Offshore racing

Testimonial - On the podium at the Heineken Regatta!

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“It was my dream, to take part in the Heineken Regatta. Going through the bridge and the parade to reach the lagoon, the atmosphere every evening during the great concerts, I love it! A few years ago, I met Pierre-Walter Varkala alias ‘Piwi’ from Calypso Croisière: I entrusted him with the management of Cyflotin, my Eclipse 472. The condition was that I could take part in the Heineken Regatta. Based in Martinique, Piwi bought a KL28 Trophy, for giving sport catamaran lessons. In 2018, he finished 3rd in our class aboard Kataplasm, his racing machine, while I came in last. But it was my first time taking part... In 2019 I finished 4th - with a fair amount of breakages. But for this 2020 edition, the fortieth, my goal is a podium place! I had also planned to take part in the Caribbean Multihull Challenge this year, but alas, it wasn’t feasible. Maybe next year... I joined the HR with a great crew: Anaïs, Moon, Chloé, Dov, Jérémie, Cédric, Steven and me. But Jérémie was really the only one with competitive experience - he regularly races in Martinique. As the catamaran was going to be on charter for ten days of cruising/diving after the regatta and we didn’t have a place in the port in Sint Maarten, we were taking part with all the equipment on board, including the compressors. In short, Cyflotin was a little over-loaded...

All the same, we did pretty well on the delivery trip from Martinique to Sint Maarten: we even managed to average of 9.18 knots from Guadeloupe to Simpson Bay

Wednesday March 4th: we organized a training trip. The bowsprit broke, so the gennaker and spinnaker would have to remain in the sail locker. That was bad luck...

Thursday 5th: after a year’s wait, finally the joy, happiness and stress of the start line. Objective: stay in front. The starts are tense, but that’s what I like. We finished 3rd and 1st.

Friday 6th: This was the famous round-the-island race. We engaged in a huge battle with Spellbound, a 1997 Leopard 45. Her captain, Ian Marin, is an American skipper for whom I have a lot of respect. He kept up with us up to the middle of the race but we eventually got past him. We then had a tacking duel with Tango, a Schionning 51C. This superb catamaran entered in Multihull 1 Class was however much faster than us. We finished 1st over the line, and 2nd on corrected time.

Saturday 7th: A breakage two minutes before the start. But we managed to repair it and cross the line anyway. We then got back up with our competitors on the first tack. And there, disaster, the mainsail came down in one go. We decided to abandon the race. Catching up on the second leg, we finished second.

Sunday 8th: there was only one race for this closing day, which started with superb weather. The start a little tense. In front of us, the Leopard 50 La Novia and there was still Spellbound. We ...

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