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Caribbean News – Mar 06

WORLD CRUISING CLUB PLANS CIRCUMNAVIGATION EVENT

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) and other events and activities organized by World Cruising Club were taken over as of January 3, 2006 in a management led buyout from Challenge Business. World Cruising Club events include the ARC Europe in association with Yachting World and Blue Water Sailing from Antigua every May, this year departing on May 11.

The new management team led by Director Andrew Bishop quickly announced plans for a circumnavigation rally, World ARC, to start in November 2007 incorporating the skills that World Cruising has acquired over 20 years of running ocean sailing events.

Organizers announced provisional dates and routings and want input from prospective participants. The 15-month rally will cross the Atlantic Ocean to St. Lucia in November 2007 and is tentatively scheduled to leave the Caribbean in February 2008. For further information or to register interest in World ARC, contact World Cruising Club: mail@worldcruising.com. Web site:www.worldcruising.com

RENTAL EPIRB SAVES TWO TRANSATLANTIC RACING ROWERS

Rowers Sarah Kessans and Emily Kohl survived the capsizing of their 24-foot rowboat in mid-January after a harrowing 16 hours spent clinging to the overturned hull in the stormy Atlantic some 1000 miles east of Cuba. The rowers, participating in the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race from the Canary Islands to Antigua, activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) they had rented from the BoatU.S. Foundation and the alert was picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Rescuers contacted the BoatU.S. 24-hour dispatch center which forwarded details gleaned from the rental registration form. A full-scale search and rescue operation was launched and the tall ship Stravos S. Niarchos sailed 120 miles to reach Kessans and Kohl.

"Having one of our ACR rental EPIRBs aboard is an inexpensive safety precaution that no offshore boater can afford to go without,” said David Carter, manager of the BoatU.S. EPIRB rental program.

The EPIRB Rental Program is funded by the voluntary contributions of 630,000 BoatU.S. members. EPIRBs can be rented from the Foundation for as little as $50 a week. For more information, call 888-663-7472 or visit www.BoatUS.com/foundation/epirb.

NEW FERRY SERVICE ST. THOMAS/ST. CROIX AND BEYOND

Island Lynx Ferry Company announced plans to commence year-round ferry service between St. Thomas and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands using the M/V Quelbe, expected at press time to begin operating in mid-February 2006. Managing Partner and Majority Owner of Island Lynx, Robert C. Siebengartner, also announced plans to link the USVI to the British Virgin Islands and Vieques, Puerto Rico.

BIG GIFT FOR T & T YOUTH SAILING SCHOOL

The First Citizens’ Sports Foundation presented a check for $20,000 in January to the Trinidad & Tobago Sailing Association Youth Sailing School for its Sailing Outreach Program operated to benefit local community children since 1995. 

Several of the 130 young people trained in the free program have represented Trinidad & Tobago in regional and international events and two now work with the Sailing School as part-time Sailing Instructors.

BOATING KIDS ARE HEALTHIER, BETTER ADJUSTED

Get them away from those video games and into the junior sailing program. Children who go boating are physically and psychologically healthier than those who don’t, according to a survey conducted by Impulse Research Corp for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Seventy-one percent of families who boat responding to the survey reported having healthy children, compared to 61 percent of non-boating families.

In addition to physical benefits, active involvement in boating seems to play a role in psychological and social development of children. Nearly two-thirds of responding boaters (63 percent) indicated their children are team players, compared to 53 percent of non-boaters, and tend to be more optimistic and self confident (52 percent compared to 43 percent). Three-quarters of responding boaters said their children were leaders in their social groups, as opposed to 65 percent of non-boating children.

MOST FREQUENTLY STOLEN BOATS

Seaworthy, the damage avoidance newsletter from BoatU.S. Marine Insurance, recently culled recreational vessel theft data from the last five years of claims files to arrive at a list of boats most likely to be stolen. Personal watercraft top the list while—good news for sailors—less mobile vessels such as sailboats and heavy, slow trawlers were decidedly unattractive targets for thieves. The data revealed that 90% of all boats were stolen while on their trailer, with the average size just over 20 feet.

In addition to the Yamaha personal watercraft that led the list at 15.30 chances per 10,000 boats, big winners were Mako, Chaparral, Regal, Wellcraft, and Boston Whaler as boats most likely to be gone when you arrive at the dock next Sunday.

ANTIGUA AROUND ISLAND RACE ZAPPED BY WEATHER

The 2006 Antigua Round the Island Race held the weekend of January 28-29 was smaller than usual with only thirteen yachts participating, a drop credited by organizers to a weather postponement from the previous weekend. Though fair at the start, conditions again deteriorated rapidly for the first leg, and the second leg was abandoned based on an inaccurate forecast. The winner of the Racing Class was Lost Horizon, Cruiser/Racer – Blue Peter, Cruiser Class – Arc Angel, and Live Aboard – Starlight. Matt (in drag) from Caccia Alla Volpe was crowned Queen of Round the Island.

BURNS-LOVING BOATERS CELEBRATE THE BARD

The Royal Naval Tot Club of Antigua & Barbuda celebrated ‘Burns Night’ in the traditional manner with Haggis specially imported from the U.K. Master of Ceremonies, Hamish Burgess-Simpson, in full Scots regalia, opened the proceedings for the 45 diners at Calabash restaurant on Galleon Beach by introducing Sandy Mair who spoke at length on the brief but varied life of Scotland’s most famous poet.

LAUDERDALE PROPELLER ADDS HUNG SHEN

Lauderdale Propeller has signed an exclusive agreement with Platzer Marine Propulsion Inc for distribution, service, and authorized repairs of Hung Shen propellers in Florida and throughout the Caribbean for propellers up to 50 inches in diameter.

Hung Shen manufactures fixed pitch and controllable pitch propellers to 16′ tailored for pleasure craft, workboat, and military patrol boats. The product line consists of the New Vanguard propellers series (NVP) the new Silent Propeller (SP) series, or custom ordered propellers.

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