Half the entry numbers every year are made up from charter boats, with a massive contingent of sailors from Europe, the USA, even from as far away as Japan and Australia booking seemingly all the bareboats in the Caribbean area. Crews from northern hemisphere countries just coming out of a chilly winter charter a bareboat to use the regatta as the perfect opportunity to get in a bit of warm water practice before the European summer sailing season, but there are top race boats signed up too, a factor which makes the regatta all the more enticing.
One sailor who enjoys the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and the Caribbean Big Boat Series (CBBS) too, is American Robbie HAINES. Affable HAINES has been in St. Maarten before with a couple of Roy DISNEY's Pyewackets, but for 2006 he is coming back with Randal PITTMAN's Ed DUBOIS designed 90 foot canting keel hot shot, Genuine Risk. They will be lining up against Hasso PLATTNER's Morning Glory and Tom HILL's Titan 12.
CBBS takes in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the BVI Spring Regatta and concludes with Antigua Sailing Week. It always has a top notch entry of big boats and so far 2006 looks like being a vintage year. As well as Genuine Risk and Morning Glory, HILL's Titan 12, last year's winner, make three maxis already. Robert MULDERIG's Starr Trail and Clay DEUTSCH's Chippewa will be there too, to bang the drum for the well campaigned production cruiser racers. There will be plenty more by the time the first gun goes.