The first sailing race of 2022, day 1 of the Keelboat January Series, was sailed in gusty conditions last Sunday.
Seven competitors joined the first Keelboat race of 2022 in the first day of the January Series. These Series are part of the Grant Thornton Keelboat Season Championship. Five boats competed in the CSA 1 Class and 2 boats competed in the CSA 2 Class.
Race Officer Steve Burzon and his race committee gave the CSA 1 fleet two races, including a longer race, while they kept the CSA 2 fleet in Simpson Bay for 3 windward leeward races.
Despite the weather forecast the teams were keen to go sailing. Solstice even brought out new potential crew, as the team invited their plus ones to join them for an afternoon of sailing. Maybe not the most experienced crew ever aboard this J105, however they did get the weight right in these windy conditions. And the conditions were challenging! It most certainly tested Benny Oosterhof, with his Sprinto 6.6. The gusts were intense, and when the spinnaker got stuck underneath the boat it forced him to stop racing and as a result the team decided not to start the second race.
Frits Bus and his Team Island Water World crew took the win on the first windward leeward race in CSA 1, followed by Solstice in second place and Wanna B in third.
The second race in CSA 1 became a challenge for the Melges 24s, this longer race took the participants away from the shelter of Simpson Bay and the heavier conditions caused for damages aboard Caraibes Diesel and Team Island Water World. Erwan and his crew experienced a broken tiller, however this did not stop them from finishing the race. A little bit of duct tape and a whole lot of optimism took them across the finish line. Team Island Water World suffered damages to its spinnaker, which put them at the back of the fleet this race.
Solstice took the win in race 2, followed by Wanna B in second place, Caraibes Diesel in third and Team Island Water World in fourth position.
CSA 2 were represented by Robbie Ferron and his crew consisting of Pieter and Steve and Jordan Pieterse sailed with Sam and Francener. The Sunfast 20s stayed in Simpson Bay where the conditions for the small open boats remained trying. Robbie sailed very consistent and took three bullets against Jordan Pieterse and took the overall win of the day.
Organizers are grateful for all the volunteers that made this race day happen. The second day of the January Series will be sailed on January 30th. Results of the first day can be found online.
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