The streets of Philipsburg were lit up on Saturday night April 1st 2017, by revellers in the annual Rio Production’s “Glow with the Flow” Lighted Parade. The parade put on display not only the energetic and at time, downright hilarious dance moves of revellers, but their creativity as well. Some opted to trans-form their blue T-shirts into unique fashion statements and others coupled theirs with costumes ranging from feathered Carnival headdresses to wacky wigs and makeup.
The long parade of several hundred revellers interspersed with music trucks wound its way from the Ring Road across from L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium, head down Front Street on its way back to W.J.A. Nisbeth Road to end at the start point.
St. Maarten News Highlights courtesy of Caribbean Gems
Hotel occupancy from now through the end of April averages at 85 per cent with last- minute bookings expected to push the percentage even higher, according to a press statement from Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher.
St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) presented a report on occupancy to the Minister’s Cabinet, compiled from 45 large and small hotels. Of the 45 properties queried, 16 reported 100 per cent occupancy, as they were completely booked through the end of April.
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino reported occupancy of over 90 per cent, Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort and Casino over 80 per cent, and Divi Little Bay Beach Resort approaching 90 per cent. Holland House Beach Resort is completely booked, as is Baker’s Suites.
St. Maarten News Highlights courtesy of Caribbean Gems
On the Friday and Saturday of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (March 2 - March 5) there was a recycling competition at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. The competition was organized by the Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC). In order to win the competition, one had to recycle three different kinds of “trash” while wearing flippers and goggles. The sailors were very competitive and it was great to see the green team, consisting of MPC students, working together with EPIC. John Blair won the competition, recycling all the trash in only 28.54 seconds, who will win a weekend trip to Saba!
Visitors arriving on the island last week were given a taste of Carnival fever thanks to the Flight Carnival Take Off party at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM. This is the third year the airport has hosted this event as part of its Carnival affiliation & corporate social responsibility efforts. The event was hosted by airport employees Fay George & Connally Connor and organised by the Customer Service, Quality Assurance, Marketing and Customer Service departments.
Seven Soca Rumble artistes performed during the event & Airport SXM’s Operations Supervisor Z’haria Richardson also performed during the fun day. Visitors to the island took pictures and were amazed by the Carnival costumes worn by the promo ladies.
St. Maarten's veteran ocean racer Nico Cortlever racing x-612 Nix, won the last race of the regatta to seal victory in the big boat class. Kip Curren's American Swan 68 Simple Harmony hung on to the runner up spot, just a point ahead of Tony McBride's Antiguan Farr 65 Spirit of Juno.
Lionel Pean's French Volvo 70m completed a perfect score line of four straight bullets to win the class. Przemyslaw Tarnacki's Lithuanian Volvo 60 Ambersail was second in class with Chris Stanmore-Major's Whitbread 60 Challenger third.
Andy Middleton's British First 47.7 PYR EH01 corrected out to win today's race, their second race win of the regatta was enough to move into second place on countback in front of Jack Desmond's American Swan 48 Affinity. Ross Applebey's British Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster was second today, enough to secure the class win for the third year in succession.
Today's race winner was Ian Hope-Ross' St. Maarten Melges 32 Kick 'em Jenny 2. There was drama in the last race of the regatta, Sergio Sagramoso's Puerto Rican Melges 32 Lazy Dog retired from the race having entered an exclusion zone and despite their string of four wins finished the regatta in second place. Bernie Evan Wong's Antiguan RP37 Taz was third today and third in class for the regatta. Sir Richard Matthews' HH42 Oystercatcher XXX was second today, enough to win the class.
American J/122 El Ocaso, skippered by Bob Hillier, won today's race by just 43 seconds to clinch the class win for the regatta. Sam Talbot's American J/111 Spike, was second today and for the regatta. Philippe Charret's Guadeloupian A40 Sonodio III, finished the regatta in third place.
Sir Bobby Velasquez's St. Maarten Beneteau 45 L'Esperance won the last race of the regatta to take the class title on countback from Robbie Ferron's J/39 Micron 99. John Streicker NY40 Defiant was second today, but that was not enough to make the podium for the regatta. Sir Hugh Bailey's Antiguan Farr 45 Rebel was third today, just enough to hold onto the final podium spot.
Dave Cullen's J/109 Pocket Rocket was 6th today, but that was enough to secure the class win with Peter Lewis' J/105 Whistler disqualified. Rob Butler's Canadian J/88 Touch2Play won the race to move up to second overall with Whistler in third for the regatta.
Sandy Mair's famous bushy Scottish eyebrows will be bristling tonight after his first bullet at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Racing his Antiguan First 35 Cricket, Sandy's win put the team into third place and only one point off winning the class. Tanner & Shari Jones Antiguan J/35 Caribbean Alliance Insurance was third today, enough to win the class by a single point. Rob Gormley's First 38 Elethea was second today, to claim second for the class on countback from Cricket.
There was no change to the ranking after the last race, Andrea Scarabelli's Gill Race Team scored their fourth win of the regatta to seal the class by five points from Frits Bus' Team Island Water World 1. GFA Caraibes, from Martinique, was third.
Greg Slyngstad's Beiker 53 Fujin sealed the class victory by a single point with a bullet in the last race. Robert Janecki's HH66 R-Six was third today dropping to second place for the regatta by a single point. Kent Haeger's Dominator was third for the class. The Gunboat battle was won by Stephen Cucchiaro's Gunboat 60 Flow.
In Multihull 1, Shaun Carroll's Modified Australian Sea Cart Morticia won the final race to take the class on countback from Rodney Williams' Arawak. In Multihull 2, J. Michel Ricour's French Brazapi 41 Guimamalou, won today's race by just 18 seconds from St. Maarten Leopard 45 Spellbound but it was not enough to better a great series performance by Selika, skippered by Sergei Kischilov, which was the class winner. In Multihull 3, Andrey Arbuzov's lagoon 380 completed a perfect three wins to take the class.
In Bareboat 1, Alexei Dushkin's Kiev Racing Yacht Club won today's race to take the class win by a single point from John Jan Worwag's Sea Otter 2. In Bareboat 2, Jacques Pijenburg's Sitting Duck was today's race winner but Jan Soderberg's The Flying Swedes was second today, enough to win the class. In Bareboat 3, KHS&S Contractors, skippered by Mike Cannon & Neil Harvey, scored a perfect three bullets to win the class and Bareboat Overall.
Tonight, Sunday 5th March, over 3000 people will gather on Kim Sha beach for the Prize Giving, among them will be over 100 volunteers for the regatta. Chart topping British Reggae Band, UB40 and R&B Diva Mya, will be performing live, closing the regatta for another year. Pictures and quotes from the prize giving will be posted as soon as possible.
For more information: www.heinekenregatta.com.
Rumari “King Rumer” Rogers made history last week by becoming the first singer in the history of St. Maarten Carnival to have won the Senior Road March Competition for three consecutive years. Rogers performed his hit single “G-String” in front of a huge crowd on Walter J. Nisbeth Road (Pondfill) against contenders who had their eyes set on the crown.
Uncle Brasi of TG Band came in second with 239 points while Boogie G Suave of Xplosion Band came in third. Newcomer Major Dice impressed the audience with his creative style of performing during his time on stage. He made a vehicle from wood, jumped on it and was carried throughout the crowd singing his song.
King Rumer was crowned by St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) President Alston Lourens and member Edwardo Radjouki.
St. Maarten News Highlights courtesy of Caribbean Gems
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta makes significant steps to reduce the environmental impact of the event
The 37th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta confirms their participation in the Clean Regatta program from conservation organization Sailors for the Sea. The event has been a Clean Regatta member for many years and strives to minimize the impact the event has on the environment. The island of St. Maarten and its surrounding waters will benefit from several new measures put into place by the organizing authority. In addition to individual efforts by the regatta, they are also collaborating with local environmental organizations to maximize the efforts.
“The most significant step to helping keep both St. Maarten and the environment clean is the ban on all Styrofoam use for all official venue vendors during the regatta. This simple step will significantly reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste that will end up in the local landfill. We will continue to ban straws at the venues, something which we have been doing for a number of years now. The party locations will also have bins to collect recycling and party goers who turn in a filled garbage bag will be rewarded with a free Heineken for their efforts. Recycling bins will also be placed at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and at the Police dock in Simpson Bay. In order to keep the area clean, the bins will be picked up twice a day.” stated Nila Hoogenboezem, Regatta Coordinator for International Liquors & Tobacco.
Regatta Director Michelle van der Werff also spoke about the efforts being made by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club to help reduce the events environmental footprint. “In addition to steps that we have been making for years, such as paperless registration and the impressive beach clean-up we organized a few weeks ago, we are now working with the non-profit organization EPIC, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean, to offer a septic pump out service for competitors. This service will be available for a reduced price and competitors can schedule an appointment for a pump out at a time convenient for the competitor. We hope that through this initiative we can reduce the number of boats that pumps out into the ocean, and more specifically those who pump out near our shores. EPIC will also coordinate a ‘Green Team’ comprised of local students who will be present at the events.” stated Van der Werff.
The event’s well known Sol water taxi service will also be up and running during the racing days, allowing the sailors to ’carpool’ on the water. The general public is encouraged to join together and carpool to and from the party venues so that traffic congestion is reduced while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint of the party goers. “Together we can all make a huge difference to the island’s environment, and as an organization, we take this very seriously and hope to be able to inspire the public to recycle right alongside us during the regatta. Obtaining a Clean Regatta certification is important to the event, and by implementing small changes we hope to also make an impact on the island, the youth and the visitors attending the event. Together we can help keep St. Maarten clean.” Said Van der Werff.