The thirteenth Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta will be the biggest ever. On Saturday October 4 2003, 49 catamarans were loaded in the harbours of Rotterdam and Felixstowe to be shipped to Aruba where 53 teams will compete from November 9 until 14 2003.
With 49 European catamarans (27 from the Netherlands, 19 from England, 2 from Belgium and 1 from Austria) and four from Aruba, the fleet numbers twelve more than last year. After a successful Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta 2002, with lots of positive promotion and a good television report, the entries poured in and a waiting list was the result. Organiser Edwin LODDER commented "Of course, I hoped for a small increase, but I did not expect such a big interest in the event. I want to maintain the high level of quality, therefore I had to disappoint ten teams. Unfortunately for them, they are on the waiting list for Aruba."
Most competitors will leave on Friday November 7 for Aruba. Two days later on Sunday November 9, the races will start and the competition will end on Friday November 14. Aruba is well known for its good sailing conditions: wind-force 4 to 6 with 30 degrees Celcius. Under these conditions, eight races will be sailed on either short (the so-called gate courses) or semi-longdistance courses. The fleet is again strong with names such as Gunnar LARSEN, Xander POLS (last year's winner), John MORET, Richard ALLEN and William SUNNUCKS (ex-olympic Tornado sailor).
Edwin LODDER is once more responsible for the complete organisation. Besides the Aruba Heineken Regatta, he is busy with the realisation of sailing events. Examples are the Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Sailing Championships for all Olympic classes, the Zwitserleven Round Texel, the 't Fort Marina regatta and in addition he manages the International Sailing Center in Medemblik, NED.
The Aruba Heineken Regatta is sponsored by the Aruban Toerist agency, Heineken, Hapag Lloyd, Holiday Inn, KLM, TNG, Magic Marine, Coca Cola, AWA, Tropical Bottling Company Aruba, Does & Cadushi, Pelican Watersports, Palm Tours, Aruba Watersport Center, Anthony Veder & Co, Astec, Meta Corporation, Seaworld Explorer, Kodak, Meta Corporation, AS Aruba and the Caribbean Mercantile Bank.