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Caribbean News – Oct 08

Uplifting Changes for Soper’s Hole

Soper’s Hole Yacht Services (formerly Frenchman’s Cay Shipyard), Tortola, British Virgin Islands has now opened for business having completed a major renovation and change in management/ownership.  The old railway system has been replaced by a new concrete slipway specifically designed to accommodate a new lifting system called “KMI SEALIFT”  which can reduce haul-out time to as little as 60 seconds.  (For a video demo: www.sea-lift.com.)

Catamarans can be hauled easily by lifting under the bridge deck.  “This, in fact, was one of the main reasons for deciding on KMI since our primary customer is Voyage Charters,” said Gordon Nissen.  “They currently have a fleet of catamarans ranging from 44 feet to 58 feet.”

Other renovations included new bulkheads, workshop complex and complete paving of the yard with reinforced concrete.  The yard now has two lifting options- either the KMI Sealift (45 ton max) or a 30 ton tamilift.  “Although the Voyage fleet will keep the yard busy, we are now taking other customers,” said Nissen.  Email:sopershole@yahoo.com or tel: 284 495 3349

Northern Lights Dealers Meet on Tortola

Northern Lights Generators and their Caribbean distributor, Parts & Power Ltd, hosted a Caribbean Dealer Conference on 29 & 30 July on Tortola.  The Conference, entitled “Challenge 2010,” was attended by Northern Lights dealers from the USVI to Trinidad.  Changes in the Power Generation Market and challenges anticipated over the next two years were discussed along with new products and tooling.  Nathan Price, Vice President Southeast Region, informed dealers who attended about the recent acquisition of Technicold.

Entries Now Open for 2009 Pineapple Cup

The Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC) announced in August the official opening for entries in the 29th Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race.  Schedule to start February 6, 2009 just outside of Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, the “Mo Bay” race runs 811 nautical miles to Montego Bay, Jamaica.  The current race record is held by Titan 12, set in 2005, with an elapsed time of two days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds.  Jamaican sponsors are the Montego Bay Yacht Club (Montego Bay), and the Jamaican Yachting Association (Kingston).
The race started in 1961 and past competitors are a “who’s who” of ocean skippers including Ted Turner, Larry Ellison and Roy Disney.   For details:  www.montegobayrace.com.

From the “We Saw This One Coming” File:  “Spice Girls” Audition

In July, the Class 40 Concise held the first of a series of trials in the UK for an all-girl crew to compete in the forthcoming “Spice Race” expected to depart on November 15 from Cowes, make the 4,321 mile run, and arrive at Port Louis, Grenada in early December.  Spice Race C.E.O. Tony Lawson said that “the girls seemed really keen to work together and there was a lot less grandstanding than you would probably have had with a bunch of guys in a similar situation. That sort of attitude should help us to get a really good crew together over the next couple of months.”  Organizers say that interest in the main event for Class 40 and IRC yachts continues to build, with enquiries coming from all over the world. www.spicerace.com

Second Edition of Transatlantic Maxi Cup Set For November

Originally conceived in 2007 as a biennial event, the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup will take place in 2008 based on the success of the inaugural event held last fall, organizers at Italy’s Yacht Club Costa Smeralda announced in August.  The starting gun will sound on November 24, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, with a planned finish line 2700 miles away at St. Maarten.  Maxi yachts of 18 metres (70 feet) and above will compete including Sojana, the 115-foot Farr designed Bermudian ketch owned by Peter Harrison (GBR).   Familiar in Caribbean waters, Sojana excelled at the St. Barth Bucket (2007) as well as the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (2008, 2007).  For NOR: www.yccs.it

Sunsail Launches High-End Performance Cruiser

In August, Sunsail announced its new flagship monohull charter yacht, the Sunsail 44i designed by Philippe Briand and built by Jeanneau.  The builder’s Prisma Process injection molding results in a 90% reduction in harmful emissions.  (See article this issue on green trends in chartering.)
The 44i is available in a three cabin three head layout, or a four cabin two head version with additional convertible forward bunks, and can be booked now for charter this winter in the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Vincent & the Grenadines.  www.sunsail.com.

MarSIS Project Cancelled After Boating Accident

A planned August Caribbean marine research project in the Grenadine Islands was cancelled following a speedboat accident in Bequia on the fourth day.  Injured team members were hospitalized and one was flown back to the United States for surgery.  Participants had hoped to develop a first-of-its-kind underwater geographical and ecosystems map of this part of the Caribbean through their Marine Resource and Space-use Information System (MarSIS) project.  Collaborators on the project included the governments of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Grenada, “The Sustainable Grenadines Project” and the University of the West Indies, Barbados. Support for the research cruise was provided by The Moorings, The Mustique Company and The Tobago Cays Marine Park.

Save the Date: 

Triskell cup, November 8, 9, 10

Jean-Michel Marziou, President of the Triskell Organization has announced the Eighth Triskell Cup dates for Guadeloupe.  For information, email Organisation@triskellcup.com, www.triskellcup.com

Foxy’s Cat Fight, October 26 – 28

The annual Cat Fight Sailing Regatta is hosted by Foxy Callwood and the West End Yacht Club and sponsored by the Catamaran Company.  The winner is announced at the post-race ceremony at Foxy’s Tamarind Bar & Restaurant including dinner and a Halloween party.  www.catamarans.com

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