Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Nine teams enjoyed spectacular sailing conditions while they battled for top honours in the 16th 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 the St Barts boats Speedy Nemo and Maelia left behind the St. Maarten boats and took first and second place on day 1. Perhaps it was the weather conditions, perhaps the Mount Gay Rum, but on day 2 one of St Maarten’s finest teams, Team Island Water World, led the rest of the fleet to Anguilla. Closely followed by Wanna B and Kick em Jenny. On day 3 everything was still up for grabs and so the teams gave it their all. IGY Racing Team, on their new J70, enjoyed their first regatta of the season, despite ending in 6th place, as they learned a lot about the boat throughout the weekend. Maelia and Speedy Nemo sailed well, but couldn’t get ahead of the fleet on day 2 or 3, taking 5th and 4th place overall. Frits Bus with Team Island Water World, who saw some amazing starts this weekend, managed to take home 3rd place overall. Kick em Jenny and Wanna Be showed each other fierce competition all weekend and in the end it came down to mere seconds in corrected time. Jan van den Eynde with Wanna B won first place on Sunday and first place overall.
“We enjoyed some excellent sailing this weekend. On Saturday morning we had to be creative as our halyard broke right before the start and it required going up the mast and some serious skills to fix it. What was most impressive was that racing was postponed allowing us to make the repair, meaning that the entire fleet had to wait for half an hour. Nobody complained, and that shows the true spirit of this event. It was amazing to see how we improved over the weekend. Coming in as the overall winner was a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant reward after making good tactical decisions and for leaving the parties early.” Jan van den Eynde, owner of Wanna B.
The Multihull Class saw 3 participants, Spellbound, skippered by Ian Martin, who came in second place last year, wasn’t so fortunate this time. They ripped the spinnaker on Saturday and had to withdraw from racing on Sunday. Seaduction skippered by Petro Jonker, sailed really well all weekend, but was no match for the fast Enola, who managed to be even faster than the Race Committee on day 2, placing first on all 3 days claiming 1st place overall.
“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.
Prize giving took place at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, participants enjoyed rum punches sponsored by Mount Gay Rum, and a variety of snacks sponsored by IGY Marinas, the title sponsor of the Regatta, whilst regaling stories of the racing. Race Officer Paul Miller presented the awards and asked everyone to pencil in next year’s event dates December 4 – 6, 2020. “Next year there will be a combination with the former Golden Rock Regatta, which will add an extra day to the Event. This day would not count towards the overall result, but could be considered a warmup race for everyone.” Explained Miller.
Organizers like to thank title sponsor IGY Marinas for their generous contribution and for joining as a new sponsor of the Event. Presenting sponsors Moorings, Mount Gay Rum and Fiji Water made significant contributions to the event, allowing the Event to take place. “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. Race Management and scoring was offered by Regattaguru.com, with additional support from Paul and Deborah Miller throughout the entire weekend.
For results, photos and more information visit: https://www.smyc.com/coursedelalliance
Find photos of the whole event here!