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Heineken Regatta St Maarten 2016

This renowned sailing event draws racing fans literally from all over the world to the wonderful vibrant little island that is St Maartens. The competition has been growing in stature every year and in 2016 boasted 38 different participating countries. Its popularity has risen leaps and bounds over the years within the sailing community and this is mainly down to the strong northerly winds that make for very competitive racing. Racers are also spoiled with average temperatures of between 24 to 28 degrees, while tempting turquoise waters also offer an abundance of swimming and water sports, beautiful sandy beaches and accompanied with a vibrant night life scene, it really offers the whole package!

The races are run daily and will take participants around the island, showing off St Martin's wonderful beaches, rock formations and other scenery. The St Maarten Heineken Regatta is open to all types of competitors as there are many different classes. The level of racing in 'monohull' and 'multihull' boats would be regarded as a higher standard than other competition racing. If you are more of a laid back racer, there is a less competitive cruising class, where the emphasis is more on fun and frolics.

Last year 70 participating boats were chartered by individuals or companies and they raced in the bareboat division. The 2016 overall winner was Rik Wesslund’s El Ocaso, he took home first prize after a hard fought win in the overall competitive category. The racing went all the way to the final day and will live in all race goers memories – let’s just say it was a nail biter.

If you are not directly involved in the racing ... don’t worry! There is plenty to do for those who like the finer things in life such as duty-free shopping in Maho, fine dining in Grand Case, sun bathing on one of the 37 beaches on the island, or simply partaking in a range of water sports, some sightseeing, or a tempting bit of island hopping to St Barths, the choice is yours...

The Regatta also entices some of the best artists from around the world for the 4 days. Musicians as big as Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, Kool and the Gang, The Commodores and Red Foo Rock Crew have performed on stage over the past few years. So as you can imagine 2017 will promise to be bigger and better again, so stay tuned and when the line ups are released we will let you know.

With over 35 years of experience, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has established a standard that cannot be beaten, but which can only get better. Organisers are working all year round to ensure that the next 35 years will continue to bring St. Maarten, her beaches, culture, food and fun to the entire world through the sport of sailing. Sailor or non-sailor, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is most definitely an event that you need to add to your bucket list, and to be crossed off in 2017!

We invite you to enjoy all the island has to offer on both the French and Dutch sides and more information can be found here.

Exceptional Villas would also be delighted to help you book a vacation rental for the upcoming Heineken Regatta. Feel free to contact our St Maarten villa specialist Niamh or browse our website for more information on our luxury villas available for the Heineken Regatta in St Maarten.


Ensure you include the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in your schedule for the next five years:

  • 2017: March 2nd – March 5th
  • 2018: March 1st – March 4th
  • 2019: February 28th – March 3rd
  • 2020: March 5th – March 8th
  • 2021: March 4th – March 7th

Image copyright Laurens Morel


Published: Dec 22, 2015
Updated: Nov 23, 2016

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