Young sailors shine at St. Maarten Regatta’s Next Generation Race

Young sailors shine at St. Maarten Regatta’s Next Generation Race

From the SMYC

Twelve teams from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC) Sailing School showcased their skills at the St. Maarten Regatta’s Next Generation Race, held over the weekend of March 1 and 2 as part of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The event brought together 24 talented sailors from various programs, including SMYC’s racing team, the primary school sailing program, and the afterschool sailing program.

The 24 young sailors were divided into 12 teams of two. The duos comprised kids with varying levels of sailing experience, all rotating in 6 RS Zest boats.

“This opportunity for young sailors to participate in such a big event is truly remarkable,” expressed Sam – racing coach and sailing instructor at Sint Maarten Yacht Club. “It’s a chance for them to be inspired and to further develop their passion for sailing.”

The competition unfolded over two days, with races taking place in Simpson Bay on both Saturday and Sunday. The program started midday on Saturday and the kids raced in the afternoon. On Sunday morning, the kids watched the bridge opening at Sint Maarten Yacht Club before heading out to the water to witness the start of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The kids had lunch at the regatta village at Port de Plaisance and prepared themselves for an afternoon of racing. Each next-generation team competed in multiple races, with the non-sailing kids assisting the race officer on the committee boat.

After an intense weekend of competition, Team Lily Johnson and Joseph Johnson secured third place, while Team Nathan Sheppard and Robert Gumbs claimed second. Oskar Jarrett Versteegden and Chris Meekhof clinched first place in the 2024 Next Generation race.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the official prize-giving ceremony on Sunday, where the top three teams were honoured with trophies. However, the celebration extended beyond the winners, as all participants gathered on the main stage to receive applause from proud parents and sailors.

“The kids really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot! As these kids continue sailing, they’ll inspire others and make not only us proud, but whole St. Maarten,” said Wessel Tangenberg, race officer of the Next Generation race.

The SMYC and St. Maarten Regatta thank local sponsors from the marine industry for supporting this initiative: Proserv, Boomerang Charters, Nomad Marine Solutions, SXM refinishing works BV.

The Daily Herald

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