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The St. Martin-St. Maarten Classic Yacht Regatta Cancelled

We have been looking forward to the sixth annual St Martin-St Maarten Yachting Regatta ever since we were blown away by the fierce competition at last months 33rd Annual St Maarten Regatta. The Classic Yacht Regatta has continued to grow year-on-year since its inception, and with electronic registration having shown further increase in 2013, we had hoped this was going to be the biggest yet. Sadly it was not meant to be due to six consecutive cancellations.

Sanctioned and organised by the St Maarten-St Martin Classic Yacht club since 2010, the annual regatta enables yacht owners from all over the world to participate in a series of races, all the while enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of the Caribbean.

This year, they also announced that the Regatta’s headquarters will be the Pasanggrahan Royal Guesthouse Hotel in Philipsburg. As one of the oldest and most stylish venues in St Maarten, the Pasanggrahn projects would have had perfect atmosphere for all of those travelling to enjoy the sights of the Regatta and the Caribbean in general. Set on the beautiful white beach, yacht enthusiasts who travel to St Maarten’s will be able to relax at the end of a long day with a cool drink and take in the enchanting tropical gardens that surround the inn itself.

As with the previous years, this year’s Regatta would have been broken down into individual classes and rules. The six divisions would have been as follows: The Classic and Vintage Divisions (which will both follow the CSA Simplified Rating Rule), the Spirit of Tradition Division (governed by the CSA Rating Rule), the Spirit of Classic Division, the Cariacou Work Boats division and the Tall Ships division.

There was also the option for visitors who don’t own their own yacht to enjoy some classic vessels, as many are chartered by their owners.  Whilst they are not all chartered for individual hire (some of the more classic models offer only spaces on board) there were plenty of options available for those who’d like to experience the use of a yacht unlike their own.

The prospect for businesses to participate was also an enticing one, with several yachts available for charter to firms both local and abroad. Not only would this be a one-of-a-kind place to hold a corporate event, but the Regatta also receives a substantial amount of media coverage, meaning that a space could lead to a lot of advertising potential for your company.

The calendar for the Regatta’s weekend was a busy one. Taking place between Thursday the 28th March and Sunday 31st, each category would have the chance to participate in three races over the three days. The first race would have seen the participants journey to the St Martin’s capital of Marigot, followed by a return race the next day. The final day would have give them the chance to sail first towards the stunning island of Anguilla, and then return to the Great Bay in the afternoon.

Entertainment wise, the Regatta was focused on those participating having a great time, and enjoying their weekend underneath the beautiful Caribbean sunshine. On the Saturday evening, a special party (complete with a performing live band) would have be held for all those involved, and the ever popular Beach Buffet would have held right out on the bay’s perfect white sand. Even the first night at the Regatta wouldn’t have been a quiet one (based on previous years), with the traditional Skipper’s briefing and opening event being held, complete with a cocktail party!  Finally, the annual prize giving would have been held on the Sunday night, enabling everyone to have one last get together before returning home.

As well as the entertainment, there are also several benefits available for those who would have made the effort to truly get involved with the Regatta. First of all, any Yacht that made the trans-Atlantic crossing in order to be a part of the event would not be charged an entrance fee. This was also the case for those yachters who have been members of the St Martin-St Maarten Classic Yacht Club in the six months leading up to the Regatta, as well as those who were a part of the Transat Classique to Barbados in the run up to the event.

There was also some financial benefits related to accommodation available, with many hotels offering special reduced rates for those staying during the weekend. A list of the participating hotels were made available on the Regatta’s own website but it looks like anyone going for a weekend of sailing will just have to make their own ship board fun. We hope that the event will be back next year and thank everyone involved for their continued efforts in organising it.

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