VO 65 TEAM BRUNEL TO RACE DURING THE 2016 ST. MAARTEN HEINEKEN REGATTA
Last year hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors flocked in droves to the shores of IJhaven in Amsterdam to see over 600 ships come into port as part of SAIL Amsterdam, an event takes place once every five years. One of the boats on the water was none other than Team Brunel, 2nd place winner of the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race. It was here that campaign director of Team Brunel-Sailing Holland announced the Caribbean tour for the VO 65 Team Brunel. Skipper Bouwe Bekking was also on-hand for the celebrations, together with his team, and is looking towards the future. "We hope that all of you will join us in the next race 2017-18. In the mean time we will keep on sailing this boat here in Europe and this winter in the Caribbean" Bekking stated. The VO 65 will be based out of St. Maarten, where the Sint Maarten Yacht Club will host several activities. This stunning piece of technology will be able to be seen by all when it is on its mooring in the Simpson Bay Lagoon, and will be on display at the Yacht Club dock on the Wednesday leading up to the 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Team Brunel will race in the Gill Commodores Cup as well as the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The regatta organization has added a special Former Volvo-Whitbread class in which Team Brunel will be entered. First on the agenda is to sail the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) which will take them from Gran Canaria to St. Lucia, some 2700 nautical miles.
From there they will head to St. Maarten to set up base and will take part in several other Caribbean races. In between racing the boat is available for charter, giving sailors a chance to feel what it is like to sail aboard this racing machine that took 2nd place in this past Volvo Ocean Race. Skipper Bouwe Bekking was very excited to visit St. Maarten once again, "I have very good experiences with the Friendly Island and I am looking forward to sail in the warm waters again." During the announcement at SAIL last year, Bekking and bowman & co-skipper Gerd-Jan Poortman received a Sint Maarten Yacht Club Burgee and a St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 1st Place flag. Poortman, regarding the flag, stated "This might be somewhat premature for us but we will try and win the new and exciting class of course". Sailors Jens Dolmer, Louis Balcean and Stefan Coppers were also in attendance. They will sail on the boat in the Caribbean whenever they are able to combine it into their busy schedules. Regatta director Michelle van der Werff is pleased with this announcement, she mentioned "We are of course thrilled to welcome Team Brunel to race during the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and we are very pleased that they have chosen St. Maarten as their home base for the winter season. It goes to show that these boats are comfortable here in the Caribbean and we look forward to welcoming more of the Volvo Ocean boats to our event and the region."
TWO TIME OLYMPIAN TO BE THE PRINCIPLE RACE OFFICER FOR THE 2016 ST. MAARTEN HEINEKEN REGATTA
Regatta organizers are pleased to announce that the Principle Race Officer for the 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (March 3-6, 2016) will be Mr. Stuart Childerley. He is highly experienced in the sailing world and is certain to bring a wealth of knowledge with him to the event. His professionalism in the sport is something that the organizers are looking forward to seeing out on the water, and they are delighted to have him be a part of the 2016 regatta.
Childerley has competed in two Olympic Games in the Finn class, finishing an impressive 4th on both occasions. This past weekend he won the Etchells Europeans in Cowes with Jeremy Thorpe from Antigua, while this past summer he competed in the Rolex Fastnet Race where he and his team mate, Kelvin Rawlings, won the two handed division, finishing 4th overall. His accomplishments read like a laundry list of the top International events, spanning over the course of more than 25 years.
"As a race official I have developed my race management skills and gained experience whilst receiving excellent feedback from event organizers and competitors. My sailing background has contributed to my ability in running large dinghy championships and keelboat events in Europe and the USA. There's always a strong focus on providing challenging racing using a variety of courses and varied race formats, always mindful of meeting the competitor's expectations whilst keeping it simple and effective.
The 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta provides its own unique challenges in fantastic sailing conditions. I am really looking forward to delivering a great regatta working with the rest of the race official's team," stated Childerley.
Quality over quantity has been a driving theme of the event and this upcoming regatta is no different. Highly qualified race staff ensures that the regatta will bring a quality event to sailors from around the world.
ST. MAARTEN CARNIVAL DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, SCOTIABANK LAUNCH OFFICIAL CARNIVAL SCHEDULE
January 7, 2016 - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) and its long-time corporate partner Scotiabank on Thursday launched online the official 2016 Carnival schedule of events. Scotiabank has produced the Carnival scheduled for well over 15 years and has once again teamed up with the SCDF to present a colorful product that will be distributed throughout the region.
The 2016 schedule features 30 days of Carnival activities, starting as early as March 19. Carnival 2016, the 47th edition of Carnival on St. Maarten, will kick off with the opening of Carnival Village on April 14 and will close with the traditional burning of King Momo on May 3. The schedule features six international concerts and 24 locally themed Carnival events. The three parades will run back-to-back with the Juniors on April 30, Grand Parade on May 1 and Second Day Parade on May 2.
All four pageants are also back on the schedule, this time under the auspices of Posh Productions, the entity to which SCDF outsourced its pageants following the close of Carnival 2015. The Junior, Teen, Senior and Mature Pageants are on four consecutive nights in the middle of the schedule.
The six international shows features familiar brands such as what being called the flagship show of St. Maarten Carnival, Night of the Hit Makers, on the premier weekend of the festival. Sabor Latino IV is also back along with Caribbean Flag Fest II. There will also be a reggae night, an African Flavour concert which is new to the schedule and a concert presented by Dreamteam Entertainment, also new comers to Carnival. Additionally, the Nagico Calypso competitions as well as the Soca Rumble give lovers of soca and calypso lots of opportunities to enjoy their favorite art form.
ST. MAARTEN CARNIVAL
Costumes and dancers jam and jump their way along the streets of St. Maarten's capitol - Philipsburg- to the beat of calypso, soca and other island rhythms. If you are watching this parade of color and glitz that stretches for miles, it's impossible not to get into the party spirit that we all call Carnival.
Two carnivals are held on the island each year - the one on the French side takes place during Lent (February), keeping the tradition of the French Creole Mas, while the other, the largest of the two, is celebrated on the Dutch side over a period of approximately two weeks with its main parade scheduled at the end of April heading into May.
A large open area is converted to a Mecca of sights, sounds, shows, and local culinary treats - we call it 'The Carnival Village'. This is where all the fun starts and ends during the two week period known as carnival. In the 'village' more than 100 booths are erected and patrons keep themselves busy preparing mouth-watering dishes like conch and dumplings, Johnny cakes, barbequed chicken, and a host of spicy soups which are said to all have aphrodisiac qualities.
In the village, calypsonians from all over the Caribbean compete for the title of King and Queen. There are also other shows and performances by local, regional and international performers. After the crowning of the Calypso King and Queen, the revellers hit the streets for the Jouvert Jam - this is a parade of music and dancing through the streets which starts at 4AM and goes until sunrise.- but it doesn't end there, more parades, parties and pulsating tropical rhythms fill the day.
The finale for carnival is the burning of King Momo, a straw figure who is the manifested spirit of carnival. Legend has it that by burning King Momo, the villages sins and bad luck are burned away, leaving the island pure and filled with hope for good things to come.
Carnival brings the whole island together - residents and visitors alike - there is no such thing as a bystander. Anyone can join in the celebration and feel the carnival spirit move through them......we invite you to join us for Carnival.
ST. MARTiN CARNIVAL St Martin Carnaval brings visitors to this Caribbean island every year to enjoy the most exotic festival of its kind in the Caribbean. Both St Martin and St Maarten participate in this two-week long carnival offering not only a wonderful way to join in the fun with the locals but also a wonderful way to experience a carnival atmosphere. The St Maarten Carnival along with the similar St Martin festival offer magical sounds of drums, calypso beats, glitter, unique feathered costumes, delectable foods, drinks, and the fun of watching all those around having a blast.
You may think that you will not be able to attend both the St Martin Carnaval and the St Maarten Carnival, but you are mistaken. Even though both sides of this Caribbean island celebrate the festival, they do so at different times. This way you can make plans for a month-long vacation to enjoy both carnivals and take home the wonderful memories from both the French side as well as the Dutch.