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BVI Bulletin – Aug 06

VAL DOAN WINS NAVIGATOR AWARD AT BERMUDA RACE

Congratulations are most definitely in order to the great sailing women of Team Wave on their recent win at the 100th Anniversary of the Newport Bermuda Race, which started in Newport and ended in Bermuda. Not only did they win first in class but also in fleet with HRH Princess Anne presenting the trophies at the Rhode Island Governor’s mansion. Way to go gals!

Helmswoman and AAS writer, Val Doan, also won distinction as she received the coveted Navigator Award – a tribute she well deserved. Team Wave is made up of outstanding women racers from all of the northern Caribbean islands raising awareness and funds in the global fight against domestic violence. I know that AAS readers join me in wishing them all sincere golden kudos!

EWAN ANDERSON SUCESSFULLY DEFENDS TITLE

Island Surf & Sail’s 2 nd annual Pusser’s Painkiller Windsurfing Competition of 2006 featured 25 entries and took windsurfers from Pusser’s Marina Cay to Nanny Cay Marina, home of the event. During this twenty-mile downwind windsurfing race, nineteen finished, with last year’s winner, Ewan Anderson, defending his 2005 title, managing to stay in the lead during the entire race – a total time of 01:03 – congratulations to Ewan. In 2 nd place was Rusty Henderson followed by Bill Bailey in 3 rd.

ISLAND SLOOP SUPPORTER, DR. MICHAEL O’NEAL, IS INVESTED

Dr.Michael O’Neal was recently invested as the third President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) on Tortola, BVI. However, Dr. O’Neal was the first who had the distinction of becoming the first chancellor to be installed with an investiture ceremony. The impressive event attracted the participation of academics from across the Caribbean and the United States. He had earlier stated in his commencement address that despite the challenges that have characterized the HLSCC in recent past, the institution “continues to successfully advance its mission and address the strategic initiatives which have been set." We hope that Dr. O’Neal, as an avid advocate of the Island Sloop Program, will find the funds to continue in the restoration project of the Caribbean’s oldest island sloop, Vigilant, built in East End, Tortola, in 1882.

CRUISE SHIP REPORT FOR THE BVI

Cruise tourism is alive and well in the BVI despite a drop in bookings across the region. Responding to opposition questions at a recent Legislative Council meeting, Chief Minister Dr. Orlando Smith said the number of arrivals for the first third of 2006 compares favorably overall with the same period for each of the prior three years. According to the chief minister, in 2003, cruise visitor arrivals for the first four months of the year numbered 167,570. In 2004, the figure went up to 253,316, which was a 51 percent increase. For the same period in 2005, cruise visitor arrivals totaled 231,414, an 8.6 percent decline. And in the similar 2006 period, cruise visitor arrivals shot up to 261,168 persons, an increase of almost 13 percent. Total visits for 2003 were 304,338, in 2004, 466,601 and in 2005, 449,152, according to Dr. Smith.

Asked if certain members of the BVI Tourist Board are opposed to the proliferation of cruise tourism, the chief minister said: "This government is of the view that cruise tourism is an important sector which contributes to the territory’s economy.” Unfortunately for residents of Tortola, there are many days when cruise ship visitors outnumber the local population. Combine this with the fact that the ships buy our water, leaving many areas of the island without water for days; many don’t see the ships as adding to anyone’s pocket but the government and the taxis.

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