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Kids Regatta

2Kids_Regatta_52.jpegBy Onicia Muller

Sint Maarten is home to many beaches and great aquatic activities. Sailing is one of the many activities you can do in the sea. When you have a sailing race or a series of races, it is called a regatta. To have a successful regatta takes lots of planning and team work, but you don't need to be a professional sailor to participate in one.

One of the largest and most popular regattas is the Henley Royal Regatta held on the River Thames in England. The oldest running regatta in the world is Cowes Week, which is held annually by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England; it usually attracts more than 900 sailboats. Here on Sint Maarten we host the biggest regatta in the Caribbean; it's called the Heineken Regatta. The regatta brings people and sailors from all over the world to compete to win the grand prize US $10,000! This year around 220 boats will participate in the four-day series of races.

While regattas can be great fun, the big parties that come along with them can do ecological damage to our island. To help reduce the damage caused, sponsors and organizers of the regatta decided to take steps such as using biodegradable cups; not serving drinks with straws; using reusable bow (the front end of a boat) numbers; using biodegradable products in the office and having a paperless registration. Next to all of these great ideas, they are also selling bracelets to raise money to protect the natural environment of both the French and Dutch marine parks on the island.

Going out and spending time with your family is fun, but remember to be safe and responsible when you go to see the races. You can help keep the beach clean by walking with a bag to put your trash in. When in big crowds, stay close to your parents. Watch out for traffic and be careful when crossing the streets. Know the persons in authority who can help you if you get lost or hurt. Decide on a meeting point before hand, that way if you get separated from each other you know a safe place to go to.

The races organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club start on Thursday, March 4, until Sunday, March 7. After each day of racing, there are great concerts and on Sunday the regatta ends with a big party on Kim Sha Beach.

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Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
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Friday Oct. 16, 2015
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