Report to the People of St. Maarten

Report to the People of St. Maarten

Photo: Internationally recognized French Diam 24 Champions Benoit Champanhac (centre) and Ivan Skobstoy celebrating their wins with Merlin owner Alexis de Boucaud. Photo: Claudette Alexander.


From Stephen R. Burzon, Volunteer Marketing and Operations Director Caribbean Multihull Challenge Race and Rally organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club

The 6th edition of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge Race & Rally reached a milestone for the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and for our lovely island. From the beginning, we have been all about creating a second strong regatta for the island in addition to the great Heineken Regatta; and we are succeeding.

To create this strength, the CMC must achieve a certain level of gravitas in the serious sailing community similar to the high levels of importance that the Heineken already and deservedly has. Entries in CMC VI racing classes evidenced a raising of the bar. For one, the quality of the racing (and even rally) boats was considerable; as were the quality of the captains and crews aboard.

Among the racing fleet were two big and beautiful carbon 66 footers; one a Gunboat and one an HH. These two had all-star crews that included offshore legends such as British star Brian Thompson and Frenchman Loic Peyron. Additionally, we saw the influx of other stars of sailboat racing such as Marc Guillemot, a French sailor with wins in former Transat Jacques Vabre and Vendee Globe Round the World contests; plus Diam champs Benoit Champanhac and Ivan Skobtsky. The line-up of international and local talent was mind boggling.

TradeWinds Experience – the luxury charter company saw fit to select St. Maarten and the CMC to unveil their brand new 59-foot TW6e Smart Electric Catamaran to the world! As close to sustainable as any yacht can be, the boat has a hydrogen ready engine now powered by electricity from batteries charged by sun, wind, and the boat’s own motion through the water. At a press conference on the SMYC dock on opening day, Neil Parsons, TradeWinds president had an opportunity to showcase the wonders of this gem to an audience including our Tourism Director May-Ling Chun and Alexander Gumbs, Jr; CEO of the Port of St Maarten.

We’re getting there. With 37 registered entries; a 15% increase over 2023 and huge jump over 2022; our numbers are getting substantial, bringing more dollars into our economy. And journalists here for the CMC found much to cover and write about for their audiences in Europe, the United States; and the Caribbean at large.

My congratulations to all of our SMYC team. We’re ready for CMC VII on the first weekend of February 2025 where we will set new records and make more sailing regatta history.

The Daily Herald

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