Sint Maarten Yacht Club Kids

Young Sailors Shine at St. Maarten Regatta’s Next Generation Race

Twelve teams from the SMYC Sailing School showcased their skills at the St. Maarten Regatta’s Next Generation Race, held over the weekend of March 1 and 2 as part of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The event brought together 24 talented sailors from various programs, including the racing team, primary school, and afterschool program.


The 24 young sailors were divided into 12 teams of 2. The duos comprised kids with varying levels of sailing experience, all rotating in 6 RS Zest boats.


“This opportunity for young sailors to participate in such a big event is truly remarkable,” expressed Sam, racing coach, and sailing instructor at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. “It’s a chance for them to be inspired and to further develop their passion for sailing.”


The competition unfolded over two days, with races taking place in Simpson Bay on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a full day of racing. On Sunday morning, the kids watched the bridge opening at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club before heading out to the water to witness the start of the Heineken Regatta. The kids had lunch at Port de Plaisance and prepared themselves for an afternoon of racing. Each next-generation team competed in two races, with the non-sailing kids assisting the race officer on the committee boat.


After an intense weekend of competition, Team Lily Johnson and Joseph Johnson secured third place, while Team Nathan Sheppard and Robert Gumbs claimed second. Oskar Jarrett Versteegden and Chris Meekhof clinched first place in the Next Generation race.


One of the highlights of the weekend was the official prize-giving ceremony on Sunday, where the top three teams were honored with trophies. However, the celebration extended beyond the winners, as all participants gathered on the main stage to receive applause from proud parents and sailors.


“The kids really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot! As these kids continue sailing, they’ll inspire others and make not only us proud but whole St. Maarten,” said Wessel Tangenberg, race officer of the Next Generation race.