One of the surprise successes from this year’s season in St
Maarten has been the Megayacht Twilight Races, which wrapped up at the end of
April. Run by Elaine Christopher from Marine Trading, the Tuesday evening races
round the buoys in a fleet of one-design Jeanneaus were put on not only to give
in-between-charter megayacht crews something organized to do, but also to teach
many of them how to race, and some even how to sail.
Although the 5pm
start only allowed for a maximum three races on the lagoon, turnout was
consistently high and the racing always entertaining as the lead regularly
changed hands between novices from the powerboat world and megayacht sail crews
grappling with a smaller boat. After the races, crews headed to Isle de Sol’s
Sand Bar for an awards ceremony and copious amounts of beer.
The series will
return in November and, if it takes up where it left off, will be a
twice-weekly affair. The St Maarten Jeanneau fleet, operated by Lagoon Sailboat
Rentals, already draws the big names together in dead earnest several times a
year for the North Sails Regatta, Electec Regatta and the Women’s Keelboat
Championships, among others. The Twilight Racing, though, has shown that even
on a less high-profile level, if you build it, they will come.