Eleven teams battled for top honors in the 18th annual La Course de L’Alliance sponsored by FKG Marine Rigging this past weekend. With two bullets and a total of 6 points over 3 races, Frits Bus’ Melges 24 Team Island Water World placed as overall winner. F.K.G, another Melges 24, and Dauntless, a Beneteau First 47.7 offered stiff competition and ended up in respectively the second and third place. In the Multihull class Team Catamaran Guru Brokers took the win from Quality Time. Robbie Ferron sailed his Nonsuch 33 Bunglebird in the CSA Cruising class and placed first. Olivier Pilon and his beach cat joined the races in an unofficial capacity and will join the next regatta with his Seacart 26 instead.
Organizers decided to reuse last year’s format of the event, instead of the original 3-day event format, as travel restrictions are still in place between St. Maarten, St. Barts and Anguilla. This included 3 races for the CSA racing class and 2 races for the Cruising and Multihull classes divided over 2 days. The CSA Racing class was sent to Proselyte off of Philipsburg and back to Simpson Bay for its first race, followed by a second race taking them directly to Oyster Bay. The Cruising and Multihull classes sailed straight to Oyster Bay. Family and friends welcomed the teams at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort for pool time, daily prize giving, dinner and an overnight stay.
“Wind conditions were absolutely perfect on Saturday, with approximately 15 knots. The first participant arrived within 3 hours after the first start, almost beating the race committee to it, who was still busy setting the finish marker. The day ran smoothly for us and the racing teams, which became obvious when the racers came back ashore and comfortably debated sailing techniques and tactics around the pool.” Explained Race Officer Rien Korteknie.
Daily prize giving was sponsored by Divico and took place by the pool of the Oyster Bay Beach Resort. In the racing class Team Island Water World came in first place, in the Multihull class Catamaran Guru Brokers came out as the winner of the day, and in the Cruising class Bunglebird took the win.
Overnight the wind increased to 20 knots, making for exciting racing conditions, especially for the course that took the fleet around the Northern side of the island back to Simpson Bay. With a downwind leg in the Anguilla Channel, the Melges 24s were at an absolute benefit with speeds recorded up to 17 knots. Yet, it was Quality Time who took line honors with Dauntless only seconds behind them. On corrected time Team Island Water World convincingly took the win of the day, minutes ahead of the other Melges 24s.
“We couldn’t have asked for better sailing conditions this weekend, although the heavy winds on Sunday weren’t great for the bigger racing boats. Luckily that didn’t diminish the fun for the sailors, who finished way before the 3pm bridge opening and showed up at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club for prize giving with big smiles on their faces. This 2-day concept is very well received and even when we can return the La Course de L’Alliance to its original 3 day, inter island format, we will try and schedule this for another time of the year.” 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. Overall winner Team Island Water World thanked the organizers for a competitive and fun weekend and donated the first place trophy, a customized stainless steel cornhole game, to the youth sailing program.
A big thank you goes out to all the sponsors who made this happen: FKG Marine Rigging, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Eagle Tours and Divico.