Commodores Cup and St Maarten Heineken Regatta on Northern Child

By February 28, 2013 Racing News

Northern Child had a crew from Minnesota for 2013 Heineken Regatta. A super group of guys and girls with years of racing experience. The Commodores Cup was hard work with short windward leeward courses but the Kattack racing team battled on finishing all 3 races in a respectable mid fleet position.

Day 1: Round the Island Race – The conditions were challenging with light and shifty winds. Rounding the North Western corner of St Maarten, the crew managed to keep NC moving with constant trimming of all sails; a touch on the sheet, out a little on haliyard, a touch off on vang and slowly but surely we plugged on. After a long day on the water, Northern Child and hew crew sailed a solid race to finish 2nd in class.

Day 2: With the bit between our teeth, we started race 2 in prime position with speed off the line. Quickly we established ourselves in a good position and controlled most of the fleet behind us for the duration of the race. Unfortunately the almost new Swan 53 was just too quick and with their Pro crew sailed into 1st place. We were however delighted with another 2nd in class. In race 3 we once again hit the line with speed, but were sailed off the left hand side of the course by an X612 and Shipman 72. Both much faster yachts with huge rigs, we were stuck beneath them unable to tack and had to watch our main rivals sail to the other side of the course into more wind. After a frustrating time trying to catch up, we finally finished 5th, but remained 2nd in class going into the final day.

Day 3: With the first 3 places being split by only 2 points and Northern Child lying 2nd, there was everything to play for. The Swan 53 in 1st and an Oyster 48 in 3rd. A tough race, with a short upwind leg and NC was not in the best position. The Swan 53 was clear ahead and the Oyster 48 also ahead. After a long downwind leg, we had pulled back ahead of the Oyster and started the long beat back to Simpson Bay in a good position. We were doing well but half way up the beat had a Port/Starboard incident with a Swan 100 who it seems think that bigger means ‘right of way’. After multiple loud cries of ‘STARBOARD’ we eventually had to tack away as did they at the last minute, narrowly missing a collision. This cost NC some valuable time and unfortunately the Oyster had plugged away at us and eventually got the better of us finishing ahead which meant providing we finished one place behind them we would be on equal points and win on count back. We finished the race and immediately, the iPhones came out hunting the Regatta website for news. It wasn’t what we wanted to hear, a Swan 56 managed to get in between us pushing us back to 3rd.

After a brief “what could have been moment”, the crew let it sink in and realised that 3rd, a podium finish in this hotly contested fleet at one of the biggest International Regattas of the Caribbean season was a fantastic result!! Thanks to Tom and Kattack racing for bringing such a great crew together.