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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Organizers are happy to announce a new initiative to help grow a long neglected segment of the Caribbean regatta competitors; the ex-racing, now live-aboard, cruiser. With sponsorship from Hank Schmitt, founder of “Offshore Passage Opportunities”, the Lottery Division has plans to grow from one to three starting guns. The Lottery Class will get their own Welcome Party on Thursday March 2nd, 2017, hosted by the restaurants at the Simpson Bay Market across the bridge from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.

According to the new Sponsor of the Lottery Division, Hank Schmitt, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has a lot of potential to grow by doubling and tripling the amount of boats entered in the Lottery Class. He states: “All the race boats are already on the starting line for this biggest of all Warm Water Regattas. Many cruising sailors need that little bit of encouragement to dust off old skills and sail around the course.  Knowing they don’t have to strip the boat, flake sails nor bulk up with crew, is a huge plus.”

Regatta organizers welcome full time cruisers to sign up for the Lottery Division, have some good fun and competition on the water and enjoy the parties each night. This specific class doesn’t require a rating certificate. Ratings are determined every day by the Race Committee and may change each day based on the previous day’s finish. The Lottery Division builds on the regatta’s theme of “Serious Fun” and this diverse fleet of boats welcomes everyone that loves to be part of the Regatta, but doesn’t take the racing too seriously.

Exclusively for the Lottery Class competitors, a Welcome Party will be hosted by the restaurants on Simpson Bay Market on Thursday the 2nd of March, 2017. The venue is easily accessible by foot from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, as well as by dinghy and water taxi. Starting at 5pm, this get-to-gather will end perfectly on time to continue at the Gill Commodore’s Cup Welcome Party at Port de Plaisance.

Michelle van der Werff, Regatta Director, is pleased to see companies like Schmitt’s stepping up the plate and supporting the event. “It’s great to see this new concept of sponsoring individual divisions. We rely heavily on our Sponsors and with new sustainable partnerships like these, we can actually attract more boats, increase the quality of racing, and build on close relationships with our competitors.”