The countdown is in full swing. A record-setting field of more than 30 racing and cruising multihulls is in the process of gathering and preparing for the fifth running of the growing, prestigious Caribbean Multihull Challenge (CMC) V Race and Rally, scheduled to take place from February 3 to 5.
And as the fleet and the regatta continues to expand and evolve on this fifth anniversary of the only Caribbean event catering strictly to multihulls, so too does the CMC. This year, for the first time, not only is a new and exciting series of offshore races on the calendar, but the organization will also be hosting its inaugural rally for dedicated cruising boats, the CMC Cruising Rally.
First and foremost, the CMC has always been a highly competitive regatta fuelled by the staunch easterly trade-winds for which the Caribbean is famous. And once again, it has drawn a select group of outstanding entrants eager to test their boats and their crews on this elite sailing stage.
These boats, along with their fellow competitors in the all-out racing classes, will this year be contesting the CMC Trifecta, which is a trio of distance races that include the CMC 60-Mile Sprint, a blast to St. Barth’s and back that’s a holdover from previous events; the Around Saba Dash, a brand-new 52-mile power reach to the isle of Saba and back; and a perennial favourite of all sailors who come to St. Maarten to compete, the SXM Circle Race, the tricky 27-mile circumnavigation of the island, which always holds numerous surprises when it comes to currents, breeze and tactics.
The winner of the Trifecta will receive a beautiful new Aquis Depth Gauge dive watch from long-time CMC supporter and sponsor, ORIS Swiss Watches.
But CMC V is not just for the crews that enjoy close-quarters racing. No, this year, the event has drawn cruising sailors from near and far, all of whom enjoy their sailing and time on the water in more mellow, island-time circumstances. While the racers are underway thrashing through the blue water, the Rally boats will enjoy a more civilized venue: a pleasant sail to the welcoming anchorage at Anse Marcel; a jaunt to Anguilla, with an overnight stay in Sandy Ground; and a return trip to St. Maarten’s Simpson Bay.
Join the celebration Friday and Saturday at 7:00pm at the Sint Marten Yacht Club. All visitors are invited.