Oakcliff’s purchasing manager Ladi Oguntoyinbo has raced for years on
Jordan and Shannon Mindich’s J/105 Solstice in the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten. With the arrival of his first child last year, Ladi passed the baton along to Oakcliff Match 40 Fleet Manager Greg Adams for this year’s regatta.
“The wind conditions were amazing. 25 knots down there doesn’t feel like 25 knots in New York. I think it’s because the air is less dense near the equator so it was a more casual, almost lazy, 25 knots.”
Greg and the Solstice crew had a sluggish start to the regatta but they lit up on the third day and couldn’t be stopped. They climbed their way up the rankings with a 2nd and a 1st on the third day and the same on the fourth and final day. They finished second in CSA4 (CSA is like the PHRF class of the Caribbean.)
Besides great racing and a podium finish, Greg and the crew enjoyed the notorious festivities of the regatta. In order to get out to the race course you have to go under a bridge that only opens a few times a day. Almost all the competitors would go out at the 8am opening and come back at the 3pm opening. Particularly in the afternoon there were hundreds of people lined up with cards numbered 1-10. They would rate the boats based on their decorations.
Solstice was only getting 5’s the first two days but on day three they broke out their showmanship and pretended to chug giant inflatable bottles of rosé and rum.
“It was my first regatta in the Caribbean and I would give it a ten out of ten. I strongly recommend it to any sailor,” said Greg.