St. Maarten News

SCYE 2006

The 3 rd St Maarten Charter Yacht Exhibition (SCYE) will take place December 2-5, 2006, according to the St Maarten Marine Trades Association. Chairs for 2006 will be Georgette Adamou, Kass Halliday-Johnson, Valeska Luckert and Ann E McHorney.

One priority this year will be an improved airlift between St Maarten and Antigua, in order to make life easier for agents traveling between the two consecutive shows. As ever, though, the aim will be to lay on a world class yacht exhibition and raise money for local youth training schemes.

Classic Yacht Regatta

By popular demand, the 2nd St Maarten Classic Yacht Regatta has been moved from the beginning of December to the third weekend of January, 2007. While 2005’s debut was well-received, with an awesome buffet at La Samannah hotel, many yachts were unable to attend due to the event’s early timing. In addition, a January regatta does away with any insurance concerns for competitors booked for charter during the season, as they will not be required to be in the Caribbean before December 1.

Registration will take place on January 18, with a VIP party at La Palapa marina. Races will again be run from Simpson Bay up to Baie Rouge. Added this year, though, are ‘bath tub’ races, local sail boat racing from Anguilla and St Martin, and a proper beach party on Kim Sha.

French side update

With the new breakwater to combat swell in Marigot Bay nearing completion, this season has been a bumper one for the Marina Fort Louis. A handful of megayachts have joined scores of cruising yachts in making the marina home for 2006.

Now plans have been announced for a new marina, to keep up with the demand from the mega yacht sector. A French-side delegation visited the Miami Sea Trade in March on a fact-finding mission and returned with the conclusion that the need for action is more urgent than ever to keep up with the sector’s growth. A bidding process will shortly be opened, with the chosen project beginning construction as early as 2008.

In addition, the construction of a cruise ship pier is to be included in any new development.

While the Dutch side of the island has witnessed a boom in marine developments – Bobby’s Marina in Great Bay and the Boat Yard in Cole Bay, Aquamarine, Cupecoy Beach Club to name but a few – progress has been less steady on the French side. If this project does go ahead, the island as a whole could soon boast a staggering seven megayacht marinas and two cruise ship terminals dotted around just 37 square miles.

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