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Sailing for Good Causes at the St. Maarten Heineken Intl Regatta

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As All at Sea went to press in early March, sailors were gathering for the annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, scheduled for March 5th through the 9th.  In advance, word came of teams planning to sail for good causes this year.

Team WAVE member Marjolein van Aanholt-grol from Curacao reported:  “A yacht with only women aboard draws attention. A group consisting of 14 women from Curaçao, St. Martin and the Netherlands uses this exposure to raise money for a good cause. The team named WAVE (Women Against Violence Everywhere) will participate at the Heineken Regatta… the slogan of the regatta ‘Serious Fun’ is exactly the motto of the team, having fun while racing for a good cause.

“The women are raising money for Kas di Bruder Pius at Curaçao, named after Brother Pius. There, pregnant girls and teenage mothers will find a safe home…the organization also makes sure that the girls are going to school and provides daycare for their babies. The aim is to give the girls an education and teach them to take care of themselves.

“Team WAVE sails a 49 feet long Frers Yacht named ‘Synergy’, a very appropriate name in this situation. Synergy can be reached when teamwork exceeds the sum of the separate efforts.  Synergy is being helmed and is owned by Lea de Haas who won, with a different all-woman crew, the prestigious Newport/Bermuda race in 2006. The current crew of Synergy consists of women who love to sail and want to make an effort for Kas di Bruder Pius…and to show that you are capable of a lot more than you sometimes think.”

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Team WAVE is sponsored by Premier Management, Partners, HBN Law, CTB, DAE, Nagico, Swissport, Celestian, Budget rent a car, MCB, D-sign, Radio Hoyer,  Peter Reijmer grafisch vormgever, ‘No more wet diapers’ and Accu Bar.  

Team Goldendog also was slated to race for charity in a Beneteau Oceanis 473 at the St. Maarten Heineken.  Regatta organizers provided this information:  Another sailor who uses the regatta as a launching pad for good deeds is Connecticut yachtsman Jeffrey Sochrin, who this year will be sailing his fifth Heineken. Sochrin competes in the bareboat class with his mates from the Milford Yacht Club, and he always calls his entry Team Goldendog. Of course, there’s a story behind the name.

“It started with a pretty simple notion,” Sochrin said. “We wanted to sail competitively, but with a cause. I’d always wanted a Golden Retriever and I ended up rescuing and adopting a dog back in the States. So it seemed kind of natural to try and identify homeless animals and find them a good home. And it just kind of took off from there.”

Last year, Sochrin’s Beneteau was covered with stickers from the 27 sponsors who now back Team Goldendog (for more on the program, check out their website at www.teamgoldendog.org). In addition to working with the Yankee Golden Retriever Association, they always try to address the problem of stray animals on St. Maarten, an island Sochrin and friends have come to respect and love. Specifically, they contribute to a program that neuters and spades dogs and cats. “We’ve met a lot of great people here,” said Sochrin. “And this whole thing has taken off in ways I couldn’t have imagined.”

To learn how the two teams fared, visit www.heinekenregatta.com, and read the May issue of All at Sea for complete coverage of the event.

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