Jan 25, 2022, Robbie Ferron
The Caribbean Multihull Challenge is getting close and the indications are that stiff competition will be seen on the water. The classes are not finalized but it is already possible to get a picture of the likely competitive groups in what will probably be three classes …maybe four .
In the class with the fastest boats you will find the brothers Slyngstad who will have the Bieker 53 and the HH 66 sailing against each other. With them will be 2-2 Tango a 51 foot Schonning whose potential has still never been fully tested . Arawak from Sint Maarten is a possible participant in this class as is he 60 foot Gunboat Moementum .
The second class looks very interesting . Three Diam 24’s sailed by French side sailors Pierre Altier, Sylvain Corroy and Alexis de Boucaud are practicing on these newly acquired boats . A very fast Seacart 26 from Canada called Papoute will be interesting to watch . This class may well have two older trimarans in it; one being Chaud Patate (formerly Johnny be Good) from Martinique and Skateway (Formula 40 ) from the US. A Corsair 37 called Honey Badger will be in this mix.
A third class is going to see all the cruising catamarans . Seaduction and Catamaran Guru Brokers will be the local standards and will be up against last year’s winner La Novia from the Dominican Republic. All will have to compete against a Moorings 40 that will be sailed by a Hobie world champion, Annie Dunbar who will be coming from California sailing a boat contributed to the event by Gold Sponsor – the Moorings. Annie will captain an all-women’s team racing in uniforms provide by Silver Sponsor – Fope Fine Italian Jewelry.
The fast class will on the windiest day of the competition be doing the newly branded ‘Caribbean 60 Mile Multihull Sprint’ – sponsored by FKG Rigging of St Maarten / St Martin – which will take the speedsters from the start in Simpson Bay up to and around St Barts; then over and above Tintemarre; then down the Anguiila Channel to the western end of SXM; to then head back upwind to a finish back in Simpson Bay . This course will be dependent on wind availability. (The Sprint is open to any racer that can do the 60 mile course in under 6 hours.)
The Caribbean Multihull Challenge is currently the only dedicated large multihull regatta in the Caribbean. It is designed to offer suitable sailing for the wide and rapidly growing range of multihulls that are sailing here. The experience to date is that multihull racing, even when the vessel is primarily focused on comfort and on-water living, can still be viably and safely raced and that sailing skills are paramount as in every other boat type.