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St. Maarten News Update – Apr 06

4th Electec Regatta

Postponed a week because of excessively
strong winds, the 4th Electec Regatta finally sent 13 local St
Maarten teams out onto Simpson Bay Lagoon on February 4. With winds still
gusty, it was a case of ‘Once more into the broach’, as seven
days’ pent-up energy saw crews push each other to the limit with extra
vigour.

The Electec, sailed on Lagoon Sailboat Rental’s fleet of
one-design Jeanneau Sunfast
20s, is where St Maarten unofficially crowns its own sailing champion; the
North Sails and Women’s Keelboat championships are made up mainly of
international entrants.

Even though Frits Bus’ Carib Team took
the title for the third successive year, his close, one-point victory over
second-placed Luc Knol (the only other skipper to win
the Electec) showed that this is no annual walkover. In fact,
Knol won five out of his eight races, and Bus just four,
but a disappointing fifth place for Knol in one race
was enough to allow Bus through.

Shag Morton’s FKG outfit, always good for a podium place, again
finished third, while Ian Martin took fourth. In all, 13 teams (including one
team from a visiting megayacht, Fidelitas) raced 8 races each.

Next year, a new sponsor will be taking over the regatta for the fifth
edition – possibly the only way a new name will find its way onto the
trophy for the time being, with Bus on such form.

Captain Oliver’s Carib
Beer Regatta

The 2nd Captain Oliver’s Carib Regatta will take place out of Oyster Pond over the
weekend of May 20/21, it has been announced. Last year, 35 boats came to
Captain Oliver’s resort for a day of great racing on Saturday, and a day
of fine dining on Sunday when the winds refused to come out to play.

This year, racing, cruising and multihull
classes will try a new course – an 11-mile beat to Gustavia,
St Barths, round a mark off Ile Frigate, and back downwind to Oyster Pond. On
Sunday, the racing classes will resume last year’s leeward/windward
course off the east coast which provided so much entertainment last year.

Whatever the wind decides to do, guaranteed are great parties, warm
Gallic hospitality and sumptuous buffets.

Marine Professionals

Budget Marine’s prestigious
‘Marine Professional of the Year Award’ was conferred on two worthy
winners this year. Ernst Looser of Tropical Sail Loft and Rob Gilders of St
Maarten Sails were each recognised for their enormous contribution to St
Maarten’s marine industry. Looser has been an active
force around the yacht club, organising regular racing for youth and adults,
while Gilder’s award caps 25 years of keeping St Maarten boats under
canvas.

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