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Caribbean News – Sept 05

Thompson does St Thomas proud

St Thomas Laser ace Cy Thompson put in a magnificent performance to place 6th out of 36 in July’s Volvo ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships in Busan, South Korea. Thompson won the first race of the tournament and went on to record subsequent top-five finishes.

The overall Volvo trophy went to France, with Britain second and Spain third. While youth sailing still has its power base in Europe, competitors like Thompson have fired an encouraging warning shot for the Caribbean’s teen contingent.

Sunsail’s Friday flight gives boost to VISAR collection

With the commencement of the Sunsail charter flight from Beef Island to London Gatwick every Friday, the Sunsail team thought it would be an ideal opportunity to help VISAR by collecting loose change from up to 100 customers each week as they checked onto the flight.

Nic Parton, base manager for Sunsail Tortola said that ‘Sunsail, like all of the charter companies in the BVI, have an indebted gratitude to VISAR. By educating our customers and asking for donations we like to think that we are able to make a positive contribution to the work that VISAR does’.

VISAR’s President, Phil Aspinall, said “The Dollar per Person Program, which is promoted by most of the bareboat charter operators in the BVI, is a mainstay of VISAR’s fundraising activities and essential in that most of the calls received by VISAR coordinators come from those who come to the BVI to charter yachts. The change collection initiative pioneered by Sunsail is a welcome innovation and we would encourage other companies to consider promoting such a program.”

Dive Buddy at IWW

Island Water World Inc. based in St. Maarten has acquired the inventory and brand name Dive Buddy – a premier supplier of diving equipment serving the Caribbean since 1997. The Dive Buddy product and brand will be sold and marketed from Island Water World’s headquarters in St. Maarten.

Please contact Sylvie at Island Water World Inc. in St. Maarten on (599)-544-5310 for more information or go to www.islandwaterworld.com

Horizon Yacht Charters Offers Refunds On US Passports

The new US Homeland Security law that comes into effect on December 31, 2005 – requiring US citizens travelling to the Caribbean to possess a passport, could have a serious affect on visitor numbers. While some island governments are lobbying the US authorities, the private sector is also taking preventative measures.

Horizon Yacht Charters (www.horizonyachtcharters.com), based in the BVI, Antigua and the Grenadines, if offering to refund the full cost of up to two first issue passports for US Citizens who are planning a sailing vacation in the Caribbean with them next year.

“We will pay for the passport and related filing costs, which amounts to $97 for an adult,” announced HYC Director Andrew Thompson recently.

In order to qualify for this passport refund offer, guests must book their bareboat or crewed sailing charter of seven nights or more direct with a Horizon Yacht Charters base in either the British Virgin Islands, Antigua & Barbuda or the Grenadines before December 31, 2005 and present their new passport and official receipts upon checking in at the base.

New security measure for Rodney Bay Marina

Rodney Bay Marina has stumped up $20,000 towards the cost of a vessel to be used by the St Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) in order to provide a 24-hour patrol of the marina.

Several criminal acts have been reported recently, despite night patrols by the Marine Police. With resources stretched, Rodney Bay marina stepped up to the plate.

“Patrols are critical because visibility of the arm of the law on the waters will serve as a deterrent to all sorts of questionable activity taking place in the marina, in the lagoon and in the outer bay, both day and night,” said General Manager Cuthbert Didier.

Didier is hopeful that St Lucia’s other yachting regions, Soufriere and Marigot Bay will also contribute to the island’s overall security.

According to Ian Cowan, managing partner of Island Water World’s chandlery in Rodney Bay, 30% of people who bought dinghies at the store were replacing ones stolen in St Lucia. Matters were made worse by the perception that the St Lucian authorities are not taking steps to deal with the criminal activity.

To that end, Didier’s gesture will provide a significant lead in tackling the problem.

More mooring in Nevis

Tortola’s Moor Secure Ltd has completed a preliminary survey that could lead to the installation of 80 sand screw moorings in Nevis. The secure moorings will run from Oualie Beach along the leeward coast to Fort St Charles. If the project goes ahead, these will be available to visiting yachts.

Plans are also in the pipeline to establish Marine Protected Areas around the island and in between Nevis and St Kitts.

CSA Youth Sailing Summit

Barbados Yacht Club will be hosting the Youth Sailing Summit this month, on the 16th and 17th. On the agenda will be how to develop the various youth sailing programmes offered in the Caribbean, Europe and North America.

“It is pretty crazy that something like this has not been done before,” says Cyril Lecrenay of the Barbados Sailing Association.

The summit will tackle the training syllabus, certification levels, financial structure and equipment selection and will encourage an exchange programme between the different islands.

A spokesman for the Caribbean Sailing Association claimed, “Our focus is on bringing more young people into the grass roots activity as opposed to elite development”.

For more info, contact Cyril on Cyril@lenstec.com

Holmberg conquers

The USVI’s Peter Holmberg won his first Swedish Match Tour event in three years in July at the PTPortugal Match Cup. Holmberg defeated Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie in the final. It was the Alinghi helmsman’s fourth victory in the Swedish Match Tour, which gathers top yachtsmen from around the world as it visits various global sailing venues. Holmberg was the 2002-3 Tour Champion.

Newport gets Nautor Swan

In news from the North, it has been announced that Nautor Swan will be establishing its first ever US headquarters, in Newport, Rhode Island. Nautor USA, to be based at the Newport Shipyard, anticipates a considerable investment push into the US market.

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