Today was the final day of the 2014 Heineken Regatta and the winds had died overnight, making for a comfortable anchorage but not necessarily conducive to a fast and exciting regatta. The weather report wasn't overly optimistic about the winds picking up and even the convective clouds forming over the hills of St. Martin were lacking their normal energy and vertical development. We set up the start line in winds of around 10 knots at most and the towards the end of the set of starts we had to postpone one start at the last minute for about 10-15 minutes during a period of exceptionally low winds. With few problems the classes all got started off on their (slow) way around the shortened race course and since we only had one set of races we quickly weighed Katzenellenbogen's anchor and headed for the finish line, located back on the Dutch Simpson Bay. We soon arrived in position and dropped anchor so that we could celebrate aboard and also watch the contestants cross the line. I had my first beer in 10 days, and it did taste very good!
Once the races were over we entered the melee of yachts jockeying for position to enter the lagoon during the special bridge opening and many of them were putting on shows for the “judges” watching from the balcony at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club. We had Elvis hanging from a bosun's chair on the Gunboat Elvis and some of the boats had impromptu costumes arranged as well. Although we didn't do anything special except blow our horn (I got some more air-time on the dual horns and pretty much emptied the air from the dive tank) we did have a number of very attractive ladies aboard so I gather that we got a very good score from our Heineken judges upon entry.
After we found our anchorage spot everyone departed our trusty start boat and repaired to our own boats or rooms in order to get prepared for the very big final party at Kim Sha beach. I shaved and showered and changed into fresh clothing and headed ashore around 19:00 so that I could be at the prize giving ceremonies and afterwards I wandered around the party area but the music wasn't to my liking at all and I had a small meal at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club before heading back to my boat. The music was very loud from the boat and my neighbour had anchored very, very close so I lounged in the cockpit area until we drifted so close that we could actually shake hands so I mentioned across to the group in the cockpit that this wouldn't work out and I turned on the engine to move the chain away (it was dead calm by this time) and with enough separation I went to sleep and tried to ignore the very bad music and even worse DJs. Considering the volume this was difficult but I was tired and the couple of beers also helped put me to sleep without having to resort to my earplugs.

Clare bridge dance The crew of Clare doing a dance for the judges at the bridge opening in order to score big points.
(2014-03-09 08:03:27 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/1000s] ISO 100)
Clare bridge dance
Resting before the start action Resting before the start action
(2014-03-09 08:33:08 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/4.0, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Resting before the start action
Dual car horns for the starts These dual truck horns are attached to a dive cylinder and a valve and they do make a good amount of noise.
(2014-03-09 09:18:19 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/22.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Dual car horns for the starts
Prizegiving ceremonies The final prizegiving ceremonies on the main stage on Kim Sha beach.
(2014-03-09 19:24:32 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/1.8, 1/100s] ISO 800)
Prizegiving ceremonies
Bridge opening chaos It wasn't quite bumper-boats but if was very close and choatic as everyone jockeyed for a position at the bridge opening.
(2014-03-09 15:11:49 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Bridge opening chaos
Elivs on Elvis The Gunboat "Elvis" had Elvis hanging from a bosun's chair for their act during the bridge opening.
(2014-03-09 15:10:08 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Elivs on Elvis
Aboard the startboat Aboard the startboat
(2014-03-09 15:06:54 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/200s] ISO 100)
Aboard the startboat
Dressing up (or down) for the judges Another yacht with an act for the judges at the bridge opening. I find the Heineken bikini top to be a particularly fine touch.
(2014-03-09 15:04:28 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Dressing up (or down) for the judges
Relaxing at the finish line After all the action we all just sunned ourselves or just relaxed while we waited for the first competitors to return.
(2014-03-09 14:12:58 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/10.0, 1/320s] ISO 100)
Relaxing at the finish line
Finish Line on Day 3 The catamaran in the distance is the finish boat and the yachts are sailing up to the finish line.
(2014-03-09 14:12:41 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/10.0, 1/250s] ISO 100)
Finish Line on Day 3
Our pin boat and crew The pin boat is the one dropping and setting the markers as well as spotting bad starters during the starting sequence.
(2014-03-09 13:30:21 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/4.5, 1/2500s] ISO 100)
Our pin boat and crew
Starfish in the Lagoon These denizens of the deep were retrieved by Alex, but he didn't present them this time.
(2014-03-09 13:01:12 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Starfish in the Lagoon
Starfish These starfish were carefully returned to their feeding grounds after their photo opportunity.
(2014-03-09 13:00:50 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.3, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Starfish
Getting ready to get under way Getting ready to get under way
(2014-03-09 11:16:39 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/2000s] ISO 100)
Getting ready to get under way
Start Boat B crew Minus myself, of course - since I'm behind the camera.
(2014-03-09 10:56:48 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/8.0, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Start Boat B crew
Spotting the boats at the start One of the tasks aboard is identifying all the boats that are participating this day and which class they are racing in.
(2014-03-09 09:33:23 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/22.0, 1/30s] ISO 100)
Spotting the boats at the start
Volunteering is fun! Volunteering is fun!
(2014-03-09 12:45:24 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Volunteering is fun!
Finish boat and finish mark The finish boat on the final day, the finish line is between the catamaran and the red marker buoy.
(2014-03-09 12:40:45 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.0, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Finish boat and finish mark
KLM Jumbo on final The daily KLM Boeing 747 arriving at the airport while we are anchored at the starting line.
(2014-03-09 12:37:40 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/640s] ISO 100)
KLM Jumbo on final
Start crew relaxing aboard Katz Start crew relaxing aboard Katz
(2014-03-09 12:24:27 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/18.0, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Start crew relaxing aboard Katz
Jumping off the boat Jumping off the boat
(2014-03-09 12:56:54 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/1600s] ISO 100)
Jumping off the boat
Happy jump off Katzenellenbogen Happy jump off Katzenellenbogen
(2014-03-09 12:56:54 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/2000s] ISO 100)
Happy jump off Katzenellenbogen
A big step off the boat A big step off the boat
(2014-03-09 12:56:54 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/2000s] ISO 100)
A big step off the boat
Anchoring and weighing anchor Anchoring and weighing anchor
(2014-03-09 11:16:43 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/2000s] ISO 100)
Anchoring and weighing anchor
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