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Caribbean News November 2010

The End of an Era

Saint Martin’s most famous marina owner has passed away aged 77. Olivier Lange, better known as ‘Captain Oliver’, died in Paris on September 25.

The Captain sailed into Oyster Pond on St. Martin’s east coast in the early 1980s, and fell in love with what he saw. In 1983, Lange opened Captain Oliver’s Marina, Restaurant and Hotel, creating one of the world’s most unique destinations spanning an international border.

The marina rapidly gained a reputation as a lively safe haven; the restaurant soared into the limelight for The Captain’s signature Grand Seafood Buffet; while the hotel, discreetly nestled in its surrounds, enjoyed the reputation of being a slightly off the beaten track getaway.

In 2005, Lange established Captain Oliver’s Yacht Club and affirmed his love of sailing by creating the annual Captain Oliver’s Regatta, an event that quickly gained prominence on the yachting calendar.

As the new sailing season approaches, management and staff have promised to honor Captain Oliver’s memory by running the marina as he would have wished – with ‘Joie de Vivre’.

Sarasota Yacht Club Make
Second Attempt at Cuba Race

The Sarasota Yacht Club Charitable Foundation (SYCCF), of Sarasota, Florida, has again announced plans to hold a landmark race from Sarasota to Havana, Cuba. Last year, after much planning and pre-race events, the yacht club was forced to cancel the race due to the federal government’s failure to sanction the event. This time the yacht club say they are optimistic in securing US governmental approval.

Vincent Di Pano, chairman of the race committee said: “Realistic hopes are high that the race will come to be.”

Only US charities will share in the proceeds from this historic event, with funds going to Mote Marine laboratories, the American Cancer Society and Sarasota Youth Sailing Program. “Mote Marine Laboratories has already secured approval to conduct an educational visit to Cuba this December and again in the spring of 2011,” said Di Pano.

At present, over 120 yachts have signed up for the 260 mile race beginning May 14, 2011.

Although confident in its efforts, SYCCF say government permission to sail may be denied. The club is planning an alternative regatta should travel to Cuba be vetoed. The schedule of events and race start date will remain unchanged.

For details visit: sarasotayachtclub.org

Haiti Cruising Guide

The first edition of the Cruising Guide to Haiti is now available online. Written by Frank Virgintino, the free 70-page guide takes a comprehensive look at Haiti’s coast, islands and anchorages.

Haiti is steeped in history and for many years was a must-see for the adventurous sailor. The devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, removed Haiti from some cruisers’ itineraries altogether and it is hoped that Virgintino’s guide will help put it back.

All At Sea downloaded the guide and found it easy to read and packed with information. Nor does it pull any punches when mentioning the problems you might face while cruising Haiti. More than just a guide, with tips on pilotage and navigation, the ebook delves into the island’s culture, touching on art, music and food. There’s even a small section on Voodoo.

Albany Marina, Bahamas,
Welcomes First Superyachts

Following a year and a half of construction Albany Marina, located on the southwestern end of New Providence in The Bahamas, is ready to welcome its first superyachts.

Completion of the first phase of the 71-slip marina included the dredging of a mile-long (1.6km), 150ft (45.5m) wide channel, and the creation of a 15-acre deepwater basin with a controlling depth of 16 feet (4.8m) at mean sea level (MSL). To date, they have installed 25 of the marina’s largest finger piers, ranging from 50ft (15m) to 240ft (72.7m) in length.

The marina will eventually boast an Ernie Els-designed golf course, residences, an equestrian center and a beach club.

New Look Budget Marine Catalog Sneak Preview
The 2011 Budget Marine Catalog will soon be available from all twelve Budget Marine stores, including the two new locations in St. Croix and Aruba. Budget Marine say they have worked hard to make the 2011 edition easier for customers to find the products they need. Once again, Budget will release two versions of their catalog: the printed copy, for the more traditional reader, and a digital copy for those who prefer the click of a mouse. For more information, go to budgetmarine.com

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