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Caribbean News - Feb 05

BVI Spring Regatta to expand further

The 2005 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival is set to expand this year with the addition of dinghy and windsurfing classes. Two years ago, one-design IC24 racing was added to the event and now it’s the turn of Radial and Standard Lasers, 4.7s and Formula windsurfers. The intention is to open up the regatta to both junior sailors, and competitors from other disciplines. Regatta Chairman Bob Phillips hopes that the one-design series, held just off Nanny Cay could even become a qualifying event for the Central American & Caribbean Pan Am Games.

For full details on the 2005 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival and the complete coverage of 2004 event, visit the official web site:

Cruising World names best boats

Fellow boating publication Cruising World has unveiled its 11th annual Boat of the Year awards, having tried and tested a total of 24 boats. Best Domestic Cruising Boat went to the Sabre 386, with the Moorings 4000, courtesy of Robertson & Caine, taking the Best Import Cruising Boat prize. Other category winners included the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40.3 (Best Value), the Hunter 38 (Best Production Cruiser under 40’) and the Dehler 47 (Best Production 45 to 50’).

Guns seized on yacht

Two weapons and some 6,000 rounds of ammo were found by Customs Officials aboard a yacht in St Maarten’s Simpson Bay during the course of a routine investigation recently. The upshot? Arrest and a $3,000 fine for the Captain. The lesson? Whilst yachts are often allowed to be equipped with their own personal arsenal, you must declare all weapons on board in your Customs declaration.

Gipsy Moth IV

Sir Francis Chichester’s legendary Gipsy Moth IV will sail again, according to the results of a major structural survey carried out recently. Fundraisers are currently trying to collect money to restore the 53’ ketch in which Chichester, then aged 64, circumnavigated the globe in 1967. Gipsy Moth IV was originally built by Camper & Nicholsons in 1966. The plan is to restore the boat in time for a repeat circumnavigation attempt starting this year.

Ed Baird to race in America’s Cup

World Match Race Champion and Bitter End Pro Am regular Ed Baird has pledged to join Team Alinghi as helmsman, to improve on a line-up that already includes Caribbean favourite Peter Holmberg. Baird already competed in the 1995 and 2000 America’s Cups, as well as two Whitbreads, but for those who have regularly enjoyed his performances at Bitter End, this qualifies as another regional link to the Cup.

From the St Maarten beat…

The St Maarten Yacht Club’s Season Opener, held on Simpson Bay Lagoon, saw Luc Knol’s crew take the honours. Sailed in the Jeanneau Sun Fast 20s from Lagoon Sailboat Rentals, the round the buoys series drew competition from eight teams, sailing four races on longer than usual courses designed to incorporate lunch at the Yacht Club.

The SMYC also revived offshore racing with the double-handed race between Simpson Bay, round Blowing Rock off Anguilla and back. Local stalwart Pretty Woman won through with double-handed duo Heather Underwood and Alain Barras at the helm.

…and… Syncrolift gets the go-ahead

The $12 million Syncrolift project has at last reached the home straight with the signing of contracts between St Maarten Shipyard, TTS Handling Systems and Syncrolift. Due for completion towards the end of 2005, the project will install equipment to lift vessels up to 3,000 tonnes. The aim of the development is to increase St Maarten’s stayover appeal for the megayacht market, establishing the island as an off-season option to perform maintenance and repair work.

…plus… St Maarten Sails is 25

The sailing (and the sail) community came out in force to celebrate St Maarten Sails’ silver jubilee in December. Run by founder Rob Gilders, St Maarten’s first sail loft has been keeping the island in stitches since 1979 when there was ‘very little, just a few catamarans’, locally according to Rob. Most recently, in 2001, the company became an agent for Quantum. As well as getting boats back into the competition, round the clock, every year during the Heineken Regatta, Gilders picks out the main challenge as keeping in touch with an industry that is ‘snowballing’ both locally and region-wide.

Barbados Sailing Association National Dinghy Championships

The Coveted Dr JW Trieloph Memorial Trophy was awarded to youngsters David Parker and Shane Kingston, to cap off the three-month Barbados Sailing Association Dinghy Championships. These two juniors competed in the Echo 12 dinghy, beating off Jennifer Reader and Stephen Evelyn and third placed Chris Teolis and Katy Latham.

In the Optimist class, Jason Tindale won a staggering 32 out of 40 races. Tindale, who represented Barbados in the World Championships this year, beat Holly Trew and Lily Dash into second and third places respectively.

In the Laser division, 2002 National Dinghy Champion Rusell Streeter capitalized on experience in the European regattas over the summer to rip the class apart, winning against 1996 Olympic Competitor Rodney Reader and Sunfish sailor Peter Armstrong.

The Championships were sponsored by the Barbados Olympic Association. Dinghy sailing is organized by the Barbados Optimist Dinghy Association ( and keel boat racing is organised by the Barbados Yacht Club (

Coming up…

The 3rd annual Martinique inter-Caribbean boat show, the ‘Balana’, will be taking place April 8-10 in the town of Robert on the east coast. The Balana brings together the maritime and tourism worlds in Martinique, with both nautical and traditional exhibitions. This year’s highlight will be the ‘Societe des Yoles Rondes’, local boats typical to the island. Previous Balana shows have brought together over a hundred exhibitors from the Caribbean, US and Europe. For more info, contact Sylvie on [email protected] or call (590 690) 44 81 71.

In Miami...

Another upcoming get-together is the 17th annual Yacht &Brokerage Show, February 17-21. More than 500 luxury yachts are due to attend this prestigious show on Miami Beach’s Indian Creek Waterway. The website has the full details.

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