Published On: Fri, Mar 1st, 2019

Johnson welcomes visitors to the 39th Heineken Regatta

Great Bay — Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, Stewart Johnson was on hand to welcome the members of the head table, the special invites and members of the media during a press conference which took place at the conclusion of day one of the 39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta last evening.

Johnson took the opportunity to single out Allison Hinds, the British-born Bajan soca artist and noted that it was part of St. Maarten’s recovery and resilience as a destination. “This has shown the strength of where we have come from, post hurricane Irma. The resilience and confidence of our people in this regatta is testimony to where St. Maarten will go for the 40th anniversary and beyond.

The Government of St Maarten pledges its annual support because it sees this regatta as the best regatta in the world,” the Minister said during his brief remarks.

In closing Minister Johnson extended his appreciation to the visitors on behalf of the Government and wished them a safe and happy Regatta 2019. However with serious sailing and serious fun in mind, the format of the sailing will now last for four days instead of three.

Heineken Regatta 2019 organizers

To give an insight of what can be expected over the next three days was Michele Korteweg, General Manager of the St. Maarten Yacht Club. “It’s the first time that we are doing this, it’s a four-day sailing event now,” she said. According to Korteweg, the decision to extend the time span was because the visiting sailors wanted to sail more after coming from so far.

She could not refrain from talking about the new look Regatta Village and noted it was ideally situated for all concerned. Race Officer Paul Miller noted that despite the fact that the regatta was a very complex event, it was extremely popular. “Sailing conditions on day one was absolutely sparkling, I probably saw the best start I have ever seen in my life and some fantastic racing,” Miller pointed out.

Area Export Manager Auke Vriens said that once again, the company has made a special exception during the production line of the bottles for this regatta. “We have decided to design a special label which is being distributed all over the island. It’s about triggering their curiosity while encouraging them to enjoy the Heineken experience.” However this time, there will be a new twist with the introduction of the six boys and girls walking around with a mobile draft station on their backs. “The beer is coming to you instead of you going to the bar,” Vriens said.

On Shore Operational manager John Leone had the pleasure of introducing Allison Hinds, who is no stranger to these shores. “It is an honor to have you here, we know you are super busy and we are really happy to have you here. Thank you for coming.”

Minister Stuart Johnson & Alison Hynes - Regatta 2019

Photo caption: Soca artiste Allison Hinds is joined by Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, Stewart Johnson, for a rare photo opportunity at the conclusion of last evening’s press conference which took place at the Princess Port De Plaisance. Photo by Robin Pieters.

Fun time - Regatta 2019

Photo caption: Fun time. Who says adults can’t have fun while drinking? That’s evident in this image which was taken in the Regatta Village last evening. Photo by Robin Pieters.

Head Table photo caption: The brains behind the 39th edition of the Heineken Regatta, John Leone, Auke Vriens, Michele Korteweg and Paul Miller. Photo by Robin Pieters.

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