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BVI Bulletin – Sept 06

St. Thomas , U.S.V.I. repeats win in the Chief Ministers Regatta

AAS reporter Jim Linskey fully covered the 8th Annual KATS Chief Ministers Regatta held recently on Tortola, BVI, at Nanny Cay Marina. A professional racer himself, Linskey reports, “Friday was an arrival day for the competitors where they were given the opportunity to practice up against the IC 24 racing fleet in the late afternoon. Eight teams made up the field coming from all over the Caribbean.

The venue at Nanny Cay was ideal for the regatta, with camping tents set up on the lawn next to the pool and docks for all the junior sailors to spend the weekend along side each other.

Racing started Saturday morning. The timing was perfect, as a severe squall passed over minutes after the sailors reached back to the dock. A rotation of boats was made for the second part of the day’s racing, making the playing field as fair as possible, even though the IC 24 sloops are a strict one-design class. The team from St. Thomas dominated the day by winning most of the races, showing great teamwork and obvious determination to take the Cup back to the U.S.V.I. once again. The newest team to the Cup Regatta was from Puerto Rico who gave the “Thomians” a run for their money.

Sunday brought perfect conditions with winds blowing 15-18 knots with a steep chop making the sailing downwind exhilarating. At the end of the day, St. Thomas managed to hang onto their lead even after being disqualified in one of the races for being over the starting line early. Taking second place and showing the most promise for next year’s regatta was Team Puerto Rico, followed by the ever challenging Team Antigua, St. Croix, Team Yellow Tortola, Team Green Tortola, Anguilla, and then Team Bequia. Hats off to all of the volunteers, Nanny Cay Marina, Peg Legs Landing, Rotary Clubs of Tortola, and all of the sponsors that made the regatta possible.” Javan Cooper was the skipper for the BVI’s yellow team – a great young sailor. Thanks, Jim – our readers appreciate that report.

Gli-Gli Sails for Antigua

Late in October, the Carib Gomier, Gli-Gli – built in Dominica and moored in Trellis Bay, BVI, will set sail for its second voyage. The 2006 Gli-Gli Leeward Islands Expedition is the brainchild of Aragorn Dick-Read of the BVI and Jacob Frederick of Dominica who share an interest in the art and history of the Carib People. The canoe will depart from Antigua, manned by a crew of 12 Carib Indians from Dominica and travel to Nevis, St. Eustatia, St. Kitts, St Barths, St. Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands. Along the way the crew will be presenting slide and film shows to the public with performances of traditional music and dance. All At Sea readers can participate with this great adventure on line at http://www.gliglicaribcanoe.com/. Having been friends with both Aragorn and Jacob since Gli-Gli’s first adventure to South America in the 1990s, I can tell you that this will be a most historical and interesting venture. We all wish them luck and prosperity.

BVIs Celebrates 50th anniversary as a Territory

Recently, in a large gathering that included several hundred onlookers, Governor Pearey stated that he will be the first to join in that sense of pride in the BVI. “As for the future, the Governor’s role is to stimulate but not to lead the debate of where the next 50 years will take this remarkable territory.” Chief Minister Dr. D. Orlando Smith also expressed his gratitude to the BVIslanders of generations past for their hard work and commitment. On July 1, 1956 the constitutional status of the British Virgin Islands changed from a Presidency to that of a Colony with a greater degree of self-government than was previously enjoyed. This change was facilitated by the de-federation or dissolution of the Leeward Islands Colony, which existed since 1871. The other Presidencies of the Ancient Federation were Antigua, St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, and Montserrat.

With a population of approximately 23,000 people and a yearly budget of some $230,000,000 we can easily see that the BVI is one of the richest countries, per capita, in the world and wish it well in its second 50 years as a territory.

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