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Caribbean Sailing Photos
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Celebrating the Saint Martin Regatta 2008

Tropical Paradise represents amazing Caribbean sailing photos from Saint Martin Regatta 2008

Tropical Paradise Visit St. Barth, view beach

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Caribbean sailing photos were taken by Claude Ingargiola
St. Maarten, N.A. (March 10) – The sensational 28th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta finished in fine fashion last evening with the traditional prize-giving ceremony on Kim Sha Beach followed by musical entertainment by Grammy-winning recording artist Shaggy, who had an overflowing throng of thousands of sailors and islanders dancing by the sea.

As race organizers and the dozens of volunteers who helped make the regatta a tremendous success took a deep breath after the four-day marathon of sailing and parties, plans were already being set in motion for the 29th running of the annual event, which is scheduled for March 5-8, 2009.

Steering committee chairman and event co-founder Robbie Ferron, with assistance from a host of St. Maarten officials, handed out prizes to the top boats in the regatta’s 21 divisions, with special awards presented to the regatta’s outstanding performers. The CBBS Cups, presented to the high scorers in the Caribbean Big Boat Series, went to Sam Fleet’s Swan 601, Aquarius, in the Racing category and to Peter Harrison’s Farr 115, Sojana, in the Racing/Cruising class.

Phil Otis’s Cyclades 50, BVI Yacht Charters, was named the Top Bareboat Charter Boat in the fleet, and was awarded the Columbus Cup. The Spirit and Style Award went to Richard Woodridge and the crew of Triple Jack, who selflessly invited aboard fellow Multihull 1 class competitors from the trimaran Tryst, after their boat was dismasted early in the regatta. The Heineken Fun prize went to the crew of the bareboat Something Hot, a Beneteau 473.

And the winner of the St. Maarten/Saint Martin Cup for Most Worthy Performance Overall was awarded to Benny Kelly and the crew of the TP 52, Panthera, which dominated the tough Spinnaker 1 class with a perfect series of five consecutive wins.

For a number of reasons, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta continues to be at the forefront of Caribbean sailing. For one, because the event is so big—a record-setting fleet of 284 entrants registered for 2008—it enables organizers to form consistently strong and competitive classes with very tight rating banks amongst similar types of yachts.

As boats become faster and technology forges ahead at an astounding pace—the advent of sport boats, asymmetrical spinnakers and canting-keel yachts are three items that have changed the game of sailboat racing—it’s even more important that the classes provide a level playing field for all competitors. It’s a complicated, challenging task, but the big fleets at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta actually give organizers more latitude and opportunity than some of the smaller events on the sailing calendar.

Finally, the Budget Marine Commodore’s Cup—the added day of racing before the main event for the flat-out spinnaker race boats—has proved to be an unqualified success, partly because it gives competitors a true test of sailing and a chance to shake the rust off before the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta gets underway.

With that, the 2008 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta comes to an official close. Race organizers wish to thank everyone who participated and volunteered, and who enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere at sea and ashore. The event has always been about Serious Fun, and this year was no different. Thanks again, one and all, and see you in 2009!

Some more of Saint Martin Regatta 2008 photos:

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