2005 SXM Heineken Regatta feature

SXM-Info | SXM features

Start This is the view from The Horny Toad Guesthouse as the boats started out on Friday morning. They had started in Simpson Bay and were heading clockwise around the island to Pburg. Start

Spinnaker run at Cupecoy later on the first day, taken from the Caribbean-side balcony at our condo at Sapphire. Spinnakers at Cupecoy

Cupecoy view Cupecoy view

Heading past Bay Long Heading past Bay Long
This is the view from our bedroom balcony as the ships head past La Samanna on Bay Long and then reappear in Nettle Bay on the far side of the defunct La Belle Créole Hotel.

spinnaker spinnaker spinnaker spinnaker
On Saturday we arrived at Turtle Pier at 8:30 and boarded Celine for a day out on the water with the racers. Breakfast was waiting for us as we boarded and we exited the lagoon on the 9 AM bridge opening. This placed us in Simpson Bay as the race was starting from two locations in the area. There were about 20 boats in each of a dozen classes, so they started over a period of about two hours. Spinnakers were flying at this time as they were heading downwind to round Beacon Hill and run up the west side of the island. Note John Travolta on the yellow spinnaker and that is St Barts in the background of the white spinnaker.

spinnaker spinnaker spinnaker
The photo on the left shows the start of the race from far out in Simpson Bay looking back towrd St Maarten. In the center is JDMcKnight aka ruralcarrier on TTOL. The smile is partially because he was having a great time on Celine, but also because he had spent a day on Galion Beach at Chez Pat as the winner of the recent SXM-Info contest. On the right is the yellow ultra-light getting close to the action in Plum Bay. I believe that this is the plane that Ed and Sandra use to make their wonderful panoramas.

spinnaker spinnaker
Three boats round the mark with spinnakers flying and on the right, they continue round the bend at the Falaise des Oiseaux, Bird Cliffs in the French lowlands.

finish finish finish
Some boats rounding a mark. The last photo shows the racer and the French Navy training boat, a square rigger, anchored off Marigot. It was exrtremely top heavy and heaved to and fro, as would any sailor on board.

finish mermaids
The ruins of the Belle Creole Hotel, still empty ten years after Hurricane Luis, but rumors are flying. Mermaids frolicked in the water around the Celine.

finish finish finish
The committee boat marking the finish line and a pair of boats coming in together. The finish line is a line between the red buoy and the committee boat. The race committee sits on the boat and watches to see which boat crosses between them and the buoy first. A gun goes off and shouts go up from the winners. Note the training ship in the background. The wind had shifted and it turned on its anchor. That, plus the telephoto, make it more obvious that it is a squarerigger.

Stars and Stripes Stars and Stripes British ship Mario's
There were four 12m yachts in the race. Stars and Stripes 1 and II, the Amercan contenders, in 86 and 87 and True North and Canada, the Canadian contenders had great fun. That's one of the American versions on the left and possibly the other one next. The British boat was beautiful, but built for beauty and luxury, not speed. At 5:30 the French bridge opened and we sailed in past Mario's Bistro, wishing we could stop in for a great dinner. However, the sail through the lagoon turned out to be a lovely sunset sail that culminated in the photo below, taken as we drove home through the Dutch lowlands.

Sunset over the Dutch Lowlands

View from Restaurant du Soleil
This is the view from the dining room at Restaurant du Soleil. We went over on Sunday and watched the racers as some of them rounded a buoy on the far side of Creole Rock and others went all the way out to Tintamarre before turning and heading back to Simpson Bay for the awards ceremony and final party featuring Jimmy Cliff and fireworks.

© all rights reserved
Designed by
KC Consulting