The Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s last keelboat race of the 2013-2014 season was sailed Sunday June 1st.
A nice 16 knot easterly breeze and clear skies made for great sailing weather!
5 boats entered Racing Class and 5 boats cruising class. A new entry in the cruising class was “Sleeper” a 39ft J-boat owned and sailed by Robbie Ferron. “Sleeper” was going very well in the stiff breeze, especially upwind where her narrow beam and high sloop rig allowed her to point very high. She won all three races and will have her competition worried for coming season!
Second place went to “Vanille” with Garth Steyn and his crew that mainly consisted of MPC students and third place was for “Kick Em Jenny 1” sailed by SMYC Commodore Ian Hope Ross and his crew. The other competitors were Ben Jelic skippering J-Aguar, a custom J120, and Rien Korteknie skippering Moondance a Catalina 36, also filled with youngsters from MPC.
In Racing Class 4 Melges 24 came out, including the Melges from St. Barths, joined by “Panick Attack” the Open 750 from Jan van den Eynde. “Island Water World” started the first race with just 3 crew on the boat, way too small to properly sail the boat in the breezy conditions. They ended last in the first race but, with crew now complete, they won the 2nd race of the day, albeit by a small margin. The third race, a longer race to Great Bay, Proselyte and back to Simpson Bay was won by “Budget Marine/Gill”, co skippered by father – son due Andrea and Alec Scarabelli with “Amcon” skippered by John Gifford and crewed by several youth sailors in 2nd place. “Budget Marine/Gill” won the day with two firsts and one third finish, “Amcon” came in 2nd with three second place finishes and ”Island Water World” ended third.
After the racing and tidying up the boats, all sailors gathered at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club for the prize giving. Prizes and gift certificates were donated by several local companies such as FKG, Budget Marine, Island Water World, Tropical Sail Loft, St. Maarten Sails, Bobby’s Marina and St. Maarten Shipyard making it even more convenient to get the boats ready for the next Keelboat Season starting in November.
The keelboat race is done in stages throughout the season and is open to anyone. It allows our local sailing community to practice and stay sharp in between regattas. A special mention goes to the St Maarten Sailing School as they have managed to bring a lot of youth out on the waters throughout the season and this promises a very bright future for St Maarten indeed!