Now for 35 years, every March, St. Martins' waters become the ultimate Caribbean playground for sailors and 'landlubbers' alike! Being a magnet for the nautical scene year round, it's the Annual Heineken Regatta that turns the eyes of the sailing world on this little island.
This grand sailing celebration brings sailors from Europe and North America to challenge their Caribbean brothers in a friendly, high level competition.
More than 200 yachts assemble to compete in the St. Maarten trade winds making it the largest regatta in the Caribbean. The recent regatta brought 256 challengers from 24 nations, in 17 classes from the smallest 17' cat to a 162' schooner and 120 charter boats. The races start on the Dutch side and finish on the French side amidst much 'pomp and partying'.
The highlight of the regatta is the Big Boat Class with its amazing beauties and high-tech racers, though it's not only the race that makes the event so notorious. Keeping to its motto 'Serious Fun' the regatta includes nightly feasts in Philipsburg, on the Marigot Waterfront and Simpson Bay. Supporters or crews, winners or losers, residents or visitors; after the race everybody joins a whirlwind of music, Heineken and happiness to enjoy the spirit of friendly competition that is the Heineken Regatta.