Robbie Ferron may shy away from the spotlight, but his contributions to St. Maarten’s marine industry and the Heineken Regatta are too significant to go unnoticed. From organizing his first sailing event at age 14 to founding Budget Marine, Ferron’s impact is indelible.
From South Africa to St. Maarten
Born to Dutch parents in South Africa, Ferron’s passion for sailing was ignited at a young age despite his family’s casual approach to the sport. His bedroom window offered an inspiring view of Table Bay, sparking an unexplainable drive to sail. After completing his education in Cape Town, Ferron left for the Caribbean and eventually settled in St. Maarten, which he now calls home.
The Genesis of Budget Marine
Ferron’s entrepreneurial spirit found its way to the boating industry in St. Maarten. Recognizing the island’s need for marine services, he founded Budget Marine, which has now expanded to ten entities across seven Caribbean islands.
More Than a Businessman
Ferron also significantly contributed to St. Maarten’s sailing scene, including serving as a past President of the Caribbean Sailing Association and organizing the renowned St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.
A Rare Honor
In his cluttered yet modest office hangs a framed certificate that caught our attention: A Royal Decoration as Knight in the order of Oranje Nassau, awarded by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 2005. “I was totally surprised, overwhelmed, moved,” Ferron humbly remarks.
A Man of Principles
Despite the rapid growth in St. Maarten’s marine industry, Ferron insists on sustainable development. “People always look for rapid growth but don’t consider the community’s interest. Sometimes slowing down is necessary, and the recession helps us manage growth,” he opines.
No Turning Back
For Ferron, St. Maarten is home. “There is no turning back. Period! I even didn’t visit South Africa often,” he states, emphasizing his commitment to the island.
A Legacy in the Shadows
Robbie Ferron may prefer to work behind the scenes, but his legacy is anything but hidden. Whether it’s in the marine industry, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, or his countless other contributions, Robbie Ferron is a name that will long be remembered in the annals of St. Maarten’s history.