After six consecutive years of placing second, Frits Bus clinched the win at the 2012 Marlow One Design Regatta. Hosted by the St. Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC), St. Maarten teams took all three top positions.
For two days, sixteen teams from six countries battled for the podium in a grueling competition in which boats were rotated between each race. Sint Maarten sailors rose to the top. Roel ten Hoopen, long time crew for winner Bus, challenged his mentor and finished third overall. Second place went to a team with only one season in the lagoon sailing scene: Han de Bruin Kops, with brothers Pieter and Paul Soons.
“Very interesting, it was wonderful,” said Bus. “This is yacht racing at its best. Close all the time. Wind shifts all over the place. It was a great regatta. And we won, which is even better.”
After a disappointing result on day one, Karl James, of Antigua, fought back on day two, finishing fifth overall. Saint Barths sent three teams with Mowgli Fox sailing into eighth place ahead of her local rivals. Team Curacao, with Michel Ruijter at the helm also placed in the top 10.
The Anguilla Youth Team made a valiant effort in the quirky Jeanneau Sunfast 20s, placing fourth three times in 24 races. Like James, the team performed better on the second day. “Today we got to know the boat a lot better and sailed a lot faster,” said Anguillian boat captain Kendal Richards, whose team enjoyed sailing against Bus and James. “We would love to beat them but we have got to train some more and hopefully we will come back next year and take that first place,” Richards added.
For Team Nevis this was their first time entering an off-island competition and although they scored the least amount of points, they were delighted to have taken part.
“We didn’t have any expectations of coming anywhere near the top,” said Mark Theron, Vice Commodore of the Nevis Yacht Club. “It’s the first time the team has sailed together and the first time we have sailed on these boats. We don’t have much to sail in Nevis, but we came and participated.”
Vice Commodore Theron and SMYC Board member, Kathy Gifford exchanged burgees at the prize-giving, with both making a commitment to pursue future inter-club endeavors.
The regatta’s principal sponsor, Marlow Rope, have been represented in the Caribbean for over 25 years by Budget Marine.
“This was a very eventful regatta. I don’t think we have ever had a situation where the outcome was in as much doubt as in this regatta,” said Robbie Ferron, Group Manager of Budget Marine and a competitor in the event.
The fleet of Jeanneau Sunfast 20s was provided by Lagoon Sailboat Rentals. Ernst Looser was Race Officer.