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Island News

Get ready for the 37th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta!

Putting on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is like staging a play. The leading roles are cast, the award-winning scenery and backdrops already in place and excitement amongst our star studded audience (who actively participate) is growing. Let’s hope the 2017 edition is another blockbuster hit for the largest warm water regatta in the World.

Gill confirms commitment to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

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The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta confirmed today that Gill North America has renewed its sponsorship to the event. The Gill Commodore’s Cup takes place on Thursday March 2nd, 2017 and serves as a warm up to the premier event, the 2017 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Additionally, Gill has committed to another year as the technical gear provider for the entire event allowing regatta organizers to plan ahead for both 2017 and 2018, giving them a jump start on the 38th edition.

The Gill Commodore’s Cup is open to all boats entered in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta with the exception of those racing in the Lottery Class. Scored separately, this event will have a prize giving ceremony after racing at the Princess Port De Plaisance venue location. “We are very proud to be sponsoring the Gill Commodore’s Cup once again. Event managers are striving for over one hundred boats this year. The Gill Commodore’s Cup is a fantastic one day warm-up for all classes planning on racing in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta the following day. Those fortunate enough to win a trophy will receive some free Gill kit,” mentioned David Pritchard from Gill North America.

In addition to being a title sponsor for the pre event, Gill is the technical gear provider for the regatta, delivering high quality technical sailing gear available to both the sailors and regatta fans. This technical line will be specially designed for the regatta and will not be available anywhere else. “Gill North America is now in high gear producing a unique collection of technical clothing for the 37th edition and the Gill Commodore’s Cup. This year we are supplying the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and Heineken specially designed UV shirts and trucker caps to better promote the outstanding Heineken brand and amazing regatta event,” continued David.

The unique and distinct Gill / HR 37 collection will be available for sale at the airport and in Phillipsburg leading up to the event prior to the holidays. Budget Marine will also have stock at its Cole Bay location and on site during the event. In addition to the HR 37 technical collection, Gill will be showcasing several new styles including its new race series. “A perfect collection for the racing while at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta!” concluded Pritchard.

“Originally seen as a kind of practice regatta, the Gill Commodore’s Cup has really become a stand-alone event and an important day in its own right with tight racing in competitive classes on short windward-leeward courses. Now more than ever, the Gill Commodore’s Cup is a perfect complement to the St Maarten Heineken Regatta,” declared race director Paul Miller.

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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is the largest warm water Regatta in the world. This world-renowned sailing event offers a great combination of four days of challenging races and fantastic​ parties, living up to the event's motto of "Serious Fun"! The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will celebrate its 37th edition from March 2-5, 2017.

For full information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party- and band information, and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com.

Rio Productions Lights Up Streets With Parade

PHILIPSBURG--Carnival lovers jammed and jumped in the fifth annual Rio “Lightin’ Up de Road” parade on Saturday evening.  The streets were lighted with pink and green shirts behind Fantastic 4 (former Burning Flames) band and Small Axe Band. Fantastic 4 are pioneers of soca music and famous in the entire Caribbean and North America for their top-quality music and outstanding performances. The theme for the 2016 Lightin Up De Road parade was “The Clash of the Titans,” chosen was because two famous Caribbean bands performed on the road for one night.  Several costumes were also part of the parade while hundreds of spectators enjoyed the private jump-up. New this year was the Rio Village where the participants and spectators could meet to enjoy great music and enjoy local dishes.

Caribbean Rum And Beer Festival Returns

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The Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival is returning to St. Maarten at the Festival Village on November 4. The one-of-a-kind event is an exposition of rum and beer beverages combined with the 2016 Taste Contest, workshops, cooking demonstrations, cocktail competitions, rum and beer seminars, music, entertainment and pure fun. 

“This will be our second year here in St. Maarten,” explained Festival Director Cheryl Collymore. “Last year our exhibitors and patrons were so enthusiastic about how everything had come together that we just knew we had to come back to this amazing island. We are excited to be back and will be adding new activities such as an evening of rum and gastronomy at a local restaurant, the ‘Rum and Cigar’ zone and the ‘Chocolate, rum and beer pairing’ segment.” 

With its onsite seminars presented by world-renowned rum and beer professionals, the event allows patrons to better appreciate the complexities and the uniqueness of the more than 100 rum and beer products on offer at the event. Visit Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival for complete details.

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"

Island Water World (IWW) Wins At St. Barths

Team Island Water World from St. Maarten won the Melges 24 one design class at the La Voile de St. Barths Sailboat Regatta over the weekend.  Team GFA from Martinique finished second and Team Gill from St. Maarten was third.  “In difficult conditions of light wind and strong currents it was a question of good tactics and weather knowledge to edge out the competition,” said Bus.  Several other St. Maarten boats competed in the regatta that attracts many top sailors from around the world.

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St. Maarten, Saba, Statia to Boost Coral Restoration

coralrestorationNature conservation organizations in St. Maarten, Saba, Statia and Turks and Caicos will soon start planting structures made from bamboo and rope in their marine parks with the objective to regenerate coral species severely depleted over the last few decades.   The focus will be on Elkhorn and staghorn corals, species which are fast growing and relatively insensitive to sediment, a signifi cant factor affecting coral on all of the islands, said Nature Foundation in a press release.

With this project the participants hope to create new reefs. Nature Foundation, Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Park Stenapa and Turks and Caicos Reef Fund are now in the process of selecting the exact locations.  The project is managed by the Marine Park Management Organizations, Wageningen University/ IMARES in cooperation with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and funded by the European Union (EU).  

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The plan is to source small coral fragments from so-called mother colonies of Elkhorn and Staghorn coral on the islands. The fragments will then be hung on locally developed ladder-like, flexible structures that are placed under water with at least five structures being deployed per island. The trees can be removed to prevent them from being damaged by storms or strong current. The coral fragments can grow 10 to 12 cm a year: after three years in the nursery they can be transplanted to form parts of new coral reefs.

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"

Island a Top 10 Best Tropical Destination For Bird Watches

birdwatchingReader’s Digest Magazines Canada has named St. Maarten/ St. Martin in its “Ten Best Tropical Destinations for Bird Watchers.”  An article written by Susan Campbell describes St. Maarten/St. Martin as a, “…hot spot for migrating sea birds, the dual-nation island of St. Maarten and St. Martin has a burgeoning bird watching scene.  “Visitors to the annual Migratory Seabird Festival can enjoy guided tours to the island’s 164 species in a variety of locations via SeaGrape Tours and learn more about the birds through local environmental organisations like Les Fruit de Mer and the Nature Foundation.

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