March '04: Heineken Regatta, St. Martin

We took a third out of 18 boats in our Spinnaker 4 class and had a great time doing it. The 15-20 kts breeze kept everything exciting, and our excellent crew made it a pleasure to be racing. I've never felt the boat so much in the groove! (Get more of the story at Heineken Regatta Update).

Getting ready for our Spinnaker 4 class start on day two race one.

Pepe, checking how far to the line as we approach a start.

After a great start, we're first to the first mark!

Rounding the mark, we bear off on a short dogleg reach to the next mark.

Crew hiking out on an upwind leg. Well worth it, we finished the race first on the water with the closest boat over three minutes behind!

A prestart battle with "Disco Inferno" (a tricked-out Beneteau First 47.7 with a 10.5 foot draft!).

Beating our way upwind in the heavy winds but fairly protected southern waters of St. Martin.

Tamsin smiling hopefully because she sees the rest of the fleet behind us! Those Nancys.

Whoops, did one of my runners catch the TV antenna? (No problem Hannah, we never used it anyway.)

Bob and Stephan enjoying a beer on the dock after one of the race days.

Scrubbing. Look at those smiles, we must have done well that day!

Heineken regatta headquarters and Simpson Bay as seen from our Hotel.

As Josh check's the gear, I'm sure he's thinking... Where is the Love? . . . I can't wait to hear the Black Eye'd Pea's - Live on the beach tonight! Or maybe he's dreaming about the bluetooth cell phone he's going to buy in Phillipsburg.

Day three, we're tied for first place with one race left to go. Up with the headsail, it's race time.

There's B&G guy Nat calibrating our instruments before Sunday's race four. In a coup-d'etat, for days two and three, we lured rockstar Nat away from racing with the Swan 45 Bandit!

More calibration, this time on starboard tack.

Cockpit crew during race four prestart maneuvers. Left to right - Nigel Seabright as tactician, Dave Sipes on trim, Bill, and Scott Dinhofer on main.

On the rail as we work upwind in the last race.

What do you think Dave? A fine day for yachting!

Concentrating as we beat upwind.

Controlled chaos as we prepare for what looks like a jibe. Left to right we have Scott, Hannah on runners, Dave, and Tamsin Seabright on pit.

It's Team UK - with Steve trimming the chute for every ounce of speed and Nigel, in the foreground, thinking up our next move. How about a spinnaker peel?

Much of the fleet behind us!

Unfortunately there are some ahead of us too.

But we're gaining on them!

Stephan coming off some heavy grinding.

Send it Bill, send it!

Fellow New England boat, Affinity working downwind.

During the long downwind leg, Nat worked the main and Josh, Bob, and Stephan rotated through spin sheet grinding.

Renee working the pit.

Which way did they go? Tactician Nigel doesn't look like he likes what he sees!

Spin trimmer Steve giving it all he's got.

Josh spiking the old chute.

Peeling the .75 oz spinnaker to the 1.5 oz as we go from a run to a reaching leg.

Lots of concentration as we head up on a reach flying our big chute.

Everyone hiking on the rail to keep us from going over!

Races over, waiting for the bridge to open before we can get back to the dock.

After the last race, its Sam Adams time (our unofficial sponsor)! Heineken's the regatta, but thanks to Dave the brewer for all those cases of Sam!

Also time for Pringles.

And Lays.

Who needs to wait for the bridge. With his wife at the nearby hotel, Scott decides to make a swim for it.

He made it, but I'm not sure how dry he managed to keep his bag.

Our Chocolates! Thanks everyone for a great time!