Caribbean Sailing Association
In a recent CSA newsletter, President Cary Byerley reported on the experiences of Rhone Findlay of St. Maarten who competed against a record entry of 450 boats in the British National Optimist Championships. Congratulations, Rhone, on winning the Volvo Eco Challenge Logo art competition, which will be used by Volvo in their worldwide sailing-related publicity!
The newsletter also included a report by Alfred Koolen on CSA’s expansion in Venezuela and the ABC islands. In addition to Bonaire (see report this issue), Curacao will use the CSA Rule in their Heineken Regatta this November. And at the invitation of Mr. Thomas Pollehne from Venezuela, a former Sunfish world champion, Koolen travelled to Caracas and measured seven boats in the Puerto Azul Yacht Club.
British Virgin Islands
Club Manager Emma Paull at the Royal BVIYC reports that the sailing programme is getting bigger and the club will have a new instructor arriving from the UK. “Will is a RYA Senior Instructor and Powerboat Instructor,” wrote Paull, who was looking in August for a club member willing to donate air miles for Will’s flight.
José Miguel Díaz Escrich, Commodore of Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, and Dr. Maria E. Ibarra, Director of the Marine Research Centre of the University of Havana, recently signed a cooperation agreement through which the club will contribute to increase knowledge about marine flora and fauna.
Cooperation on the Club’s side involves research on highly migratory species that come to Cuban waters, such as sharks, marlins, turtles, marine mammals and other pelagic animals. Club members will allow their boats and crews to be used for scientific research purposes carried out by the Marine Research Centre and scientists from foreign institutions that cooperate with this centre. As representative of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) in Havana, Commodore Escrich introduced in Cuba the tag and release method in 1998.
Trinidad & Tobago
The Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association continues to join the battle against cancer as its President David Leighton handed over a cheque for one million dollars to the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society in Port of Spain in July. Over five million dollars have been raised by the association since their Annual International Cancer Benefit Regatta was launched in 2000. April’s event featured four racing classes as favourable weather conditions and enthusiastic sailors took to the waters off TTSA’s Headquarters in Chaguaramas.
Since 2004, the Sailing Association has donated a state-of-the-art Colposcopy Unit, a Mobile Mammography Unit and a High Resolution Ultrasound Unit. The funds this year will be used to maintain Vitas House, a Hospice which will provide 15 terminally ill cancer patients with palliative care when its doors open this year. In 2007, funds were used to renovate Vitas House which was donated to the Cancer Society by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
Thirty Five avid sailors on seven boats raced the Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s Statia/Nevis Offshore Regatta the last weekend in July. The race started in Simpson Bay on Friday morning and finished for the day in Statia after an average of five hours of sailing. During the organized buffet and entertainment at the Old Gin House, old friends met up again after the long break in regular offshore regattas. Only the young sailors had energy for Statia’s Jouvert Jump-up in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The race was on again to Nevis Saturday morning. The average time for this leg of the regatta was 4½ hours, and the festivities were held at Oualie Beach Resort. With an early start on Sunday morning, the fleet made their way back to St. Maarten. This final leg covering over 60 nautical miles took the boats an average of 8½ hours to complete. Prize Giving was held at the Yacht Club at 6:30pm. Panic Attack aced first place in the Racing class, with Kick ‘em Jenny second and Too Rhum Punch in third. Cruising class was won by Presidente Pretty Woman, followed by Antares, Bakahiria and Caribella. www.smyc.com