By Robbie Ferron
Sint Maarten has noticed that a regatta can be a powerful impetus for business as well as functioning as a vehicle for marketing the island. Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta has played a positive role in this regard.
The regatta business has changed significantly in the past few years and in spite of this, the Heineken Regatta has remained one of the largest – and with a double stamp of serious racing and serious fun.
But other regattas have grown, and the consistent characteristic has been that they have catered to specific interest areas of the yacht racing market. So we now have classic regattas, specific boat type regattas, long distance regattas, grand prix regattas and superyacht regattas.
Regattas have gone “boutique” in the same manner that hotels have, and music festivals have focused on a genre like Jazz or Creole or Folk.
So, in order to keep Sint Maarten from missing the boat, Sint Maarten Yacht Club has initiated the “Caribbean Multihull Challenge” which takes place in mid-February and is targeted to cover that niche of sailing, which happens to also be the fastest growing, and one where Sint Maarten has a particularly strong history. A small group is working actively at building that event.
Its marketing leader is Steve Burzon, who is applying his deep marketing skills with dedication. But to build this event, whose benefits will ultimately fall to the community of Sint Maarten, we need broad community and government support. There is every reason to believe that this support will be a fantastic investment in the future.
At this point, there are already 14 entries for the second annual three-day event to take place in mid-February.
Photo: St. Maarten Yacht Club
LINK ORIGINAL: The Daily Herald