"We’ll be happy at 30 entrants!" said St Lucia Yacht Club’s Christmas Festival Organizer, ex-commodore and J24’s aficionado Mike Green when asked by All At Sea on the progress of the December festival.
"ARC competitors who are looking to enjoy both St Lucia and the island’s myriad of organized events, families and anyone keen on J24 racing won’t regret enrolling for the event."
Held later than last year, it’s on the 26, 27 and 28th of December with the 25th (Christmas day no less) heralding not only the odd archangel (and of course Santa) but a beach barbeque and a certain amount of registration. Any changes from last year?
"It’s not broken so we won’t be fixing it," said Green. "J24 racing, big boat racing to Marigot Bay and back (largest entrant so far is a 60ft UK
Vessel.) And there will be a treasure hunt with the almost-famous frozen T-shirt start to the family event, and a sail past for the more gregarious of the sailing community—as always, a popular end to the festival."
So if you’re looking to stay in St Lucia, make some new friends and maybe win the odd trophy put late December aside. For more information: www.stluciayachtclub.com, telephone 1-758-452-8350, or email email@example.com.
Incidentally, Loose Cannon, the J24 so expertly skippered by the sartorially-elegant Frank Capers, who finished first in last year’s handicapped event (in perfect conditions, I may add), is allegedly up for sale. Capers was awarded an ambassadorial title after this year’s Bequia Easter Festival for his services to the sport, and rightly so; always a stalwart for local sailing participation, he deserved the recognition.
Loose Cannon’s last shot? Let’s hope not!
"The ARC started on September seven!"
So said St Lucia’s Rodney Bay Marina’s General Manager and Chairman of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) organizing committee, Cuthbert Didier. He was referring to the inaugural press briefing just in case you felt you’d been left on the Gran Canaria dock! According to Didier, ARC participants and this season’s visiting sailors can look forward to more security, better facilities and plenty to keep crews and family entertained in fair Helena.
Security first: twenty four hour surveillance, marina police, and the involvement of Rapid Response Units from nearby Gros Islet augment regular night and day patrols from the marina launch.
"We are also focusing on the docks, who visits, when, where and why," said Didier as he pointed to a computer screen divided into four, showing who was where on the busy piers.
Facilities next: Upgrades include improved electrical dockside facilities and refurbished washrooms and, judging by the number of vessels still here from the previous ARC (15), everything from engine repairs to sail making, which continues to give local craftsmen a steady income.
Finally, entertainment: a real treat! Events mooted for the upcoming event include such diverse activities as body building, boxing, a lecture by Chris Doyle, steel pan and, of course, the St Lucia Yacht Club’s Sailing Regatta . . . something for everyone!
Didier plans regular press briefings before and during the ARC and ended our interview with this quote: "We have a fantastic ARC to look forward to and St Lucia looks forward to hosting the ARC for many years to come." St Lucia feels the same!