Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten

St. Maarten is one of the tiniest islands in the Caribbean, and for it’s 37 square mile size, it packs a huge punch in tourism, with duty-free shopping, 365 restaurants, and 37 beaches.  St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European influenced vibe with heavy sprinkles of Caribbean flair.  Recently, I visited the island for the third time, anticipating some incredible food, and shopping….specifically jewellery (did I mention duty free). I always find time to visit Marigot market for linen dresses and tops (perfect for the hot weather)  and to stock up on unique hand crafted jewellery for gifts, and maybe a few pieces for myself.

I was in St. Maarten for the Heineken Sailing Regatta, an event that  teams from all over the world were trained and ready for . The above photo shows spectators waiting for the first race to start, just as soon as the bridge goes up so all the boats can go through.  It’s always exciting to be involved in a Regatta, and at the 32nd annual Heineken Regatta , the energy matched the sizzling hot temperature the whole time

Water taxis were at the ready to take teams out to larger boats that were moored further away

Teams were marked by a variety of colored shirts

Two hundred and two sailboats were entered in the Regatta, three of which were Classics, all head turners

Catamarans and Spinnakers all sailed the clear blue sea

at the end of each  race day , it was time to celebrate the first night was in Phillipsburg, second night in Marigot and the final night was on Kimshaw Beach .  Fabulous dancing music that can only be found in the Caribbean.  There were always the Heineken girls (in green)  and the Captain Morgan girls (in red – a bit obvious) both stamping on  temporary tattoos.

it doesn’t hurt a bit, as you can see by the look on the face of Brooke Cunningham, a writer from Vermont

Thousands of people danced, and the food was incredible – barbequed chicken, ribs and shrimp always hit the spot at the end of a day spent on the boat

Captain Paul volunteered his boat and his time to maneuver us around the racing sailboats

It’s always interesting to see other media in full work mode; David was from Guadalupe Television

Robbie, above , a freelance photographer from Belgium

Melody’s trip was sponsored by the St. Maarten Board of Tourism

http://www.vactionstmaarten.com

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About The blog of travel & lifestyle journalist Melody Wren

Melody is a freelance writer because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. She writes about travel, food, lifestyle and green living. Melody loves staying in a place long enough to get acquainted. Local customs, markets and traditional cultures are magnets for this writer. When not writing she’s either on the road, in the air, or savoring something tasty. Most of her travels feature outdoor adventures of some sort, although she typically avoids sleeping on the ground. She is an ordinary person that enjoys challenging and pushing herself, facing fears with an eye on experiential travel. She needs to do it, feel it and see it so she can write about it. Her hope is that her stories encourage readers to get out there and do the same.
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