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BVI Bulletin – Apr 06

YACHT CLUBS IN THE BVI
HAVE NEW COMMODORES AND GREAT COMMERADERIE

My sincere congratulations to both Claire Burke, of
the Royal BVI Yacht Club, and Martin Van Houten, of
the ‘Loyal’ West End Yacht Club, on their new roles of Commodore.
It looks as though each club has chosen wisely in their elections and I thought
that AAS readers might like to know
more about these dynamic leaders.

CLAIRE BURKE LEADS THE
RBVIYC

Born in Ireland,
Claire received her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from
Dublin City University and holds a Diploma in Offshore Finance
& Administration from the Institute
of Chartered Secretaries
and Administrators. She is the Manager of Tricor
Services (BVI) Limited, a part of the financial sector of the BVI. Claire began
sailing at college and as Watch Director on the Irish Sail
Training vessel, the Asgard.
“I then moved on to cruising as well as crewing at the Royal Cork
Yacht Club. My first regatta was Cork Race Week in 1996. After suffering through
miserable weather and racing in full foul weather gear for several years, I
decided it was time to look for somewhere warmer.”

Claire
arrived in BVI in January 1999 and quickly joined the racing circuit. She raced
with Eddie Brockbank on Fastidiots for four years, on Dehlerious
with Bungie and Di Flynn for two years and recently
joined the Haycrafts on Pipe Dream as permanent crew. She bought a Laser in 2004, finishing
3rd in the BVI Spring Regatta, in the new laser class in 2005.
She also races regularly on the IC
24’s out of Nanny Cay and has been part of the Doyle BVI/Latitude 18
women’s team winning the “Women’s Caribbean Keel Boat
Champion” in St Maarten. High on her goals as Commodore is to involve
more people in the financial sector in the sport of sailing. “With the
growth of the financial services sector in the BVI, the profile of our
potential members has changed significantly. I am hoping that through my involvement
in that industry, I will be able to encourage more people to get involved in
the sport that we all love so much.”

MARTIN VAN HOUTEN
LEADS THE ‘LOYAL’ WEST END YACHT CLUB

Born in Canada, Martin
grew up on boats and has been sailing all of his life. “My father always
had a boat of some type – a trawler, a houseboat and sailboats. We were
always on the water and belonged to yacht clubs or sailing clubs. I came to the
BVI in 1998 as a Marine Engineer for North South Yacht Charters. I worked for
them for eight years until I became the Engineering Manager for Yacht
Restorations at Nanny Cay. I started racing first with Bill Bailey on
Second Nature and then raced for three
seasons on Mermaid II with Bill Beredelli – we campaigned it
for the CORT Series and down island. During that time I would also race on Pat
Nolan’s Boomerang, Tom Mullens’ Rumb Squall and
Shamrock V as well as racing on my own
boats in the Culebra and St. John
races, doing various regattas.”

Martin
has been active in the BVI community as both a VISAR volunteer and a KATS IC-24
instructor and coach. He joined the West End Yacht Club in 2002 because he
loved the camaraderie and the spirit of fun that all of their regattas seem to
have. Before becoming Commodore he was the Race Captain for the Firecracker
Regatta, Gustav Wilmerding Regatta, Foxy’s
“Cat” Fight and has assisted, in one way or another, in all of
their other annual venues. When asked his goal for the club he replied,
“I want to make the club more assessable for the cruisers who want to
come in and race and have a lot of fun. We want to make them more as “fungattas” – we want for people to come out and
race with their cruising boats or as couples having fun. We have always been
known as the fun yacht club and we want to continue with that.”

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