This weekend, St. Maarten is holding the 31st annual Heineken Regatta, one of the largest boat races in the world. More than 300 sailboats and their participants and supporters from all over the world come to the island to compete in a series of races that last for four days on both the Dutch and French sides. The race is an all-island event, complete with festivals, concerts, and street parties.
Last night, my friend Patrick and I decided to check out the street party on The Boardwalk in Philipsburg. We checked out some of the bands playing on the several stage set up at the festival, reminding me of the good times back in the days during post-bacc when I went band-hopping in Atlanta with my brother Jason and his friends (like Patrick, who was my brother’s old roommate). Last night, there were lots of people and boat racers, and booths selling souvenirs, glow sticks, beer, food, and other fun stuff. It’s interesting seeing all the different sailing teams all wearing the same shirts. We saw some teams from the US, Europe, and even Moscow, which surprised me considering Moscow is not anywhere near any ocean! I had a good time.
This year, with an overwhelming interest in the Regatta at AUC, the Phi Chi Medical Fraternity rented five boats and 226 students and faculty went. While AUC’s boats are not participating in the race, it’s a great experience (and photo opportunity) sailing alongside the hundreds of boats from around the world competing in the race, not to mention spending your day under the sun together with your favorite friends and professors. During lunch, the five boats meet up together at Happy Bay Beach where students can take a dip at the beach and enjoy some food and drinks provided by the boat. Afterwards, they follow the rest of the Regatta and finish off the day waiting at the finish line, seeing the hundreds of boats race towards the last second. The cost of the trip was $150.
Unfortunately, I had other plans this weekend and so I did not go on the trip. However, it’s still really cool seeing all the boats go by from my apartment and neighborhood. I went for a walk this morning. Check out the pictures I took!