With less than three weeks to go before the starting gun fires on March 1st to begin the 32nd annual edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the entry list continues to grow, promising yet another stellar fleet for a round of “serious fun.” As always, the entry list is comprised of the latest Grand Prix racers, timeless classics, souped-up cruising boats, and bareboat charter yachts.

Many of the 141 current entrants are familiar St. Maarten Heineken Regatta veterans, who are drawn to the mix of great competition and sensational parties year after year. Among these sailors are Hank Schmitt on the Swan 48, Avocation; Richard Wesslund on the J/120, El Ocaso; Bernie Evan-Wong on the Mumm 36,High Tension; Christopher Marshall on the Melges 24, Budget Marine/Gill; Ian Hope-Ross on the Beneteau First 36.7, Kick ‘em Jenny; Sergio Sagramoso on the J/122,Lazy Dog; and Christian Reynolds on the Swan 51, Northern Child.

Among the 66 boats entered in the CSA Monohull divisions, the queen of the fleet is the largest entry to date, the Swan 100, Virago. But the powerful sloop has plenty of company in the big-boat category, including a pair of 90-footers, Kip Curren’s Frers-designed Nefertiti and the French-flaggedMed Spirit. Michael Reardon’s custom 75-foot Tripp design, Blackbird, will surely turn some heads. And legendary naval architect Bruce Farr is represented by a pair of Grand Prix entrees, the Volvo 70, Gran Jotiti, and the 65-foot Ondeck/Spirit of Juno.

As in every running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, many of the competitors sail solid racer/cruisers from the world’s best production boat-builders. As always, there are numerous Beneteaus in the field, including four First 40.7s: Patrick Holloran’s Caipirinha, Vito Marrero’s Coyote, Jaime Torres’s Smile and Wave, and Ondeck’s Team Boston. X-Yachts has an impressive presence for the event, with a quartet of boats ranging from the 34-foot Maelia to the 65-footKaruba V. There are also yachts from Hunter (Harmony), Santa Cruz (Sonic of Ayr) and Dufour (Speedy Nemo), among many others.

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta isn’t just for monohulls, as the ten competitors who’ve entered the multihull class thus far will attest. Katherine Mullins’ slick Gunboat 66,Coco de Mer, looks like the boat to beat, but she’ll have to be quicker than Peter Aschenbrenner’s Irens 63, Paradox, to take top honors. Other contenders include the Catana 65, Selika, and the du Toit 51, Eagletours/Quality Time.

Last but hardly least are the 63 boats that have signed up to race in the Bareboat classes. Many of these skippers charter directly from companies like The Moorings (www.moorings.com) and Sunsail (www.sunsail.com). Others book through tour agencies like TUI Netherlands. “It’s our first year at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta,” said account manager Roelof Hoogstrate. “We are proud to be there with almost twenty boats and 150 sailors!”

Whether you plan to charter a boat or sail your own, the clock is ticking and the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will soon be underway. The time to punch your ticket to the action is…now.

For full information on the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including entry lists and entry information, the Notice of Race, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com.

Entry List Growing as Starting Gun for the 32nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Draws Closer

With less than two months to the start of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, there is still time to experience one of the best loved regattas in the Caribbean. Gold Sponsor, The Moorings is the official charter partner for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival and they offer a wide variety of modern yachts and packages to choose from.

At this year’s BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, Dutch Grand Soleil 43, Antilope will count one of the world’s most famous sailors in the race. Bouwe Bekking has competed in six round the world races, twice as skipper and Antilope’s crew are also taking advantage of the excellent charter facilities in the British Virgin Islands.

“The BVIs is just a fantastic place and rather than put the crew in a house, we have chartered a catamaran for the event. It means that we can stay right in the marina and enjoy all of the dockside fun. Nanny Cay Marina is very sheltered so all the crew can enjoy a comfortable sleep on board with no problem at all and friends and family can also use the catamaran to enjoy a day out on the water.”

International Yacht Club Challenge

Among a large fleet of charter yachts expected for the event, yacht clubs from across the globe can also take part in the third International Yacht Club Challenge (IYCC).

The Commodore of the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club has invited other yacht clubs from around the world to send a team to compete in the IYCC. Yacht clubs from around the world can select members to represent their club and charter a boat from Sunsail. The top prize is a Sunsail charter for a week, ­­­­­hopefully to be used returning the following year to defend the club’s title.

For the IYCC, David Higgins, a physician, will be representing the Gavin’s Point Yacht Club based in South Dakota:

“It is pretty chilly at home at the moment and I have to say that warm sailing in the beautiful islands is really appealing right now. Our crew will be made up of four couples, including my brother and his wife and also two couples that I often sail with. We have chartered a 53′ from Sunsail, it’s the largest yacht I have ever chartered but it will also be our home during the regatta. Honestly, one of the main attractions of the IYCC is winning a charter holiday for next year. We love to race and the British Virgin Islands is a wonderful location, at a time of the year when we are experiencing near freezing temperatures in the Mid-West. Role on March, we are all so looking forward to coming out to the BVIs!”

Yacht charter is very well established in the British Virgin Islands. Ready-to-go packages for the regatta include, race measurement and registration and full provisioning for your arrival. A local qualified skipper can also be arranged.

Sunsail’s Josie Tucci explains why the British Virgin Islands is their Number One destination:

“The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival is a superb combination of warm weather racing and fun partying. So it makes sense for us to support this important local event. There’s nothing like racing in a Caribbean climate, beautiful blue water racing, friendly competition, great bars and local food.”

For more information about the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival and how to represent your club for the IYCC go to: www.bvispringregatta.org  Warm Water Hot Racing – Guaranteed

The week encompasses seven-days and features five separate events, The Sailing Festival comprised of The Bitter End Cup and The Nanny Cay Cup; the Nations Challenge, the Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship and the BVI Spring Regatta

The BVI Spring Regatta is jointly owned by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association

The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival is presented by Nanny Cay Marina – http://www.nannycay.com.

(Source http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=98639)