Thursday, February 22, 2007

Heineken History

Calling all winter weary boat's that time of year again. My hands down favorite Caribbean Regatta, the St. Maarten Heineken is nearly upon us. A bit of Zephyr lore...11 years ago in the spring of 1996 I attended my first Heineken. At the time I was living in St. Thomas USVI working as crew aboard day charter sailboats running out of Charlotte Amalie harbor. I'd moved off the derelict sailboat I'd been bunking on (for $50 a week) into a house on Water Island. One of the Water Island locals had a sister (Jacky) married to the Captain (Noddy) of a 77' maxi sailing yacht called Javelin. Captain Noddy was the former bowman aboard the Australian maxi yacht Kiaola II and had been recruited to command the Javelin by the owner, a terrific, long time sailor from Washington DC by the name of Larry Bulman.

In any event, Noddy was looking for able bodies to round out of the crew for the regatta. I was invited through my connection, flew down to St. Maarten on Liat for four days and had the best time of my life. It took 22 crew to race the Javelin around the buoys and at night we all went out together for dinner courtesy of Larry, drank until the wee hours and got up in the morning and did it again under perfect skies and 20 knots true. I was hooked! Thus began a multi year love affair with Javelin that culminated in my job aboard as first mate for roughly 14 months...a sweet spot of life when I was in my 20's that now, chained to a desk with a family to support, I find myself hearkening back to quite regularly...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sign me up my Friend!
277 Bennett