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Latitude 18 Halyard Challenge Begins the Season

LATITUDE 18 HALYARD CHALLENGE BEGINS THE 2005 SEASON

Although there were only seven boats entered in the Royal BVI Yacht Club’s first race of the year, the competition was still fierce and determined. Four IC-24s entered the event – as we have seen these one-class designs are now the hottest, as well as the most frequent, racers in the territory. Guy Eldridge’s Melges-24, Mistress Quickly, won the racing class with two IC-24’s coming in shortly after that – Andre Waters aboard Conch-Querer and Richard Wooldridge aboard Racing in Paradise taking top honors in their class. Steve Schmidt, aboard his Santa Cruz 70, Hotel California, won 1st in Cruising. No matter that he was the only entry in his class – Steve has more 1st place wins than anyone I know and the RBVIYC thanks him for his enthusiasm.

JEAN-MICHAEL COUSTEAU IN BVI FOR OCEAN APPRECIATION WEEK

Jean-Michael Cousteau, the Global Marine Spokesperson for the BVI, was in the BVI recently to help celebrate a week of activities that included the launch of The Sustainable Reefs Educational Program, which will be given to public school teachers with the goal of teaching BVI youth about the value of its natural marine ecosystem. I spoke with several teachers who received the DVD, CD-ROM and teacher guidebooks given to them as teaching aides and they were each totally enthusiastic about the workshops. It is really great that the BVI has such a wonderful resource person as Jean-Michael and we truly appreciate his taking the time from his busy schedule to lead such programs.

KATS RECEIVE MUCH NEEDED MONEY

The BVI branch of FirstCaribbean International Bank has donated $5,000 to the Kids And The Sea (KATS) program to assist with the renovation and conversion of a J/24 to an IC-24. The IC24, to be renamed FirstCaribbean KATS, is expected to be re-launched in a couple of months and will be used for sail training and racing including the BVI Spring Regatta in April and the Chief Minister’s Cup in July. This is really great news for all of us KATS backers – especially members of the West End Yacht Club Board who volunteer their time each Saturday to run the program and teach sailing.

The boat being renovated is Barclays KATS, donated to KATS in 1997 by Barclays Bank, whose involvement with KATS dates back to 1993. Barclays and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce combined their Caribbean operations to establish FirstCaribbean International Bank in October 2002. John Lewis, chairman of KATS, told us, “We’d like to thank FirstCaribbean for its continued support of the KATS program. Without the support of good corporate citizens such as FirstCaribbean, programs such as KATS would find it hard to exist. Their donation and ongoing commitment is most welcome.”

EWAN ANDERSON WINS PUSSER’S PAINKILLER WINDSURFING THRILLER

Competitors left from Pusser’s Marina Cay and windsurfed a 20-mile course to Peg Legs Restaurant at Nanny Cay Marina, often with winds reaching some 30 knots. Race organizer Owen Waters, of Island Surf And Sail, described it as “twice as extreme as we’d anticipated” and estimated their average speed at 25-30 miles an hour. We congratulate the following top three winners on their great results.

2005 Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller Winners 1. Ewan Anderson (Team Island Surf And Sail/Pryde) 2. Owen Waters (Team Island Surf And Sail- Starboard/Pryde/HIHO/Quantum Sails/ Nanny Cay/ Dirty Dogs) 3. Roy Keegan (Team Island Surf And Sail/JP/Pryde)

Shell man, Rowan Roy, dies at 80

The BVI recently lost one of its pioneers and one of the most outstanding figures of the old days. Rowan Roy was well known in the community for his impressive shell collection and for his untiring efforts to complete BVI Bird data information every year. He began collecting BVI seashells in 1953 and his collection was comprised of approximately 400 species of shells from the BVI and another 300 species from the Caribbean and oceans of the world. In recent years, Rowan worked on a book on BVI shells as well as a bird species check list for the National Parks Trust in 1995. Mr. Roy chaired, under the auspices of the Audubon Society, the Christmas Bird Count since 1988. As an amateur radio operator between 1955 and 1965, Mr. Roy gave weather reports every morning on the Antilles Weather network which was the only weather source in those days. As a well-known contractor, he designed and built Tortola Yacht Services in its original form near Fort Burt, his own home at Hodges Creek, William Campbell Roy’s house, Sir Alan Cobham’s home, and a number of other buildings and structures in Road Town. All At Sea extends its sympathy to members of the Roy Family, including Mr. Roy’s grandson Chris Brockbank, one of the BVI’s most promising young sailors.

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