Northern Breezes Sailing School

Local Team Wins Prestigious Heineken Cup Regatta in Sunny St. Maarten

In Ideal Caribbean Conditions, 202 Yachts Set Sail On Day 1 Of The 32nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Over two thousand sailors participated in sixteen classes racing around the Caribbean island.

New Hope resident, Thom Burns, put together a winning team from Northern Breezes Sailing School instructors and graduates. “Our graduates came from as far away as New York City, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Russia,” noted Burns. “We had never sailed as a team before. We practiced hard for two days including two practice races. Each day we were better, but so was the competition. There were sixteen boats in our class, on the last day we were tied for second. Our plan was to get a good start and cover the number two and three boats if possible. We started second and executed our plan very well which brought us an unexpected first place!”

Local Team Wins Prestigious Heineken Cup Regatta in Sunny St. Maarten

Principle race officer, David Campbell James, noted that in the Lottery Class (Burns’ Class), Maine boat builder Leonard Beckwith won Sunday’s race aboard yet another classic wood yawl, Saudade. But it was solid scores throughout the event that gave the class title to Skipper Thom Burns aboard Jim Brooks’ Hunter 44DS, Harmony.

According to Burns and team, “This was serious fun.”

To put it another way, if you didn’t like sailing, on a racecourse lashed with staunch 25-knot winds with gusts to 30 knots and roiling 4-6 foot turquoise seas flecked with whitecaps, well, you’ll never like sailboat racing.

Media Contact: Thom Burns, Northern Breezes Sailing, 763-542-9707 or

Link to Northern Breezes Sailing School Racing Page.