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Caribbean News June 2011

Changes to the World ARC Sailing Rally
World Cruising Club has announced that from 2014 the World ARC round-the-world sailing rally will become an annual event; starting every January from Rodney Bay in Saint Lucia.

World ARC is currently a biennial event, starting in January and finishing 15 months later. The current event started in January 2010 and the next will start in January 2012.

ARC say that demand from sailors for a rally in the 'off' years lead to the decision to make World ARC an annual event. This will make it easier for cruisers to sail half the rally, then take a year out to explore on their own, before rejoining the subsequent rally to complete their circumnavigation.

For details, visit:

Catamaran Burns in Anguilla
Fire destroyed a catamaran anchored in Road Bay, Anguilla, on Wednesday April 6.

The Catamaran was rented from Sunsail Charters in St. Martin. According to reports, the yacht was chartered by a family group that included four adults and three children. The family was ashore when the fire started.

A witness to the fire said the classic Alden Schooner Charm III had to be moved from its mooring astern of the blazing catamaran when burning fuel threatened the safety of the vessel. The fire raged for about an hour before the catamaran sank.

As of press time, the cause of the fire was still unknown.

Amcon Lagoon Diving Services of St. Maarten were called in to remove the remains of the vessel from Road Bay.

A New Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup
The International Maxi Association (IMA) creates a new race and makes changes to the existing Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup.

Since its inception in 2007, the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup has finished in St. Maarten. That will now change and the race will end in Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, where race organizers, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), are building a new club house and marina. The timing of the next race is such that the prize giving should mesh with the opening and inauguration of the new YCCS clubhouse.

The Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup is open to all IMA maxi categories. Simultaneously to the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup, the YCCS will organize a new event that will leave Tenerife in the Canary Islands on the same day as the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup. The Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta is reserved for maxi boats over 30.5 meters in length that are more cruising than racing-oriented.

Plans are in place for the two races to come together in a spectacular maxi fleet while in Tenerife and Virgin Gorda. With still many months to the two events, several maxi yachts have already confirmed their entry to the IMA.

Info and notice of race at the IMA website:

Sewage Barge for St. Maarten
Plans to offer a pump-out service on St. Maarten's Simpson Bay Lagoon took a step forward in April thanks to a fundraiser held at Isle de Sol Yacht Club.

The event, organized by Mark Yokoyama on behalf of Environment Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) and the Love the Lagoon Project, reportedly raised $21,000 towards the purchase of a pump-out boat.

Prior to the event, Island Global Yachting (IGY) showed its support by presenting a check for $4,000 to EPIC for its Sewage Pumpout Boat Fund. Brian Deher, Director of Marina Operations and Planning for Island Global Yachting said: "We recognize the Simpson Bay Lagoon's environmental value and are proud to support this effort to improve water quality. We know that the marine sector is a minority contributor to pollution in the lagoon, but addressing it is a positive step towards tackling the problem as a whole."

Fast Ferry from Miami to Bimini and Grand Bahama
Spanish ferry operators, Baleària, is to launch a new fast ferry transport service in Miami this summer sailing to Bimini and Grand Bahama. The new service could be a boon for yachtsmen cruising the northern Bahamas.

The company plans to operate the Miami-Bimini-Grand Bahama service on a daily basis (except Wednesdays) using the fast ferry Patricia Olivia. This vessel, which sails at a speed of 32 knots, has capacity for 450 passengers with 80 vehicles in the hold.

Further information:

Restoration of Bimini Mooring Buoys Underway
Alice Town, Bimini - Replacement and restoration of mooring buoys used to protect sensitive reefs and dive sites from indiscriminate anchoring in Bimini is underway.

World recognized diver Neal Watson, who with celebrated marine artist Guy Harvey opened Neal Watson's Dive Bimini operation at the Big Game Club earlier this year, said original mooring buoys had over the years gone missing or had been badly damaged.

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation awarded a grant to restore the buoys, which are used to identify and protect fifteen of Bimini's best dive sites.

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