I made it back last week from the 34th Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten, where I observed a couple of fresh ideas on how to better promote yachting events.
First off, the regatta was spectacular. I highly recommend that you place it on your bucket list.
One innovative idea, which I could not help but notice, was the use of drones. They were about the size of a Frisbee, hovering above the regatta and the various parties, filming all of the activities.
If you would like to view the beauty of this Caribbean island, along with the types of boats in the event, Google "Heineken Regatta drone." It's truly amazing.
As for how the Linstar team did, we got our behinds kicked. We were not ready for the bigger breeze, and our charter boat was a little less than desirable. We were respectable in the Gills Commodores Cup, which is a one-day warm-up race for the Heineken, placing fifth out of 10 boats in our class.
One of Newport Harbor's past sailing teams, Stark Raving Mad IV aboard Jim Madden's J/125, sailed like pros and won their class with three firsts and a second.
Gino Morrelli of Morrelli and Melvin Design and Engineering sailed on the Gun Boat 62 Elvis. With five of these 62-foot boats on the starting line, this became one of the most interesting spectacles of the regatta.
So what's new in Newport Harbor?
At last week's Harbor Commission meeting, two ad-hoc committees was formed. Taking the lead in the water taxi request were Commissioners Doug West, Joe Stapleton and David Girling. Commissioners Karen Rhyne, Duncan McIntosh and Brad Avery were assigned to study how to add floating docks as a replacement for our offshore moorings.
I hope I am wrong, but I just get the feeling that our harbor commissioners will bust their buns and submit their reports, which will just be received and filed by the City Council.
Let's talk about what will happen in our harbor this spring. Amy Elliott, secretary of the Balboa Angling Club, sent me a press release updating me on the 51st annual Lily Call being hosted by the club from April 26 to 27. This year's entry fee has been reduced to $40 and is limited to the first 150 anglers.
This light line fishing tournament inside the harbor is open to the public. Anglers will be fishing for croaker, bass, corbina and halibut.
I say this every year: Join the Balboa Angling Club, one of harbor's best values.
The next big sailing event is Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Baldwin Cup from April 4 to 6. It is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase. The Baldwin Cup is a four-versus-four team race event in Harbor 20s. This regatta is sailed in front of NHYC and can be watched from its main dock.
Staff Commodore Phil Ramser, this year's chairman and one of my favorite people on our harbor, was quick to mention the new free phone app that will provide regatta updates and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club's plans to make its first visit to the Baldwin Cup.
I told him about the drones I noticed at the Heineken Regatta and encouraged him to use them to film his event.
If anyone can pull this off it's NHYC.
The angles these drones can obtain, while filming this regatta, will make it easier for the spectators to understand team racing better and enjoy the event that much more. I'm already on the edge of my seat.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.