Team gill wins the 13th annual Bobby's Marina la Course de L'Alliance Regatta

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten - This weekend marked the thirteenth year of one of the most anticipated season opening events of the sailing season at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, the Course de L’ Alliance Regatta. It’s a three day event which encompasses the three neighboring islands, Sint Maarten, St. Barths and Anguilla and was the inaugural year of sponsorship by Bobby’s Marina as the title sponsor.

Beginning on Friday outside the bridge, the sixteen-strong fleet raced in lumpy seas and medium winds to St. Barths where they enjoyed a beachfront dinner at the St. Barths Yacht Club and daily prize giving.

Saturday’s race to Sandy Ground, Anguilla was described as with sunny skies, great surfing conditions and lightening winds on a mostly downwind course.  Competitors struggled with the choice of sailing on either side of Tintamarre, which made for an exciting and game-changing decision. Prize giving that evening was held at Roy’s Bar & Restaurant on the beach in Sandy Ground Anguilla, where race teams dined and then took advantage of the Anguillan nightlife.

The final day of racing and prize giving culminated back at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club where the fleet of racing, cruising and multi-hull sailors swapped stories about the exciting three days of racing from island to island, enjoying the hospitality of each destination with the camaraderie only experienced by a great sailing regatta.

Experienced racing sailor, “Team Gill” member and Sint Maarten Yacht Club Commodore Chris Marshall summed it up when he said "This really is one of my favorite events every year; great friends and sailors, terrific courses and a laid-back atmosphere.”

The laid-back nature of the event does not stop the competition on the water from being fierce. Jan van den Eynde’s “Panick Attack” finished the regatta in third overall in the Racing Class, with former SMYC Commodore Ian Hope-Ross’s “Kick ‘em Jenny 2” placing 2nd while the Gill Race Team took 1st place, skippered by Gill North America’s President David Pritchard.

The Cruising Class was won by St. Barth’s Raphael Magras’ “Maelia” from St. Barths, with St. Barth’s Albacore IV in 2nd followed by Robbie Ferron’s “Ossenfeffer / Micron 99” in 3rd overall. The Multi-hull class was won by Mitch-Silvano and Michaux-Corroy’s “Carib Cat” followed closely by Jean-Michel Ricour’s “Guimamalou” in 2nd place. Third was taken by Luc Scheulen’s “Green Flash.”

Unfortunately Bobby Velasquez’s “La Esperance” was missing from the fleet this year due to the absence of its owner and skipper Bobby of whose Bobby’s Marina was the title sponsor of the event. "We'll definitely be back next year" said Bobby Velasquez of La Esperance and Bobby’s Marina speaking after the event, "this event mixes competition and fun and we are certainly happy and proud to be the title sponsor and strong competition." It certainly seemed like everyone agreed.

The welcome registration party and daily prizes were sponsored by ILTT with their brands of Mt. Gay, Kettle 1 Vodka, Casillero del Diablo wines, Heineken and Carib.  Each day’s winning boats were awarded bottles for first, second and third prizes and the final overall prizes, valued at over $7000, including a free haul out for the Kidz at Sea program, were sponsored by Bobby’s Marina and their tenants such as the Green House, Great Bay Express, Sea Trek, Out Island Charters, 12 Metre Challenge, Best Boat Yard Services and Island Water World.

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