St Maarten Multihull Challenge

    To go behind the scenes of a well-run major regatta is to wonder at a marvel of organizational skill. Going behind the scenes at the 2020 Caribbean Multihull Challenge held off the island of St. Maarten this past winter, not so much—and that’s a good thing. Gathered around the scoring table up in the second-floor conference room of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club—host of the event in its first two years, and set to host the regatta again in 2021—one of the first questions was whether our sole handheld VHF was working. It was already blowing in the mid-20s out on Simpson Bay, with gusts up to 30-plus and the occasional squall, and the scoring crew was understandably curious as to who exactly it was milling about in the general vicinity of the race committee—not to mention the time of the first start.

    All was eventually made clear, though, and the next thing we knew, the roughly 20 boats taking part were off and running, battling their way through a combination of sharp seas, gusting winds and rain. First off the line were the three red-hot racers in the MOCRA multihull section. These included Jeff Mearing and Scott Klodowski’s 63ft trimaran, Shockwave, and the MOD 70s Argo, owned by Jason Carroll, and Maserati, under the leadership of Italian sailing legend and Vendée Globe veteran Giovanni Soldini. After that came the rest of the fleet, a wide assortment of multihulls that included everything from the Dick Newick designed trimaran Tryst to the Joubert-Nivelt 52, Arawak, and a handful of Leopards and Outremer cruising cats.

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