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Caribbean News – Jul 05

St Lucian yachting magnate dies

Arch Marez, the American who owned the Rodney Bay Marina passed away in May after losing a bout with spinal cancer. He was 73.

Marez, originally from Colorado, was an inventor who developed – among other things- a digital radio and digital heart pacemaker.

In 1979, Marez went to Finland to take delivery of a $200,000 Swan, sailed through Europe and the Med and arrived in the Caribbean in 1980. Coming across St Lucia, the US businessman built a winter home at Cap Estate and land in Rodney Bay, where he built the marina with his own funds. The Marina opened in 1986, and now has 232 slips and 16 docks. Marez estimated his own investment in the project at $10 million.

He once said: “It perhaps was not the best use of my capital, but the social rewards have been great; the yachtsmen who come through here are generally very interesting people, like Walter Kronkite, the former ABC news anchorman. And it’s been a worthwhile endeavour”

Marez is survived by two children who live in the United States. A memorial service was held at the marina and, in accordance with his wishes, his body was cremated and the ashes returned to St Lucia to be spread along a designated coastline.

Passport changes

As from July 1, US citizens entering St Barths will be required to have a valid passport. Previously, a driving license or a birth certificate sufficed. The new requirement was announced in May by the Head of the Departmental border police. US citizens without a valid passport will be refused entry.

Only about 20 per cent of the US population has a passport, but as from December 31 this year, all US citizens returning to the US from the Caribbean (and beyond) will be required to carry one. The December 31 deadline does not, however, affect travel between the US and the US Virgin Islands. American citizens will still be able to travel between the mainland and the territories with existing forms of ID.

St Maarten Classic Yacht Regatta

Scheduled for 2,3& 4 December, 2005, the St Maarten Classic Yacht Regatta has been given the blessing of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. An affiliation request on behalf of the Regatta was approved by the yacht club board in May.

Heineken Regatta Mirian Ebbers will be the technical organizer, with Jan Roosens taking care of promotion and PR.

More news as it breaks on www.classicregatta.com

St Maarten Laser Championship

Frits Bus won the final day of the St Maarten Laser Championship series, beating off rivals Olivier Bernaz and Rien Korteknie in tricky south-westerly winds off the Marigot waterfront. The win meant that Bus also secured the overall championship, with Bernaz second and Korteknie third. Janneke Brouwer won the Ladies division with rising star Stephanie Ferron in second.

Sevenstar Yacht Transport and Peters & May arrange largest ever shipment of yachts

Sevenstar Yacht Transport and Peters & May, world-leading suppliers of specialist yacht shipping services, recently joined forces in a joint sailing from Tortola, BVI and St. John’s, Antigua into Southampton. The MV Scheldegracht with a LOA of 169 m was loaded with more than 50 yachts returning from their sailing season in the Caribbean.

“If the level of demand dictates then we will certainly be looking to repeat this special service” added Shaun Robinson, Manager of Caribbean trade for Peters & May.

d and shamed

The hurricane names for the 2005 season have been announced. It would appear that the Country & Western genre is this year’s chosen theme…

Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Dennis
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irene
Jose
Katrina
Lee
Maria
Nate
Ophelia
Philippe
Rita
Stan
Tammy
Vince
Wilma

CSA Meeting

Layday on April’s Caribbean Sailing Week was the chance for the Caribbean Sailing Association to meet and hammer out the finer points of regional racing. Representatives came from Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, St Maarten, USVI, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Septembers Youth Sailing Summit in Barbados was the main talking point, as the meeting – co-ordinated by Cyril Lacrenay and Sarah Rickwood – will be instrumental in the planning of regional youth sailing programmes.

Otherwise, an honorary lifetime membership was bestowed on Arthur ‘Tuna’ Wullschleger, an international judge.

Chief Judge Jeffrey Chen of Trinidad also announced that for next season, rating certificates would be planned as electronic documents.

Hall of Fame

The Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) has elected Antigua-based Martha Watkins-Gilkes as its new president.

The WDHOF currently administers 9 annual scholarships to divers of all ages, particularly those taking the plunge into diving as a career.

Watkins-Gilkes has over 5,000 hours logged underwater exploring shipwrecks and habitats and is the author of Shipwrecks of the Caribbean and the Diving Guide of the Eastern Caribbean. More recently, she has been an outspoken opponent of Dolphin Captivity programmes, notably in Antigua.

Larus Roc in the US

St Maarten’s open 60 trimaran Larus Roc (formerly Paragon), arguably the fastest Caribbean-based sailing boat, continues her US racing circuit this month.

Owned by Lars Svensson, the trimaran is skippered by Ian Martin and will be racing in the 360-mile Marblehead to Halifax race starting 10 July and the Around Long Island on July 28.

Apart from the odd record attempt, Larus Roc will be promoting the island of St Maarten along the east coast, with stops in Newport, Nantucket, Block Island and beyond.

Sponsors include Island Water World, Budget Marine and the St Maarten Island Government.

MIASL anniversary

The Marine Industries Association of St Lucia (MIASL) recently celebrated its first anniversary. The not-for-profit organization was set up as a recommendation of the 2002 ECLAC study on sustainable marine-based tourism in the Caribbean.

MIASL started with five members and now has over 60, working to develop the St Lucian yachting market. The organization is increasingly seen by local authorities as an authentic industry voice and is currently engaged in the formation of a Caribbean Marine Association, along with Antigua, Grenada and Trinidad. The MIASL is also working with Discovery at Marigot Bay to produce a leaflet on the rules of entry/engagement in St Lucia.

For further information go to www.miasl.org or contact Keats Compton, President on keats@miasl.org. Failing that, call: +1 (758) 484-3646.

Village Cay Marina purchased

Texas-based Sun Resorts international and the BVI Investment Club have completed the purchase of Village Cay Marina, Tortola, for $10.5 million. Plans under the new management will include a renovation of the existing dock to make the complex more appealing to the megayacht sector.

Sun Resorts International, which holds a 33% stake also has interests in American Yacht Harbour, St Thomas, Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and St Maarten’s Simpson Bay Marina.

Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting

Dates for the 44th Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting have been pinned down, with the event scheduled to run December 7 to 12. Informal meetings have been held with the organizers of the St Maarten Charter Yacht Exhibition (SCYE), which runs from December 5-8, to facilitate movement for those yachts which wish to attend both exhibitions.

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