This week, a record-setting fleet of 35 racing and cruising catamarans and trimarans embarks on the 6th annual running of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge Race and Rally, which runs from February 1-4. Organized by the forward-thinking St. Maarten Yacht Club, for the first time ever the event will take place over four days, with dedicated races for the two competitive CSA racing classes, and an island-hopping rally for the cruising fleet.
For racing sailors, the challenging schedule will include three Distance Races: the St. Barth’s Sprint sponsored by FKG Rigging; the highly anticipated Circle Race around the island sponsored by Amstel Bright Beer, and a series of buoy races along the island’s beautiful southern shoreline.
There are several heavyweights vying for the Trifecta Award for the offshore contests, including CMC veterans Todd Slyngstad on the HH66 Nemo and Richard Pavoncelli’s crew on the Gunboat 66 Mana. Both teams will be keeping a watchful eye on newcomer Marc Guillemot’s 52-foot MG5 catamaran Windrift. Guillemot, a professional sailor from France, is a legend in his country, having competed in the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race, and multiple editions of both the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Route du Rhum.
Meanwhile, as the big boats duel on the distance races, a highly competitive fleet of 10 Diam 24 trimarans, another record number for the CMC, will be jousting for top honors in the growing one-design fleet.
The CMC is not only about competitive racing, but competitive “cruising” as well. For the second year it will conduct a Rally for the cruising contingent, which is represented by some of the biggest and best brands in the world, including Catana, Balance, Lagoon, Fountaine-Pajot, Voyage and HH. The Rally will set forth from Simpson Bay and include stops on the uninhabited French isle of Tintemarre; an overnight in Great Bay on the island’s Dutch side; another overnight in the lovely marina at Anse Marcel; and a power reach to Gustavia on St. Barth’s before wrapping up the action back in Simpson Bay.
This year, the CMC organizers will be introducing a Time Trial for cruising multihulls for skippers who wish to test their speed and skill in a non-racing format. These trials will take place with destination courses for each Rally layover.
About the Caribbean Multihull Challenge
The St Maarten Yacht Club will host the sixth annual Caribbean Multihull Challenge Race and Rally from February 1-4, 2024. The event is open to all multihull sailors on racing catamarans and trimarans as well as chartered cats and cruising multis. For more information visit caribbeanmultihullchallenge.com.