On the grinders at the Caribbean Regatta
On the grinders – the crew is made up of company directors used to the good life, but here they have to graft like anyone else.
Karl, a true Viking skipper
Karl, the Norwegian skipper, was hired by the directors for US$ 500 to be the skipper during the race. He is a true Viking, happiest at sea and bellowing at the crew.
The after parties at the Heineken Regatta
The after parties at the Heineken Regatta are infamous for their decadence. Small wonder that the motto of the race is “Serious Racing, Serious Fun.”
The crew trying to balance the boat
The crew trying to balance the boat but mainly staying out of the way of the activity on deck.
Après race, it’s party time for the crews.
Après race, and it’s party time for the crews.
The King’s Legend, the Rolls Royce of the sailing world.
The King’s Legend, the runner-up in the 1974 Whitbread Race. She is the envy of the race: a 64-foot Swan – the Rolls Royce of the sailing world.
Checking the sail , before changing tack
Checking that the sail is in place before changing tack – the main way of robbing the opponent of vital wind.
A spotter checks the rigging
Hanging in the rigging at 30 metres, a spotter checks the rigging.
St Martin. Each boat is worth around US$ 2million
The main harbour of St Martin. Each boat is worth around US$ 2million per boat so there must be around US$ 30-50 million worth of polyester hardware lying at anchor.
“It’s a white man’s race,” says one local bringing beer
The Caribbean jewel of St Maarten is probably ready for the finish now. “It’s a white man’s race,” says one local disdainfully, although the race – like the cruise ships that stop off here – do benefit the local economy considerably.
“Yo’ mama’s a goat!” yells the crew at the ship they overtake
“Yo’ mama’s a goat!” yells the crew at the ship they overtake – as Karl the skipper told them to – which is followed by bleating loudly. All in good fun.
Flags denoting the ship’s handicap
The flags on the boats show various things: their sponsors’ logos, flags denoting the ship’s handicap, and the flags which signal to the race organisers that other competitors have made mistakes.
The race really is everything to the captain .
Karl is true to his t-shirt – the race really is everything to him, and he is not above yelling at the company directors who make up his crew. Order must be kept on board and every crew member has his or her place in the team. There is no room for egos hereÖ well, perhaps only Karl’s.
Parrots drinking Heineken
Parrots drinking Heineken – the Regatta’s sponsors couldn’t wish for a better PR image.
The same model,means they the same handicap
Clean, crisp, white sails piercing the bright blues of sky and sea. These boats are the same model, which means they have the same handicap – this in turn makes for a nail-biting time for competitor and spectator alike.
Caribbean steel drums at a after party
The Caribbean steel drums only add to the atmosphere at the nightly parties.
Dinghy traffic jam
Dinghy traffic jam. These water taxis crisscross the harbour as they move from the boats to shore and back again.
Going around the buoy marker .
Going around the buoy marker is risky and mistakes or improper handling are often the result – the organisers check that each competitor completes the turn correctly.
Doing the limbo
Doing the limbo
Sailing a spinnaker requires great precision
Sailing a spinnaker requires great precision – someone has to be on the constant lookout to check how the sail is catching the wind.
The regatta scoreboards ,
But before the party begins, the teams run straight to the scoreboards.
This yacht is brand new and very fast.
One of the more expensive specimens of the race – this yacht is brand new and very fast.
Sunset after the first day of the race
The calm before the storm. At sunset after the first day of the race, the area is still calm, but all hell is about to break loose on the island’s beaches because soon it will be party time.
The winning crew.
The winning crew.
St Maarten , home of the Regatta
St Maarten has, partly due to the Regatta, become a major tourist destination – these tourists have just arrived.