created by Antoine Bonna and is based at Friar’s Bay. For more information about the French sailing school go to their facebook page: https://bit.ly/33tmoXg. For more information about the Season championship go to our website: https://www.smyc.com/dinghy-series
Sint Maarten Yacht Club
The club was established in 1980 with the goal to promote sailing on the island of St. Maarten. The Sint Maarten Yacht Club organizes multiple sailing events throughout the year, with the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta as its crown jewel. A youth sailing program stimulates local youngsters to become part of the sailing community, teaching them life skills like teamwork, perseverance and confidence. Always looking to further develop sailing on St. Maarten, the Club is active in promoting the sport, as well as the beautiful Caribbean island destination of St. Maarten. For more information visit www.smyc.com