SMYC Dinghy race

Exciting Sailing Weekend at the Sint Maarten National Dinghy Championship Sponsored by Island Water World

The Sint Maarten National Dinghy Championship, proudly sponsored by Island Water World, was a spectacular event held on June 15th and 16th. With 20 boats competing, this annual championship, organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and the Sint Maarten Sailing Federation (SIMSAF), showcased impressive sailing skills and sportsmanship.


In its second year as a standalone event, the championship welcomed competitors from various clubs, although only Sint Maarten residents were eligible for the National Champion title. Participants included members from the St. Barth Yacht Club and Saint Martin Voile Pour Tous, adding a competitive international flair.


Elja van der Horst led the Championship as Race Officer and remarked, “It was a great last dinghy race of the season. The competitors were challenged with nice wind conditions and some sargassum weed in the water. It was great to see the competition and sportsmanship on SMYC’s final race of the season.”


In the ILCA class, six competitors participated. Rio Stomp from SMYC claimed first place, with Frits Bus, SMYC’s commodore, coming in second, and Clement Le Normand from Saint Martin Voile Pour Tous taking third place. The National Champions were also awarded: Rio Stomp is the official National Dinghy Champion in the ILCA 6 class, Frits Bus in the ILCA 7 class, and Melina de Vries in the ILCA 4 class.


The RS Quest fleet saw two boats competing on Saturday and four boats on Sunday. Ian Mobbs and Lucy Fletcher finished in fourth place, just missing the podium. Joris vanden Eynde and his daughter secured third place, earning the title of National Dinghy Champions in the RS Quest class. Saint Martin Voile Pour Tous clinched the top two positions, with Elliot Ozere and his son Noah in second, and Erwan Le Normand and his son winning all the races to take first place.


The Optimist fleet was divided into the Optimist class and the Optimist Green class, the latter for less experienced sailors. In the Optimist Green class, Ethan Blanchet from St. Barths came in third, Axel vanden Eynde from SMYC in second, and Nathanael Basset from SMYC took first place. In the Optimist class, eight kids competed, with Lewis Maxor finishing third, Lourenco Rolo Couto Jorge in second, and Thomas Magras in first. All top three sailors in this class were from the St. Barth Yacht Club. The National Dinghy Champion title for the Optimist class will be awarded during the Optimist Championship in October.


Trophies were presented on the SMYC dock during the prize-giving ceremony by Erwin Rodenburg, a representative of Island Water World. Island Water World’s sponsorship was crucial to the event’s success, and they also captured stunning photos of the races, which are available on the SMYC website.


Gaby Eman, Managing Director of Island Water World, was also present during the Championship: “It’s great to see so many young sailors out there in the open ocean. Having learned how to sail in an optimist myself several decades ago I know what it’s like and what it can do for young kids. On the water you are all alone with your boat, making decisions on your own, reacting to competing boats, wind shifts and weather changes. This is a great way to create independence and a sense of responsibility in young kids. A great skill set for their future. That’s why Island Water World is proud to be able to sponsor events like this. We hope to see many more contestants in the coming season!”


Special thanks to Zee Best for providing delicious pastries and lunch, and to Domino’s for the pizza snacks. The event was made possible by the dedicated efforts of volunteers and the support of Frits for his catamaran as the committee boat.


For full race results please check the SMYC website





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