Great Gear, Great Racing: The Gill Commodores Cup, Kicking Off the 32nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - A Perfect Match

There are many things that separate the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta from other top-flight sailing events around the world, including the remarkable venue, the sensational parties, and the action-packed three-day format. A fourth ingredient is the kick-off series to launch the festivities, the Gill Commodores Cup, sponsored by the event’s supplier of outstanding technical racing and sailing gear, Gill North America.

Men's Escape Quick Dry ShortsThe one-day Gill’s Commodores Cup, this year scheduled for March 1, is scored separately from the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and is aimed at the ultra-competitive racing and spinnaker classes that comprise the Heineken Regatta fleet. It’s a terrific way for skippers and crews to get out on the racecourse and get back in the racing groove before the start of the main event.

For the third consecutive year, the title sponsor for the Thursday racing is Gill, which is also the official technical supplier for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, offering a complete range of jackets, smocks, polo and tee-shirts, caps, shorts, bags, and backpacks. Over the last five years, said Gill North America president David Pritchard, the company broadened its product line “to include tech shorts and shirts, eyewear and so on. So it made sense on the product side (to get involved with the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta) as we were keen to develop the Caribbean market further.”

Race capsTo do so, Gill became the primary backer of the Commodores Cup. The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta’s clothing rights, said Pritchard, were not available at the time, but the Gill Commodores Cup proved to be an ideal way to begin forging a relationship. “During this time we built trust, made friends, got the lay of the land, understood what was required….and had a Heineken or two along the way!”

Gill and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta proved to be an ideal fit, and Gill has secured clothing rights for the Technical Gear of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta for 2012 and 2013. Gill’s product line for the event can be viewed at the race website:

The Gill “HR” branded technical line will be available in stores at Budget Marine and on site during the Gill Commodores Cup and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Other Gill products, including gloves, shorts, the company’s “race collection,” and more, will also be on sale.

Graphite RacePoloFor Gill, the collaboration and partnership with the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has been productive and rewarding, on several levels. Pritchard credited the event’s “strong infrastructure,” including the race organizers and the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, as being key to the enterprise.

“It’s been a lot of fun developing this market,” said Pritchard. “A great deal of our success in the Caribbean can be traced back to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and all our new sailing friends!”

For full information on the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including entry information, the Notice of Race, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit