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Golden Rock Regatta

Plans are already advanced for a new regatta in November that will not only revive the much-missed overnight race from St Maarten to St Kitts, but also commemorate the 18th century sailing heyday of St Eustatius.

The Golden Rock Regatta will run from November 14 to 18, 2005 and will incorporate a Bareboat class as well as the normal spinnaker and non-spinnaker racing classes. Registrations will be at Captain Oliver’s on the 13th, after which the fleet will gather in Great Bay. From there, boats will leave from midnight onwards on a staggered start, according to their CYA handicap rating, for a 51-mile race to Basseterre, St Kitts. On Tuesday 15th, boats will race 41 miles to Gustavia, St Barths before turning south again on Wednesday 16th for the 26-mile ‘Statia First Salute Race’ to Oranjestad, St Eustatius. The race commemorates the day the island fired its guns to become the first nation to recognize American Independence, in 1776. November 17th will be taken up with racing up and down Statia, before the whole event wraps up on Friday 18th for the 30 mile ‘Bareboat Challenge’ back to Oyster Pond.

Dubbed the new ‘Battle of the Saints’, the aim is to reinvigorate the sailing scene in these islands. Organiser Juul Hermsen from Windward Adventures told All At Sea how, “it was during my discussions to all and sundry about our regatta that someone mentioned the overnight race to St Kitts and what a pity it was that it was not being held any more.” Media coverage has already been negotiated with the Sailing Channel, SXM TV, Eurosport, MailSail and CNN, with the BBC and Germany’s ZDF also in the frame. The most immediate challenge, if Oraanje Bay is once again to be packed with boats, is to establish secure mooring buoys in case of dangerous swells.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on what could be a magnificent event. Those wishing to enter should go to

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