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"An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth." -- Bonnie Friedman

194--St. Maarten: Heineken Regatta Day 3
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 11 2004 - 06:34 PST
cherie writes: The Heineken Regatta is not just about multi-million dollar Maxis and their revolutionary canting keels and twin foil technology. It’s about amateur sailors accomplishing amazing things. The Heineken Regatta seemed like the perfect regatta for us to compete in, since our California team is a bunch of drinkers with a sailing problem.

If you add up the length of all the yachts racing in the Heineken Regatta you get 11,413 feet of boats. End to end, that’s over 2 miles of sailboats—half of which were bareboats.

To quench the thirst of the parched sailors, the Heineken depot in Philipsburg lugged in 96,000 green cans of Heineken beer. Heineken has made special preparations to recycle the cans, but the Regatta organizers had a better idea. Why not recycle the empty cans into an alloy boat and have it compete in next year’s Heineken Regatta? Sadly a calculator destroyed the idea. Even if the sailors consumed all 24,000 liters of beer, there would barely be enough metal to make a mast.

For the last three years the Heineken Regatta has been the largest sailing event in the Caribbean and this year it had more entries than ever. Everyday started the same way—with sailors frozen, staring at their watches, as the garbled voice over the VHF announced the start sequence. Then sails were hoisted and listing yachts harnessed the wind and came alive.

The boats clawed through the swells jockeying for position. Then, like curious puppies, the yachts paused and made circles around each other. Seconds before the start, the boats charged the starting line in unison.

“Having female sailors aboard improved our team’s performance because women weigh less than men. Pound for pound, we were able to have more sailors and still keep within the Regatta’s weight restrictions,” said Joe Engoglia, one of the crew.

But when it came time for victory speech, co-captain Duranty thanked another female sailor for the crew’s win.

“Cathy (Simms) was our inspiration, and we won first place in her honor,” said Duranty in his victory speech. Cathy Simms was the lead grinder for the California crew in the 2003 Heineken Regatta. Regrettably Simms couldn’t crew in this year’s Regatta because she recently lost a battle with cancer.

The BVI YC1 crew was celebrating their first place victory, when shock came over their faces. They heard their names announced over the loud speaker not once—but twice.

Thousands of sailors from around the world cheered as the Heineken Regatta chair announced the final results: BVI Yacht Charters 1 came in 1st place overall. Co-captains Mark and Phil glanced at each other with pride. “This is a great honor for us amateur sailors and this victory was worth every ounce of effort,” Phil Otis said.

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"BVI Yacht Charters 1" wins the Columbus Cup which is given to the winner of the Bareboat fleet--this year 118 boats.

"BVI Yacht Charters 1" wins the Columbus Cup which is given to the winner of the Bareboat fleet--this year 118 boats.

Moonset in the morning in Marigot, the location for the start on Day 3.

Moonset in the morning in Marigot, the location for the start on Day 3.

Sunrise in Marigot.

Sunrise in Marigot.

Morning Glory and her canting keel. *Photo by Dale.

Morning Glory and her canting keel. *Photo by Dale.

There's nothing like waking up in a hammock.

There's nothing like waking up in a hammock.

Just one more minute! *Photo by Dale

Just one more minute! *Photo by Dale

OK, I'm awake. *Photo by Dale

OK, I'm awake. *Photo by Dale

Dale waves from the top of the mast.

Dale waves from the top of the mast.

How's the view from up there?

How's the view from up there?

Julie and Cloyce on BVY Yacht Charters 2.

Julie and Cloyce on BVY Yacht Charters 2.

Elizabeth and Els.

Elizabeth and Els.

Cherie snaps another shot. *Photo by Beth.

Cherie snaps another shot. *Photo by Beth.

French braids keep my hair out of the way. *Photo by Joe.

French braids keep my hair out of the way. *Photo by Joe.

Beth in braids.

Beth in braids.

Carol on the grinder.

Carol on the grinder.

Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo?

There's Waldo!

There's Waldo!

Look at all those crisp white sails.

Look at all those crisp white sails.

Cherie and Beth.

Cherie and Beth.

There we go!

There we go!

Cherie and Papa Otis. *Photo by Joe.

Cherie and Papa Otis. *Photo by Joe.

Another day for Beth in the warm Caribbean sun.

Another day for Beth in the warm Caribbean sun.

Cherie, Joe and Lee.

Cherie, Joe and Lee.

Sailing is a breeze for Elizabeast.

Sailing is a breeze for Elizabeast.

Els, Elizabeast and Beth.

Els, Elizabeast and Beth.

Mark makes driving look easy.

Mark makes driving look easy.

Carla and Arjan.

Carla and Arjan.

The crew in blue.

The crew in blue.

There's the mark!

There's the mark!

Manolo and Lee on the traveler.

Manolo and Lee on the traveler.

Beth, Cherie, Elizabeast and Els.

Beth, Cherie, Elizabeast and Els.

Gerry on the grinder.

Gerry on the grinder.

It makes sense that Dale is the human whisker pole--after all, he does have whiskers.

It makes sense that Dale is the human whisker pole--after all, he does have whiskers.

Carol and Jeff.

Carol and Jeff.

Beth and Elizabeast.

Beth and Elizabeast.

Joe holding down the transom.

Joe holding down the transom.

The Dutch and their beer.

The Dutch and their beer.

Papa Otis.

Papa Otis.

As you can see, the ladies are doing all the work.

As you can see, the ladies are doing all the work.

Carol grinds away.

Carol grinds away.

Phil quenches his thirst with the sponsor of the Heineken Regatta.

Phil quenches his thirst with the sponsor of the Heineken Regatta.

Dale holds out the jib as we overtake BVI YC2.

Dale holds out the jib as we overtake BVI YC2.

The crew of BVI YC2.

The crew of BVI YC2.

BVI YC2, a Beneteau 505.

BVI YC2, a Beneteau 505.

Cherie smiles.

Cherie smiles.

Arjan smiles.

Arjan smiles.

Beth.

Beth.

Jeff on the grinder.

Jeff on the grinder.

Buddy sailing.

Buddy sailing.

Co-captains Mark and Phil celebrate their win with an extra-large bottle of Heineken.

Co-captains Mark and Phil celebrate their win with an extra-large bottle of Heineken.

We won--let's celebrate.

We won--let's celebrate.

A bunch of the ladies--sailors and friends together!

A bunch of the ladies--sailors and friends together!

Team "BVI YC1" with friends and family.

Team "BVI YC1" with friends and family.

The crew rejoices on stage. *Photo by Merry.

The crew rejoices on stage. *Photo by Merry.

Thousands cheer as the team accepts the Columbus Cup. *Photo by Merry.

Thousands cheer as the team accepts the Columbus Cup. *Photo by Merry.

The "BVI Yacht Charters 1" team has smiles ear to ear. *Photo by Merry.

The "BVI Yacht Charters 1" team has smiles ear to ear. *Photo by Merry.

Co-captains Phil and Mark make a toast.

Co-captains Phil and Mark make a toast.

Carla holds up the Columbus Cup trophy.

Carla holds up the Columbus Cup trophy.

Manolo, Beth and Phil hold up the 1st Prize plaque.

Manolo, Beth and Phil hold up the 1st Prize plaque.

Does anyone have extra space in their luggage for these?

Does anyone have extra space in their luggage for these?