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7 March 2001, 09:58 am
Perfect Racing In The Caribean
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Saint Maarten Heineken Regatta

James Dolan's custom Maxi 78 Sagamore was the winner of the big boat class at the 21st annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
She also won the Best Elapsed Time Around the Island and Most Worthy Performance trophies. Arien van Vemde's Swan 60 Sotto Voce from Holland was second in the big boat class, with Isam Kabbani's Carrol Marine 60 Rima in third..

Weather conditions for the three day, four race, four party event were Caribbean-perfect, with moderate southeast breezes of 12 to 18 knots, flat seas and sunny skies.

Two hundred and fifty-five boats participated in 20 classes from 24 countries. An estimated 2,500 people took part, and there were 64 boats over 50 feet on the race course. In addition, the Scotiabank Tallship Parade, also hosted by the St. Maarten Yacht Club, was held on Sunday, March 4th. Six vessels participated: Stad Amsterdam (three masted 257 foot clipper from Holland), the Swan fan Makkum (world's largest brigantine at 203 feet), the Sir Robert Baden Powell (137 feet topsail schooner), the Ring Anderson (114 foot wooden ketch), Polynesia (248 foot schooner) and the Avontuur (111 foot steel working cargo schooner).

Of special interest were the two identical 'modern classics' designed by Joel White, the W-Class 76s. Daniel Thomas's White Wings of the USA bested Paul Hunt's Wild Horses from Britain. Wild Horses was awarded the Xerox 'Spirit and Style' award for returning to racing after spending 45 minutes with two crew members up the mast clearing away a wrapped spinnaker.

Another unusual grouping was the exhibition class of former-America's Cup 12 meters. Stars & Stripes steered by Chris Cole was first, True North 1 steered by Ernst Licht was second, and True North 4 steered by Doug Mutch was third.
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