There has been a certain amount of dispute between the Regatta Committee and the French authorities in the past 2 years; perhaps triggered or exacerbated by the committee's decision not to hold any parties or events in Marigot on the French side. The marine preserve around much of the French side is home to breeding grounds for whales and also has many dolphins. Initially the French didn't want any of the races going through this biologically sensitive area but an agreement was reach in that 3 government officials would precede the race around the island and look for whales. I was driving our powerboat ahead of the main fleet of racers (but behind the amazingly fast Phaedo 3 and the beach cats) with a marine biologist aboard. Our task was to stay ahead and keep a sharp lookout for whale spume. The conditions were much stronger than forecast and on a couple of occasions I had to turn the powerboat 90° into a 2m breaking wave! We all got soaked on the windward side and by the time we finally rounded Philipsburg and got into sheltered waters we all needed a break. Nonetheless a fun experience and I now have more appreciation about how powerboats handle (much, much worse than my boat!).

Close Finishes Close Finishes
(2016-03-04 13:13:38 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/10.0, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Close Finishes
ANT 104 Finishing ANT 104 Finishing
(2016-03-04 13:12:45 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/10.0, 1/640s] ISO 100)
ANT 104 Finishing
Fiser crossing the finish FRA 972 crossing the finish line
(2016-03-04 13:12:12 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/10.0, 1/800s] ISO 100)
Fiser crossing the finish
Spectators at the Regatta Spectators watching the finishes off Simpson Bay
(2016-03-04 13:12:01 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/10.0, 1/800s] ISO 100)
Spectators at the Regatta
Romain watching for whales Our French marine Biologist, Romain Renoux, watching for whales during the Heineken Regatta.
(2016-03-04 12:54:48 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/10.0, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Romain watching for whales
Wet on the powerboat The windward side waves and wind had us all drenched - except for those who came prepared with foulies.
(2016-03-04 12:52:03 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/4.5, 1/800s] ISO 100)
Wet on the powerboat
Race officer Jamie Race officer Jamie
(2016-03-04 12:51:58 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/4.5, 1/3200s] ISO 100)
Race officer Jamie
Chase boat volunteer We'd just finished racing ahead of the fleet to check for whales and were tired and drenched from the windward side waves.
(2016-03-04 12:51:53 NIKON D7100 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/4.5, 1/1000s] ISO 100)
Chase boat volunteer
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