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Yacht Club News – Sept 07

Antigua Yacht Club

Antiguan yacht Mariella has been racing again but this time with maximum exposure.  Carlo Falcone and crew were in Valencia, Spain for the 32nd America’s Cup, yachting’s Holy Grail, and Carlo’s son Shannon was crew aboard Luna RossaMariella was right in the America’s Cup village with the Antiguan flag flying proudly. Carlo competed in classic regattas in the Mediterranean with a first place finish in Argentario and another Panerai trophy.

The yacht was victorious in Antigua Classic racing before crossing to Europe to compete in various regattas. The next event for Carlo this summer was an invitational regatta in Lake Garda, Northern Italy, racing in the RC 44, a yacht designed Russell Coutts, the famous America’s Cup helmsman, under the name Team Antigua. For more info see www.rc44.comMariella will compete in various other regattas before her voyage home in October.

Bequia

The Bequia Sailing Club’s 27th annual Bequia Easter Regatta will be held from March 20 – 24, 2008.  Yacht Classes will include Racing (Spinnaker) Class (CSA rated boats only); Cruising I Class (non spinnaker – CSA rated boats only);  Cruising II ( fun handicap for non-CSA-rated boats, liveaboards, etc,); and J24. Local boat competition is for local double ender boats from Bequia and the Grenadine islands.  For more information, telephone 784 457 3649, email bsc@caribsurf.com, or go to www.begos.com/easterregatta.

Cuba

Members of the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba (HIYC of Cuba) and its Commodore Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich offered a warm welcome on May 31 to hundreds of guests from the Cuban government, Diplomatic Corps, and international delegations.  Kuno Ritschard, President of the International Water Ski Federation, and Clive Smith, President of the Cayman Islands Angling Club, attended.

Captain Julio Arocha Garrido donated the rod line used by the Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz to fish during the Ernest Hemingway Billfish Fishing Tournament in 1960.  On this occasion, the Cuban leader was winner of the event with five marlins, but it was also the first and only time the President and Ernest Hemingway met—and the last Ernest Hemingway Billfish Tournament in which Hemingway would participate.  The rod line will be displayed in the Club’s Hall.  Other activities included the "Ernest Hemingway and Sportfishing" Conference, Optimist and Windsurf Races, a Marathon, and Rowing and Kayak Competitions.

The yacht club is member of International Game Fish Association (IGFA) and Commodore Escrich is its Representative in Cuba. The introduction of Tag and Release method in Cuba by the commodore has contributed to promote the sport fishing in Cuba, and particularly the Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Fishing Tournaments, qualifying events for the IGFA Offshore World Championship 2008.

British Virgin Islands

In 2007, Tortola’s West End Yacht Club continued to modify the format of its races to meet the changing demographics of sailing in the BVI. With its goal of running the best “Fungattas” in the Caribbean, the club is well known for its tradition of prizes for everyone. In 2007 the “Sweethearts” was the biggest anyone could remember, with eight Schooners and a record entry into the Classics, Single hander and Sweetheart Couples events. The Dark and Stormy grows each year attracting folks from the USVI and BVI to the three-day family event. At Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta, this year’s addition of “Classic Plastic” added some new stalwart entries. For non-sailors the Firecracker party is hotted up by the annual Chili contest while Foxy’s Cat Fight and Halloween party is still a unique opportunity for multi-hulls to show their paces.

With the announcement of the 2008 calendar, Commodore Martin van Houten noted that “many avid sailors are maturing into family men and we are getting more interest for family rendezvous-type events that can include boats and kids of all ages.”  The club uses its modest membership and event fees to make donations to other sailing organizations such as KATS, the Tortola Sloops, or the Women Against Violence Everywhere (WAVE) sailing team.  This year WEYC presented an Optimist Dinghy to the RBVIYC Youth sailing program.

The club’s 2008 Regatta Calendar includes:  February 15 – 17, 30th Annual Sweethearts of the Caribbean and 26th Annual Classic Yacht Regatta; March 7 – 10, 11th Annual Dark and Stormy Regatta; May 23 – 25, 34th Annual Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta;  July 4 – 5, 17th Annual Firecracker 500 Race; October 24 – 26, 11th Annual Foxy’s Cat Fight; and December 5 – 6, Gustav Wilmerding 18th Annual Memorial Challenge.  Contact:  Commodore Martin van Houten at 284 495-1002 or email mvh@surfbvi.comwww.weyc.net

Grenada

The Grenada Sailing Association elected new President Russ Fielden, True Blue Bay Resort & Villas, at its recent Annual General Meeting. He takes over from Jacqui Pascall, Horizon Yacht Charters, who is stepping down after three years in the post. Jacqui will remain on the Association’s Executive in her position as Treasurer, with James Benoit, representing Grenada Yacht Club, as Vice President and Sarah Baker as Secretary.

In handing over to Fielden, Jacqui Pascall highlighted the progress that the Association was making, particularly in its Youth Sailing Program. She announced that the latest development was the initiation of an Instructor Training Course, made possible with valuable funding from the Olympic Association through its Talent Identification Programme. Three talented local sailors have been identified to take part: Kevin Banfield, Michael McQueen, and Vaughn Bruno, who will undertake an intensive program led by GSA Instructor Nick Stephens.  

For the first time, Grenada was represented by two adult crews in the Caribbean One Design Keelboat Championships held in June in St. Maarten. Robbie Yearwood skippered one crew of Patrick Brathwaite and Lawrence Tod, and second skipper Mark Solomon was joined by Kevin Banfield and Brian Sylvester. The crews raced in a fleet of identical Sun Fast 20 boats, and gained valuable race experience.

The trip was made possible with invaluable sponsorship support and the Grenada Sailing Association thanks Bryden & Minors; Geo.F.Huggins & Co. Ltd.; Horizon Yacht Charters, St.Maarten and Terry Neilson. For further information on the association, contact Jacqui Pascall, 439 1000, or Sarah Baker, 456 0914.

St. Croix

The St. Croix Yacht Club, U.S. Virgin Islands, has set dates for its next international regatta:  Registration is Friday, February 8, 2008, with racing on Saturday & Sunday, February 9 – 10.  “In 2008 we plan to add point to point races (i.e. not around the buoys) for the Performance Cruising, Racer Cruiser, and Multihull classes,” says past commodore and regatta director Juliet San Martin.

St. Thomas

St. Thomas Yacht Club, United States Virgin Islands, in conjunction with their title sponsor St. Thomas Radiology announces that the 2nd Annual St. Thomas Radiology Women’s Regatta and Tennis Tournament will be held from Nov 9th – 11th, 2007. “This festive weekend designed and catered to our female athletes was a great success last year,” says club manager Bill Canfield. “We will be sailing in laser radials, laser 4.7’s and Club 420’s. This year a Master’s division will be added to encourage more participation from the ‘older’ set. In tennis we will have three divisions and doubles.” For information: styc@vipowernet.net

Canfield says that the club’s women match racers are proudly holding up a 2nd place trophy from the Mayors Cup in Long Beach, California. Verian Aguilar and Kelly O’Brien were asked to join the crew of a stateside entry in this women’s only match race event. Racing for the first time on a 37-ft boat, the VI girls were a major part of the crew and have been asked back again for the next event in Martha’s Vineyard later this summer. 

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