St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - March 5 - 9, 2015
Source: Dawn Langfield
I was blessed another year to be asked to cover the
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.
It's simply not a difficult decision to make given the magic
that overcomes the island of St. Maarten, infused with the soft
breezes of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, the excitement
of those participating in one of the biggest regattas of the
Caribbean plus the hot choices of live music entertainers that
invade the beaches on the island. The big headliner this
year were icons, Kool & the Gang.
is an island full of natural beauty, cultural diversity and
modern conveniences. The experience on this island of two
cultures, French and Dutch, attracts people from all over the
world because of it's multicultural charm and multilingual
people, not to mention it's stunning beauty and tax-free,
My accommodation again this year was Horizon
View which is located right on the boardwalk in
Philipsburg, which is situated on the waters of Great Bay, akin
to the Atlantic Ocean. It offers suites with a full kitchen,
bedrooms and ocean view (below) at very affordable rates.
It is my 'go to' spot for affordable accommodation on the beach
in Philipsburg, where there are shops, restaurants and entertainment
within steps from the entrance into Horizon View!
transforms on regatta Friday and is one of my favourite regatta
parties as it lands on the doorstep of the Holland House in
Philipsburg. Don't forget that
the boardwalk is parallel to the sea and serves as a breezy
backdrop to the busy and festive night. It is one night
that practically the entire island comes out to enjoy all the
Boardwalk has to offer.
Stages are built all along the boardwalk with easy access to
eateries, vendors and of course, great live music! I even
met the Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs
Saturday night of the regatta was Caribbean Jam Night and
featured Toronto's Tessanne Chin
2012 regatta performance her career has taken off, and in 2013
Tessanne was the winner of The Voice USA, blowing away the
competition. Her rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over
Troubled Water", soared to #1 on the ITunes Overall Song chart,
a first time for the show since its inception.
recently performed at the Redemption Live: Bob Marley's 70th
Birthday celebration, in Kingston Jamaica. When asked about her
upcoming performance in St. Maarten she stated "I'm very excited
to be back. I got such a warm response the last time I visited
and I'm looking forward to making this visit even better."
The Heineken Regatta's grand finale was
headlined by the Grammy Award winning music icons
Kool & the Gang!
Kool just killed it
during their long set with full band in place.
The band was
established in 1964, and over the years they bounced around with
various names until they settled on their current name, Kool &
the Gang. They blend together funk, jazz and soul to deliver a
unique sound that has carried them through decades of
performances. Their musical sound evolved and they released
their debut album in 1969 self-titled Kool & the Gang, which
eventually generated their first Billboard R&B charted single.
In total they
have produce 25 Top Ten R&B Hits, 9 Top Ten Pop Hits, two Grammy
Awards, seven American Music Awards and 31 gold and platinum
records. Their accomplishments are well-known, and they have
performed nonstop for 35 years, longer than any other R&B group.
Every year I think it is my favourite trip to
St. Maarten - whether
it was the spirit of the people, unbelievable weather, the swift
boats in the regatta, the fun-filled parties, the incredible
food or all the live music on the beaches around the island,
but the magic of this island has definitely cast its spell on
If you're smart, you will put it at the top of your travel
destination list to visit during the
2016 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta!