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15th Annual Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta

Thirty-five entries have already been received for the 15th Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta. A maximum of 60 boats can compete, so the Caribbean’s premier Catamaran event should kick off with a full complement on 4th November. Competition lasts until the 14th. Teams from the UK, Holland, Aruba, Austria, Belgium and Germany are due to race in a variety of beach cats – Dart 15s, Olympic Tornado, Hobie Cats.

Last year, Hans Bouscholte and crew from the Netherlands triumphed in a close contest over 2003 winner Gunnar Larsen and crew. Bouscholte’s Tornado beat Larsen’s Nacra F18 and 52 other entrants in a fabulous regatta.

Aruba benefits from steady, year-round winds that are as close to guaranteed as you can get. According to regatta organiser Edwin Lodder, “The event is a very good combination of sailing and relaxing. With about 10 races there is enough time for relaxing, snorkelling, swimming etc.”

The Aruba Regatta started out in 1991 with 25 participants from Holland who wanted to sail somewhere warm in November. The European contingent still dominates the event – partly because, according to Lodder, “it seems to be difficult to bring boats from other Caribbean islands to Aruba.” While it’s a shame that beach cat stars from Puerto Rico, the French islands and the Virgin Islands don’t come this far south to compete in a dedicated Catamaran competition, the standard out on the water is no less intimidating. Expect some exhausting, hiked-out, spray-whipped combat this November. The Europeans are coming to Aruba to relax!

For more information call event co-ordinator Edwin Lodder on (31) 651 134452 or email Edwin.lodder@wxs.nl. You can visit the regatta website on www.arubaregatta.com

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