Updated: Dec 11, 2019
14 teams enjoyed spectacular sailing conditions while they battled for top honours in the 15th annual La Course de L’Alliance last weekend. This 3 day event took local and regional sailors from St Maarten to St Barts, Anguilla and back to St Maarten and can be considered the season opener for the Leeward Islands. This local favorite mixes competitive racing with social events, a recipe for success.
In the Racing Class there was the battle between the Melges 24s, Frits Bus’ Team Island World vs FKG/Gill Race Team with additional competition from Solstice, the J105 skippered by Jordan Mindich and St Maarten Heineken Regatta overall winner Wanna B, skippered by Jan van den Eynde. 2 bullets by Team Island Water World ensured first place overall, but an intense race from start to finish on the final day decided 2nd place for Solstice and 3rd place for FKG/Gill Race Team. Maelia and Speedy Nemo, teams from St Barts, brought up the rear.
“This really is my favourite regatta. It is the season opener, and a great chance for the crews from the different islands to meet and socialise in beautiful locations. But though the atmosphere is friendly, the competition is fierce, and it was great to see such tight racing amongst such good teams” says Race Officer Paul Miller.
Cruising Class saw 3 participants, MoonDance, a Catalina 36 skippered by Garth Steyn, Nix, a X612 recently returned for the racing season and Out of Africa skippered by Hans van Mameren. Nix took the lead on day 1 but needed to retire on day 2 due to a broken main halyard, which allowed MoonDance to claim first place overall.
Five multihulls competed in the Multihull Class, but it was Tryst, the iconic Caribbean Multihull built in 1968, that really stole the show. Winning the first and last day, and a 2nd place on day two, Bernard “Appie” Stoutenbeek claimed 1st place overall. Seaduction and Spellbound, 2 local charter boats, joined fervently in the racing whilst competing in their own ‘battle between the charter boats’. On both accounts Spellbound proved to be the winner, taking 2nd place overall and ‘best charter boat’.
“The racing was hot, and still the participants had energy left to enjoy the socials in St Barts and Anguilla. That’s why this event is so popular, the concept of racing to 2 other islands and then enjoy the finest of the Caribbean is golden. We thank the St Barts Yacht Club & Sailing School and the Anguilla Sailing Association for their assistance with the event, the cooperation is vital for the Regatta’s continuation and success.” States Leonde Vermeulen, Event Manager at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, organizer of the event.
Organizers like to thank sponsors Moorings, Fiji Water and Mount Gay Rum for their contributions to the event. “Not only do our sponsors help to reduce costs, they add significant quality to the event. They are not only appreciated by the organizers, but by the participants as well. We are grateful for the ongoing support.” Explains Vermeulen.
For results and more information visit: https://www.smyc.com/coursedelalliance
Sint Maarten Yacht Club
Established in 1980 with the goal to promote sailing on the island of St Maarten. It 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 team work, 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 destination it is located at. For more information visit www.smyc.com