Celebration time in St. Maarten

Celebration time in St. Maarten

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One of the turns at the 2014 St. Thomas International Regatta. Photo: Dean Barnes.

There’s no coincidence that organizers of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta chose Kool & the Gang to headline their awards ceremony’s after-party at Kim Sha Beach. After all, March 5-8 marks the regatta’s 35th anniversary and one of the most popular of the Grammy-winning R&B group’s all-time hits is Celebration. “We are known as a best-of-both-worlds regatta with world-class racing and fantastic parties,” says regatta director Michele Korteweg. “It’s always challenging to find a balance between artists that entertain sailors as well as other interested parties such as visitors and the local community. But, this is what we’re known for and we make an effort to keep up with expectations on the water as well as on shore.”

For sailors, what’s new this year is that nearly every class of boat—rather than just racing classes—are invited to compete in the pre-regatta Gill Commodore’s Cup. There will be windward-leeward courses for most racing classes and a single race for the somewhat slower boats in order to offer something for everyone. For spectators, everything is in one location this year—Simpson Bay. This is the place to watch all race starts and finishes, plus the bayside Regatta Village here will be the hub for food, drink, live entertainment, and T-shirt sales. In the lyrics of Kool & the Gang, it will definitely be a regatta Too Hot to remember! heinekenregatta.com