Peter and JJ Isler to Chair the Pro Am Regatta

Sailing Greats Come to Bitter End for Pro Am Regatta

Beginning on Oct. 30th the BEYC’s 18th annual Pro Am Regatta will invite amateur guests, pros and juniors to race on their Hunter
216s and Freedom 30s. This year, the Pro list reads like the Who’s Who of sailing: Russell Coutts, three-time America’s Cup winner; Peter Holmberg,Match Race World Champion and America’s Cup helmsman; and Lowell North of North Sails. The honorary regatta chairs are an America’s Cup racer, an Olympian and co-authors of Sailing for Dummies: Peter and JJ Isler.

Leading up to this event will be JJ Isler’s Women on the Water Week, Oct. 23-30. Women learn from the pros including two-time Olympic medalist JJ Isler, world cruiser Pam Wall, offshore racer Martha Parker and master-educator Captain Joan Gilmore. It is
great to have international premier events like this held in the BVI.

The dangers of kayaking

Recently a group of environmentalists, documentary journalists and film-makers ran into trouble while kayaking through the Virgin Islands. With a goal of filming the environmental activities going on in our islands, they suffered a serious delay in Tortola after paddling from Anegada. It seems that their disgruntled Captain left with their provisions and two kayaks, according to their PR person Imac Morales.

Amigos Del Mar (Friends of the Sea), is a group that is known for their daring skills anyway. The activists started out on a five-day kayak trip from the Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico when the trouble began. The man hired to take care of their cameras absconded with the kayaks and the gear – leaving the film-makers enraged and stranded. However, things being as they are in the BVI, they were able to obtain two more kayaks to continue the trip.

“We will not stop. It will be difficult – much more difficult. This undertaking has been a real problem in terms of time and human effort,” Morales told All At Sea. “But we are still committed to bringing back a message of environmental conservation.” The good news is that we were able to help them out. Isn’t that what good neighbors are all about?

In size, but not spirit, we are the smallest!

I realize that the BVI’s Olympic competitor, Dion Crabbe, is a sprinter and not a sailor but I feel that I just have to say something about this young man representing our islands as the territory’s flag bearer during the opening ceremonies of the 28th Olympic Games in Athens.

Crabbe, who also carried the flag during the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, was totally impressed by the experience that he had at the Olympics. “Coming from a small country, sometimes I felt bad that I was the only person representing our islands, but it felt really good representing my people even if I did have to do it alone. It was really impressive though – the fireworks were like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

What Crabbe couldn’t know was what the TV commentator said as he announced the BVI contingency: “Well, the BVI may have the smallest field of competition but at least we now know why – they say it’s so beautiful there no one wants to leave!”

On August 12th, a day before the ceremonies, the BVI delegation was officially welcomed by Village Mayor Ioannis Manos. BVI sports journalist and friend, Dean Greenaway, received a gift on behalf of our delegation. Greenaway presented the Mayor with a bottle of Pussers Rum, a BVI Welcome Magazine and a BVI Olympic Committee pin. We’re proud of both Dean and Dion.

 

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