Eight racing teams and two multihulls battled for top honours in the 17th annual La Course de L’Alliance sponsored by FKG Marine Rigging last weekend. Two bullets in the first two races and a second place in the third race ensured Frits Bus’ Team Island Water World place as overall winner. But Kick ‘em Jenny and Wanna B gave them stiff competition and ended up on respectively the second and third place. The battle of the multihulls was won by Arawak, the 52 foot racing machine, in favor of Too Rum Punch.
La Course de L’Alliance is normally a three-day race from St. Maarten to St. Barths, Anguilla and back. This year an adjusted version of the race took place, which became a two-day race to Oyster Bay as travelling restrictions prevented the fleet from sailing to St Barts and Anguilla. Competitors appreciated the creative solution and greatly enjoyed the racing weekend. Family and friends welcomed the teams at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort for pool time, daily prize giving, dinner and an overnight stay. Furthermore, many people enjoyed watching the racers sail around the Southern side of the island during the weekend.
On Saturday race committee scheduled two races, one shorter race to Philipsburg, out to Proselyte Reef and back to Simpson Bay for the second start that took the racers around Molly Beday and into Oyster Pond.
“There was a lot more wind than originally expected, but it made for great racing! Most boat finished the second race within 2 – 2,5 hours, allowing for lots of pool time. There were a couple of squalls, this in combination with choppy seas, made for slightly challenging and wet racing.” Explained Race Officer Saskia Revelman.
Daily prize giving was sponsored by Mount Gay Rum and the winners of race day 1 took a bottle of rum home. In the racing class Team Island Water World came in first place with two bullets and in the multihull class Too Rum Punch came out as the winner of the day.
Race day two started off leisurely with boats showing up at the start line for a 11am start. With Team Island Water World convincingly ahead, Kick ‘em Jenny 2 and Wanna B were fighting for second place. The first day showed tight racing with boats only being seconds apart, the second day would bring even more competition.
Line honours were for Arawak in the multihull class, aboard the youngest sailors of the Regatta, a 2 and 8-year-old who jumped for joy when coming across the finish line first. Kick ‘em Jenny, a Melges 32, came across the finish line second, having had a spectacular downwind sail towards the finish, leaving Frits Bus with his Melges 24 only seconds behind in corrected time.
On the other Melges 24, team Island Water World 2, a team of Sint Maarten Yacht Club youth sailors raced their first Regatta, which came with certain challenges on day 1. On day 2 the team showed more confidence and lots of improvement and managed to beat Team IGY Racing, a J70, to the finish.
“The racing this weekend was spectacular, and the adjusted format was very well received by the competitors. Some are so enthusiastic they want to keep it as part of the original format, making it a four-day event. Something to consider, although we may take this concept and add it as an additional race towards the end of the sailing season, in May, or early June. said Michele Korteweg, the general manager of the Sint Maarten Yacht club (SMYC), hosts to this event.
Final prize giving took place Sunday afternoon at the SMYC and awarded winners with beautiful trophies made by title sponsor FKG Marine Rigging out of discarded rigging materials. At the end organizers called forward Race Officer Saskia Revelman, as it was incredibly special to see such a young (30 years old) female running the races. In addition, long time sailor, Bernard Silem, was recognized for the decades he contributed to sailing and the SMYC. Having sailed with many teams, on different boats, he became a prominent sailor at most Regattas, easily recognized by the zinc covering his face and the t-shirt wrapped around his head to protect him from the sun. He sailed his final Regatta on Sint Maarten and will move off island, however the other competitors hope to welcome him back for future events.
A big thank you to all the sponsors who made this happen: FKG Marine Rigging, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Oyster Bay Marina, Budget Marine, Harken, Suzuki Marine, Mount Gay Rum, Island Water World and the Maritime School of the West Indies,
For full results, photos and more information visit: https://www.smyc.com/coursedelalliance