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St. Barths: the team to watch

Travel & news discussion about St. Barts

St. Barths: the team to watch

Postby KarenS » Thu May 18, 2006 8:50 am

From "The fifth annual North Sails Regatta to be held on St. Maarten’s Simpson Bay Lagoon over the weekend of 17-18 June not only brings together some of the regions leading sailors, but it is also setting the standard for one-design racing that other islands are now keen to follow.

The success of the North Sails Regatta has lead to a growth in one-design racing in the Caribbean, with similar regattas in the BVI and Guadeloupe. The model is also being looked at in St. Lucia and Puerto Rico,' event organizer Robbie Ferron said.

He said in every reference to one design sailing in regional meetings the North Sails Regatta is considered the model, including the double pool system and the rotation of boats.

'The difference between the North Sails Regatta and the others is that with the ownership structure and type of boats it makes, it is possible for the event to require minimum outside support and sponsors and for sailors to enjoy the ultimate ‘level playing field’ in sailboat racing at the lowest cost available in the Caribbean,' he said.

This year, the North Sails Regatta Caribbean One Design Keelboat Championship has attracted a number of new teams. They will be tested against teams that return every year to do battle in this prestigious event.

Antiguan yachtsman Bernie Even-Wong has cut a dash at many a Caribbean Regatta at the helm of his Cal 40 Huey II. He is a first time entrant and, given the fierce competition between St. Maarten and Antigua in all things marine, his team could set the event on fire if he goes head-to-head with a local team in the finals.

Puerto Rico’s top racer Fraito Lugo, who last year led his team into second place, will push to become ‘numero uno’ this time around. This will be Lugo’s third North Sails Regatta, so he knows the waters and has had first hand experience against the top competition.

The island of St. Barths is producing more and more top sailors. In 2005 Markku Harmala led the St. Barths contingent into third place and no doubt believes that gold could be theirs this time. This is a feeling shared by the regatta organizers who suggest that St. Barths are a team to watch.

Amongst others attending the North Sails Regatta for the first time is a team from St. Lucia, led by Nick Forsberg, and a new team from Curacao, led by Jos Schoonen.

Sailed on the waters of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, the North Sails Regatta offers spectators the closest view of yacht racing in the Caribbean.

The event is sanctioned by the Caribbean Sailing Association and runs under the auspices of the Saint Maarten Yacht Club."
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