Oct 27, 2021
The future trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic is far from clear, which weighs heavy on regatta organizers whose priority it is to provide information and clarity to participants, sponsors and stakeholders.
Despite the uncertainty the Sint Maarten Yacht Club is confident to host the 3rd Caribbean Multihull Challenge, may it be on a smaller scale than previous years and with an adjusted format, it will be the first event to happen as part of the 2021 International Caribbean Racing Season.
Realistically, the event can expect less participation due to travel challenges, especially inter-island, flight restrictions and people simply preferring not to travel. This won’t stop organizers from providing excellent racing for the multihulls that are keen to come to Sint Maarten, or are already based here, to stay true to the slogan of “double the fun, triple the joy!”.
The new format will include 2 days of racing instead of 3 days, held on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February 2021. This 2-day set up allows for easier logistics for competitors, but also for another class to be added with participation already committed from St. Barts, Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. This class consists out of Formula 18 boats, abbreviated F18, also known as beach cats, is a non-foiling, formula-design sport catamaran class. It was started in the early 1990s and quickly grew getting class recognition by World Sailing, with large racing fleets all over the globe.
Social events will also be kept to a bare minimum and will include a Daily Prize giving on Saturday, the Port de Plaisance Race Day, and the Overall Prize Giving after the Oris Race Day on Sunday. All events will take place at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, where the bar and restaurant is open having implemented COVID-19 measures. Participants are requested to adhere to all COVID protocols such as wearing face masks onshore where indicated, keeping socially distanced and using hand sanitizer.
Yacht Club Port de Plaisance is offering free dockage for the duration of the event. Spaces are limited so participants are requested to make arrangements directly with the Yacht Club in order to take advantage of this generous offer.
The motivation among organizers, participants and sponsors is strong and so are the commitments. Caribbean Multihulls, Moorings, Oris Swiss Watches, Yacht Club Port de Plaisance and Island 92 all reconfirmed their sponsorships and pride the Sint Maarten Yacht Club for its efforts to ensure the continuation of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge in these challenging times. New sponsors are still being added as well, Maritime School of the West Indies being one of them!
“The loyalty of our sponsors is amazing to witness, everyone is keen to see the event happen and understand the challenges that organizers are facing. With a strong and popular concept, the Caribbean Multihull Challenge has seen increasing popularity in the past 2 editions. This year may be lower in participation numbers, but certainly not less special. As the first International Caribbean Regatta to take place, the exposure will be significant and so will the impact in the sailing community. Sailors are very keen to go sailing and need confidence that events will happen, hopefully we can showcase this through the Caribbean Multihull Challenge.” Said Leonde Vermeulen, Event Manager at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.