Sailors Bio’s 2014

TEAM: Eugeny Nikiforov

TEAM: Eugeny Nikiforov  

And he’s back!   Eugeny Nikiforov has sailed in every edition of the Budget Marine Match Race Cup since it first started in 2009. To date he has not been able to grab the title but like the saying goes “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try and try again”, this has to be a quote that Nikiforov takes to heart.

Nikiforov from Russia, is no stranger to match racing and over the years has had many good results, which would explain why in the past his top ISAF Match Racing Ranking was 31.  
We believe that one of his most memorable times at this event has to be in 2012 when he beat out, world renown Dutch sailor Bouwe Bekking winning the Semi Finals to take 3rd place.
Nikiforov doesn’t just come to race in the Budget Marine Match Race Cup, he also sail’s in the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta’s, and in 2011 with his team from Russia they sailed to 1st in class.
We have enjoyed watching him race over the years and we are very happy to welcome him back to our warm waters, maybe that is the secret as to why he keeps returning, warm weather, warm water.
This year, following the 2014 Budget Marine Match Race Cup, Nikiforov and his Russian team will be racing in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on a Lagoon 450, Lady Helen II.

Yuri Firsov, first sailed this event with Nikiforov in 2009 and again in 2011, last year he sailed with Rodion Luka but this year he is once again sailing with his Russian team mate Nikiforov.
Firsov is a very accomplished sailor and is happy in almost any boat. He has sailed in many offshore events, including last year when he sailed with “Med Spirit” in the RORC Caribbean 600, he has sailed with the Team Russia Volvo 70 team in pre event races and put together a campaign for the 2013 Mini Transat. Firsov will also be heading a team of Russians in the St.Maarten Heineken regatta and will be sailing a Leopard 46, Matreshki.

Viacheslav Ermolenko, this will be the first time that he will be sailing at this event but not the first time he has sailed with Nikiforov and Firsov.


TEAM: Colin Rathbun
In 2012 Colin Rathbun and his crew of Kevin Wrigley and Nick Cunha, won the Budget Marine Match Race Cup title, we are sure they are hoping to gain back the title after placing 3rd last year. Colin and his crew first competed in this event in 2009 sailing to a 5th place finish, since then they have never slipped below a 3rd place finish.
Colin had this to say of his team, "We have a lot of fun sailing together, Nick and Kevin both have great instincts. We all enjoy the additional tactical and technical requirements of match racing. Tactically there is a lot more interaction between you and your opponent, technically you need to understand how to make the boat go well in every direction, not just fast in one direction."

Born in Tortola, Colin by no means led a normal childhood, he was raised on a boat and spent his youth sailing around the world with his parents. He credits his parents with helping him develop his love of sailing. The family moved ashore to Tortola when Colin was 16. It was at this time that Colin was introduced to racing. It didn’t take long before he was racing regularly in most of the Caribbean’s larger regattas, starting off on the bow and over the years moving his way back along the boat to helming.
Colin first started match racing a few years ago in his local IC24 class (modified J24’s raced mostly in St.Thomas, Tortola and Puerto Rico). Since then, he’s won the Pete Sheals Memorial Match Race five times, competed in the Carlos Aguilar Match Race in St.Thomas, Nation's Cup Qualifier, Chicago Match Race Center, the BVI Spring Regatta National Match Race and has won the Oakcliff Halloween Invitational in New York.
Rathburn’s current ISAF Match Race ranking is 105 but last year he reached his best ranking of 53.


Nick Cunha and Colin co own aLookingGlass, a publishing and marketing company in Tortola.
Cunha began sailing in IC 24s with Rathbun, in 2007 and since then has sailed with him to match race events to Long Island, NY, Chicago and Long Beach, St.Thomas and of course here.

Kevin Wrigley opened his Quantum Sails loft in 2003 located in Nanny Cay, he has never looked back since. Kevin has sailed with Colin at many different events.
 

TEAM: Colin Rathbun

TEAM: Colin Rathbun

In 2012 Colin Rathbun and his crew of Kevin Wrigley and Nick Cunha, won the Budget Marine Match Race Cup title, we are sure they are hoping to gain back the title after placing 3rd last year. Colin and his crew first competed in this event in 2009 sailing to a 5th place finish, since then they have never slipped below a 3rd place finish.
Colin had this to say of his team, "We have a lot of fun sailing together, Nick and Kevin both have great instincts. We all enjoy the additional tactical and technical requirements of match racing. Tactically there is a lot more interaction between you and your opponent, technically you need to understand how to make the boat go well in every direction, not just fast in one direction."

Born in Tortola, Colin by no means led a normal childhood, he was raised on a boat and spent his youth sailing around the world with his parents. He credits his parents with helping him develop his love of sailing. The family moved ashore to Tortola when Colin was 16. It was at this time that Colin was introduced to racing. It didn’t take long before he was racing regularly in most of the Caribbean’s larger regattas, starting off on the bow and over the years moving his way back along the boat to helming.
Colin first started match racing a few years ago in his local IC24 class (modified J24’s raced mostly in St.Thomas, Tortola and Puerto Rico). Since then, he’s won the Pete Sheals Memorial Match Race five times, competed in the Carlos Aguilar Match Race in St.Thomas, Nation's Cup Qualifier, Chicago Match Race Center, the BVI Spring Regatta National Match Race and has won the Oakcliff Halloween Invitational in New York.
Rathburn’s current ISAF Match Race ranking is 105 but last year he reached his best ranking of 53.


Nick Cunha and Colin co own aLookingGlass, a publishing and marketing company in Tortola.
Cunha began sailing in IC 24s with Rathbun, in 2007 and since then has sailed with him to match race events to Long Island, NY, Chicago and Long Beach, St.Thomas and of course here.

Kevin Wrigley opened his Quantum Sails loft in 2003 located in Nanny Cay, he has never looked back since. Kevin has sailed with Colin at many different events.
 

TEAM: Luc Duponteil

TEAM: Luc Duponteil


Luc was born and raised in France and first started sailing at 13 years old and very quickly went into racing, he came to live in Guadeloupe in 1996 and did most of his sailing in the First class 8. Luc has sailed this event before in, 2012 and we are sure he is looking to better his result. He enjoys all sorts of sailing and has competed in 2 Hobie 16 World Championships once in 2004 and again in 2009.  At the 2004 Master World Championships his final result was 6th place finish, he also competed in the 1983 Windsurfing World Championships.
Luc is currently Guadeloupe’s top match racer
Sailing with him will be


Bernard Sillem

Bernard, one of six brothers was born and raised in Agadir Morocco to Dutch parents, first sailed on his fathers boat and would take summer holidays sailing in the Touring Club de France sailing school. While a student in France he was part of the Academy Sailing Team in the Yole. In 1982 the first of 4 Atlantic crossing, brought him to St.Maarten. In 1985 he was instrumental in introducing the Beach Cat as a class in the St.Maarten Heineken regatta. In 1990 he sailed in the USA Prindle Nationals and in 1993 did the Hobie 16 worlds. Of late he has been racing his F18. Beach Cat sailing is Bernard’s passion and for many years he was the leading light in BeachCat sailing on St.Maarten. For the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta Bernard will be sailing on the Melges 24 French Connection.  



Rhone Findlay

Born in South Africa but spent most of his younger years on the slopes of Switzerland. In 2004 when Rhone was 8 the family moved to St.Maarten, a year or so later they joined the St.Maarten Yacht Club and signed Rhone up for the junior sailing program. Rhone soon made his mark by winning the St.Maarten Optimist Championship in 2008 & 2009, he also has competed in other Optimist championships including the British, Swiss and the Caribbean Championships.  In 2009 he circumnavigated St.Maarten/St.Martin in an Optimist, taking 10 hours to do this. He has also competed in the Sunfish worlds. For the past few years he has been a regular at the Orange Bowl in Miami but is now sailing in the Laser Radial class.  In 2012 he was made part of the Maclaren sailing sponsorship program.
He will be representing St.Maarten in the Laser Radial at the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds in Portugal.  
 

TEAM: Przemyslaw Tarnacki

TEAM: Przemyslaw Tarnacki


This year all eyes will be on the Polish top sailor, Tarnacki. Tarnacki will be the top seed at this event due to the fact that his current ISAF match race rank is 8th. This will be his first time sailing in the Budget Marine Match Race Cup, we look forward to watching him and his team on the water. Tarnacki has held the Polish Match Race Championship 5 times (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013).  He is the founder and organizer of the Sopot Match Race which is a part of the Alpari World Match Race Tour.
He was a team member in the Polish America’s Cup Challenge “Polska 1”. He has won the Micro Tonner World Championship 4 times, has won the Sopot Match Race in 2009 and 2013. He has competed in most of the major match racing events around the world.
Tarnacki and his brothers spent much of their youth in the Seychelles and sailing was very much part of the family, his father a yacht designer raced in the very first 1973/1974 Whitbread Round the World race. The tradition of sailing as a way of life has carried on to Tarnacki, he has a company that caters to almost every aspects of sailing including a Naval Architect department.  It has been said about Tarnacki that “Everything he does comes out of a love of sailing”.   Tarnacki and his team will also be sailing the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta on “Yachts & Yachting Poland Powered by Quokka 8”

Philippe Falle

Philippe Falle Born in London but was educated and grew up on the island of Jersey. Since leaving Jersey in 1994 Philippe has pursued a very successful career in the marine industry as a professional yachtsman, photographer and writer who is always on the hunt for new challenges. Striving for sporting excellence he continually delivers top results both on the water and as a photographer and writer. As a racing yachtsman Philippe has achieved some remarkable result over the past years with the highlight of his career being awarded the coveted Somerset Memorial Cup for the RORC 'Yacht of the Year' in 2009.
With an active career in photography and writing Philippe has held photographic exhibitions in London, Cape Town, Jersey and Hampshire. His work has been published in a wide selection of media including the Financial Times, Yachting World, Yachts and Yachting and many more. As a racing yachtsman Philippe has built a wealth of experience as a top level sailor. In 2011 he put together a team that won their class on a Beneteau First 50 Hydrocarbon Logic at the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta. This year he will be sailing with Tarnacki.

Robert Gwozdz

This will be Robert’s first time sailing in the Budget Marine Match Race.

TEAM: Rodion Luka

TEAM: Rodion Luka

Born and raised in the Ukraine, Rodion Luka started sailing and racing at a young age. At 15, Luka got his first taste of glory by winning the 1987 Youth Cadet USSR Ukrainian National. Since then, he’s carried on his winning ways by winning or placing in the top 3 of many European and World Championships in various boats.
One of his crowning achievements was winning a Silver medal in the 2004 Olympic Games, in Athens. The following year, he went on to win the 2005 49er World Championships, then to top that, his country recognized him as the sportsman that he is and awarded him 2005 Ukraine Sportsman of the Year!
After these accomplishments Luka decided to race the ultimate race: the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. He was the helmsman and trimmer of Team Russia.

Currently Luka is coaching Team Nika in the RC 44 Match Race Circuit, before that he was coaching team Russia on RC 44 RUS - 7.  He still carry’s on his winning style with his win in the 2012 of the SB20 European Championship and getting a placing 2nd out of 90 boats in the 2013 SB20 European Championship.
We are delighted to have Rodion back for a second year and we are looking forward to watching him sail again.

Rodion Luka and his Ukrainian team of sailors will have three boats racing in the 2014 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta, Rodion himself will be on a Jeanneau SO 44 that they’ve called “Kiev Racing Yacht Club Team 1”.

Igor Matvienko

Igor who made Ukraine proud by being part of the 470 team that won a Gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, they also won the World and European 470 Championships.
This will be Igor’s first time sailing at this event.

Dmitry  Potosky

This will be Dmitry’s first time sailing at this event.

TEAM: Frits Bus

TEAM: Frits Bus

This will be Frit’s 2nd time in this event he sailed before in 2012. Frits is no stranger to these boats and has won many of the larger regattas held with this fleet. Some might feel this could help to give him a slight edge.  Frits who was born and raised in Holland first started most of his racing in “Sneekweek” sailing in a “Spanker” or a “BM”. When he moved to Curacao he got into sailing the Windsurfer and did all the Caribbean circuit at that time. While there he also started sailing on a J24 doing the foredeck, in 1984 he moved to St.Maarten and bought his own boat (a First Class 8), since then he has never looked back. One of his best results has to be winning Antigua Sailing Week in 2000 where he and his Caribbean team beat out the maxi yacht “Morning Glory” who was sailing with a team of America Cup Sailors. And for something very different this past August he was the helmsman on “Silencio” a 163ft Perini-Navi in which they won the Perini Cup in Puerto Cervo, Sardinia.  Frits is a past winner of the St.Maarten Match race Championships in 1990 and part of the winning team for the Caribbean Match Race Championships held in St.Lucia in 1991 and 1992. He has also participated in match racing at the Carlos Aguillar in St.Thomas, BVI Match Race and the Pete Shealds in Tortola.
Frits has won many local and Caribbean races in Lasers or big boats and is driving force in keeping Laser sailing alive in St.Maarten.
Frits will be competing in the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta on his Melges 24.


Roel ten Hoopen

Roel who was born and raised in Holland, first started racing with his father in their local club races when he was about 4 years old. They raced in his father’s “Randmeer” winning many Dutch regattas.
Later he moved on to sail with others and winning or being in the top at various Dutch regattas, he also was part of the Yngling “Volvo talent plan”.  He moved to St.Maarten in 2010 and has been part of Frits Bus’s successful sailing team since then. This will be Roel’s 3rd time in this even. As per normal he will be sailing with Frits during the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.

Garth Steyn

Garth was born and raised in South Africa and didn’t start sailing until he moved to St.Maarten in 1991. His first race was in the 1992 St.Maarten Heineken regatta and by all accounts it was not the best experience, in 2000 he joined Frits Bus and his team and stayed part of his team until he bought his own boat and started to race it in about 2008.  In 2009 he started a sailing school and has been very instrumental in getting the local youth involved in sailing.
Garth will have two boats sailing in the St.Maarten Heineken regatta, he will be on “St.Maarten Sailing School 1” while the local youth team will be on “St.Maarten Sailing School 2”.
 

TEAM: Gilles Rabaud

TEAM: Gilles Rabaud

Gilles was born in France but while in America at the age of 6 is when he had his first to sail, which was in the Chesapeake Bay. Later when back in France he joined the French National Youth Sailing Team, during his time with the team he competed in the 1997 Youth World Championships of Match Racing. Since then he has competed in many European regattas often getting good results. He first came to the Caribbean when he raced in the 2000 Transat ag2r Lorient to St.Barths race. In 2004 he was the navigator on the winning boat on the Tour de France a la Voile, and has competed in that race 5 times in total. After doing many Atlantic crossings he decided he loved everything about the Caribbean and here he has stayed, making St.Martin his home base.  This will be Gilles first time sailing in this event.

Patrick Moulinneuf

Patrick is a sail maker at the Incidence Sails loft on St.Martin. This will be his first time competing in this event and his job on the boat will be to trim the mainsail.      

Augustin Vandenhove

This will also be Augustin’s first time sailing this event and his job on the boat will be the jib trimmer and the bow. Augustin comes as a French Merchant Navy Officer.
 

TEAM: Andy Budgen

TEAM: Andy Budgen

Born in Scotland, Andy learnt to sail in his local Piper class.  He and his family later moved to Warsash on the South Coast of England, where Andy and his brother Ian joined the UK Youth Squad and started sailing the 420. Later they moved into the Laser 5000 then on to the 49er, getting a 2nd in the 1999 World Championships and then in 2000 winning the National Championships. They also put together an Olympic campaign.  
 In 2007 Andy honed more sailing skills by running a Volvo 60 for a friend and successfully competing in many offshore races.
Missing skiff sailing, he moved back to the 18 foot skiffs in Australia for 3 to 4 years. Since then he has moved on to the Moth and one achievement he is very happy with was getting a 10th at the 2011 Moth worlds, not something many others at his age have been able to do.
Along the way he has also been a coach to aspiring Olympic sailors.
Volvo sailing must have taken hold of Andy as in January of 2012 he headed up the team for the Volvo 70 Monster Project. He and his team just recently came 2nd in the 2013 ARC and then went on to win the 2014 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race. They just did well in the Caribbean 600 and are now looking forward to doing St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.
Andy has not done much match racing but has competed in some corporate match racing with Ian Williams (currently ranked #2), Andy say’s that his experience against Ian Williams taught him “It is easy to get clobbered and try and spot the opportunity and take it”.


Petronella de Jong

Born in Freisland, Holland, Nell as she is known to her friends only started sailing when she was 12 and did not really start racing until she was 25 which was when she first raced at Sneekweek a very popular lake race in Holland. Once she was bitten with the racing bug there was no holding her back. She started sailing J22’s then moved on to the Yngling. In the Yngling she was part of the Dutch team of AnneliesThies (helm) and Annemieke Bes that competed in the 2004 Olympics in Anthens, they finished just outside of the medals by getting a 4th place. After 2007 when she had campaigned for a second Olympic run she went back to J22 sailing then moving on to bigger boats.
She had been interested in doing the ARC where someone put her in contact with Andy and the Monster Project, she is back with the team to do the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup and the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.
Nell has not done much match racing in the past, but she likes the short races and the action that is involved as well as the tactics.
3rd crew member not known yet
 

  
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