The St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies has agreed to host the A Class tall ship Christian Radich when it arrives in St. Maarten January 3-6 2013 as part of the Norwegian vessel’s Caribbean itinerary that includes stop-overs in St. Lucia and Antigua.
The news was announced by President of the Caribbean Sail Training Association (CSTA) Jan Roosens whose foundation has been promoting the visits of tall ships and sail training vessels to the islands for many years.
Built in 1937, the 1,050 ton vessel is a full rigged three-masted steel hull with an overall length of 73 metres (204ft) including the bowsprit and has a width of 9.7metres. She can reach speeds of 10 knots under engine power and 14 knots under sail. She has a draft of 4.7 metres (15ft).
Roosens said he was delighted that Great Bay Harbour is cooperating on the visit.
“We have reached agreements with ports and marinas on several islands where we receive through the CSTA reduced rates and sometimes these sail training ships don’t pay at all because they are very costly to maintain,” he noted. “Many port authorities and governments are helping the CSTA because they want to see more of these magnificent vessels visiting their islands.”
Christian Radich will receive free ship agent services from Yacht Assistance not only in St. Maarten but other islands where it docks. According to CSTA part of the harbour costs will be covered by sponsors such as Maritime School of the West Indies (MSWI), St. Maarten-St. Martin Classic Yacht Club, and others.
The ship will be open to the public at the cruise ship pier on Saturday January 5 2013 from 9:00am to 4:30pm. The Harbour has expressed enthusiasm for the visit, expressing confidence the ship will be well received by the public.
Two young persons who will be taking a special interest in this visit are David Jeffers and David Benjamin. Five years ago the two St. Maarten sail trainees with the assistance of CSTA were placed on the Christian Radich for a leg of a tall ship race from Bergen, Norway, to Holland. They have been invited on board for the open day with their families.
Christian Radich accommodates 88 passengers and 18crew. She is well known internationally through her appearance in the 1958 film “Windjammer” and the 1970s BBC TV series “The Onedin Line.” She took part in the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration in the USA and Operation Sail parade in New York in the same year.
The vessel was originally built to train sailors for the Norwegian merchant navy. From 1999 on the ship has been on the charter market as well as sailing with paying trainees to foreign ports on summer trips, and participates in the Cutty Sark Tall Ship Race and other sail events in Europe.