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Caribbean News - Apr 06

November Catamaran gathering slated for Caribbean

The catamaran line, Fountaine Pajot, will hold part of their 30th anniversary celebrations in St Lucia in November, according to Rodney Bay Marina General Manager Cuthbert Didier. About 400 participants and 100 catamarans from bases all over the world are expected to arrive in the Caribbean on November 7 for the two-week anniversary celebrations which will include a three-day stay at Rodney Bay.

“While the festivities are expected to take place at the marina, we intend to make sure that the participants enjoy Castries, Soufriere and other scenic sites on the island”, Didier said. Celebrations will take the form of a mini Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) with lavish welcome ceremonies for the boats on arrival.

Didier emphasized that the November event was neither a race nor a rally. He added: “All the customers who have purchased that type of yacht will meet in Martinique and sail their yachts in the region. It’s basically the coming together of customers of the same model boat from all over the world.”

American Sailing Association gives high marks to Sunsail’s new Tortola School

The 20-year old American Sailing Association, the largest network of sailing schools in the U.S., recently conducted a poll of ASA certified students. Sunsail’s new BVI Sailing School in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, received a 2005 Outstanding School Award, ranking it within the top 20 out of 300 professionally-accredited ASA sailing schools in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Sunsail BVI instructor Matt Holt, a 20-year veteran, was honored as one of the top 25 instructors out of 2,000 in the ASA network. This is the first year Sunsail has been recognized in an ASA Outstanding School or Instructor Award, which began in the late 1990s, according to Charlie Nobles, ASA executive director.

“Matt Holt and Sunsail’s BVI Sailing School are at the top of their game and deserve the recognition,” Nobles said. The Tortola school opened in 2005.

11th Annual St. Barth Bucket, March 31 – April 2, 2006

Race organizers were working the wait list, expecting a full fleet of 30 sailboats, all over 100' in length for the St. Barth Bucket underway from the end of March through the start of this month. Three days of racing were planned for Friday through Sunday, March 31, April 1 &2, with the awards ceremony at the end of the race on Sunday.

The winner of the 2005 Bucket, Freedom of Flight, a 125' Perini Navi ketch owned by Samuel T. Byrne of Boston, MA, was planning to return to test its mettle against such champions as Visione, a 147' Baltic from Germany, who currently holds the around the island speed record of one hour, 32 minutes and seven seconds.

Maritime School adds new courses

Maritime School of the West Indies, which has been instructing mandatory STCW'95 course for crew on mega yachts, day charter catamarans, fishing boats and all others who are sailing with paying passengers, added new courses as of March 1. The school is located at Palapa Center & Marina in Simpson Bay, St. Maarten.

The new courses aimed at recreational boaters were developed by the Maritime School’s affiliate, International Yachtmaster Training in Fort Lauderdale and include Small Powerboat and RIB Master, Power Boat Master, Mega Yacht Crew, Engine Master, Navigation Master, Cruising Master Sail Yachts and Cruising Master Power Yachts, International Bareboat Skipper, and several other courses.

The Maritime School of the West Indies is recognized by the government of the Netherlands Antilles and the professional IYT courses are endorsed by 23 governments world wide.

Sea Hawk representatives demonstrate new marine paints in St. Lucia

Yacht owners, crew members and charter boat operators attended a January demonstration at the Rodney Bay Marina of Sea Hawk premium yacht finishes marketed by New Nautical Coatings Inc. based in Florida. Two representatives of the Company including CEO Eric Norrey came to St. Lucia for the “Sea Hawk Paint Fest.”

Assisting Rodney Bay were two other outlets that distribute Sea Hawk paints, Island Waterworld and Johnson’s Hardware. Island Waterworld Managing Director Ian Cowan commented on the prohibition in some locales of certain paints due to environmental concerns. “There are alternatives to these which are harmless to marine life but still resist the accumulation of sea growth on the bottom of a boat,” Cowan pointed out.

As anticipation grows, “enormous fleet” expected for 100th year of Newport-Bermuda

A bumper fleet of more than 200 boats is expected to compete in this year’s Newport-Bermuda Race as one of the sailing world’s top events celebrates its 100th birthday. The 635-mile ocean crossing is set to deposit as many as 3,000 hungry and thirsty sailors on Bermuda’s shores around June 18.

“We are expecting an enormous fleet this time, probably more than 200 and the interest is unprecedented. Everyone is keen to have the rare opportunity to be involved with the race on its 100th anniversary and we are seeing plenty of interest from new boats as well as former entrants and our huge group of regulars,” said Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore Elect Andrew Cox.

This will be the 46th edition of the ocean crossing which began in 1906 when three boats competed for the Lipton Cup, a silver trophy which has been found in the Mariner’s Museum in Virginia and is expected to make a return to Bermuda for this year’s race finish. The first few years the race was an annual affair before switching to its biennial format which has continued – world wars aside – ever since.

For racing information, contact Race Headquarters: 580 Thames Street, Suite 418, Newport RI 02840 Phone (978) 526-7829 FAX (978) 526-9610 or email: Bill Barton, BROC Chairman, chairman@bermudarace.com or Andy Cox, Commodore Elect, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club andrew@independent.bm

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