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Caribbean News - Oct 05

St Martin

The Brigade Nautique in St Martin is once again the proud owner of a working speedboat. The 32-foot, 225hp vessel had been up on chocks since November 2003 for major repairs, but is now back in the water. As a consequence, the Brigade can resume high-speed patrols around the French side. The team works with Customs, Border Police, Gendarmes, SNSM and Nature Reserve officials to ensure vessels are in order, safe and being used for their intended purpose. The Brigade was created in 1992 and is six-strong on the island.

St Martin

St Martin’s windsurfing wonderkid Julien Quintel ripped apart the opposition at the World Junior Formula Windsurfing Championships, held in England. ‘Juju’ won all fourteen races to top the 40-strong 11-meter class. The victory bested third-place finishes in 2003 and 2004. This is the last time Quintel will complete in the under-19 category.

Grenada

The Grenada Yacht Club introduced the Laddie McIntyre Award at the 6th Summer Regatta, to honour Charles ‘Laddie’ McIntyre, who passed away recently. Charles was a founding member of the GYC.

“He was known by most people in Grenada and was the embodiment of determination and true grit, so it is important for the public to know that there is now an annual award to recognise these important and needed human qualities and that sailing can help foster and develop them,” stated Darryl Brathwaite Commodore of the GYC.

The first winner of the Award, presented by Laddie’s son Michael McIntyre and daughter Anne McIntyre Campbell, was Jason Fletcher on Apero for his ‘dogged determination’ in bouncing back from ‘a hopelessly humongous mistake’ in one race!

For more on the history of the Grenada Yacht Club, or for other results from the Sixth Annual Summer Regatta, see their website at www.grenadayachtclub.com.

St Lucia

With the 20th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers just over a month away (docklines are due to be slipped in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria on November 20th), entries are already being put on a waiting list. A staggering 225 boats have already registered to take part in the westward jaunt to St Lucia, which finishes up in a blaze of round-the-clock merriment at Rodney Bay. Of the 225, 26 are from Beneteau, 21 from Hallberg Rassy and 19 from Jeanneau. The fleet comprises sailors from 21 different countries.

The 2,700 mile passage is expected to take 18 to 21 days and is the largest trans-oceanic sailing event in the world.

Grenada Net extended to Tobago

Grenada’s Net, broadcast Monday to Saturday at 7.30am on VHF 68 is now available all the way down to Tobago.

The increased coverage was put together by Island Water World’s Jonathan Fisher, who does the weather reports, and Leroy Baptiste (‘Stevens One’), an Electronics Engineer and Communications specialist. Baptiste proposed installing a repeater to link up with the antenna at Grand Etang, extending coverage way beyond the VHF range and allowing cruisers in Bequia, Tobago Cays and Tobago to pick up the weather broadcast.

Baptiste and Allan Otway (‘Alpha Hotel’ or ‘Alpha Henry’) installed the unit and cruisers should now be able to tune in.

Guadeloupe

5th Triskell Cup will take place on the 11th, 12th and 13th November in Guadeloupe. Now boasting some 75 entries from Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St Martin and France, the event is open to monohulls, multihulls and a new class – boats over 50 feet. www.triskellcup.com

Discovery Bay debate

Is the Discovery at Marigot Bay project damaging local coral reef in St Lucia? “No,” is the riposte from John Verity, Managing Director of owners Doubloon International, hitting back at accusations to the contrary from US Academic Dr Timothy Foresman.

The latter alleges in a series of e-mails to press and Government on St Lucia that run-off from the Discovery development is silting up an area of coral 1/2 mile south of Marigot Bay. But the survey and analysis most likely finger the Roseau River as the culprit, Verity suggests, calling run-off from Marigot Bay ‘miniscule’ in comparison to sediment dumped by the Roseau and Culdesac rivers.

Discovery argues that geotextile filter membranes have been installed at the site to limit silt run-off from the project into Marigot Bay – a measure included in the original Planning Approval application.

Puerto Rico hosts kayak marathon

Guayama Bay, Puerto Rico, was the venue for the first leg of the Caribbean Marathon Kayak Cup, held August 28. Some 40 paddlers made the trip to the island’s south coast to enjoy a gruelling 25km race that finished with a 6km upwind slog.

St Maarten’s paddlers performed best overall – two first places, two second and a fourth. In the Master Class, for competitors aged 40 and over, Frits Bus beat Bruno Therond into second. Anthony Durand won the Senior Class, for those aged up to 39.

In the Surfski discipline, Jaime Ponce won the Master Class from Juan Pablo Piscione; Krishna Auguira won the Senior Surfski event, in which 17-year-old Joel Nankman finished fourth.

The second leg of the series has just been completed – another 25km marathon, albeit downwind, from St Barths to Oyster Pond in St Martin. Race three takes place in the Dominican Republic on November 5, with the wrap-up paddle back in Puerto Rico on November 20.

The four-race series is sanctioned by the International Canoe Federation.

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