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Yacht Club of the Month – Anguilla Sailing Association

The ASA was started by a group of volunteers in 2003 under the Friendly Societies Act of Anguilla, for the purpose of promoting sailing and seamanship throughout Anguilla. Anguilla has a rich sailing history and the national sport of Anguilla is boat racing with about fifteen locally built, wooden boats competing each season from Easter Monday through the first week of August (Carnival) when there is a boat race every day.

The purpose of the ASA is to bring different aspects of sailing to the general public in Anguilla. We are busy planning the third annual Anguilla “Mix Up” Regatta and we use the regatta as a means to promote the Association as well as a way to raise funds for our Youth Sailing School that will be up and running in the next few months. Through the Youth Program, we will teach young Anguillians all about sailing and will begin with swimming, safety, rigging, basic seamanship and etiquette. We have purchased eight Optimist Dinghies and have secured the use of a building on the beach in Sandy Ground/Road Bay as our headquarters.

The original members are as follows: Richard & Maryse West, Sir Emile Gumbs, Malcolm Hope Ross, Luke Thomas, Laurie Gumbs, Peter Parles.

This year’s regatta will take place on May 6th, 7th and 8th and will consist of the Around the Island race on Friday, May 6th, the round the buoys race on Saturday, May 7th and on Sunday we have our “Mix-Up” races where the crews from the local Anguilla boats race on the yachts in the morning and the yacht crew race on the Local boats in the afternoon. Sunday’s races are what make the Anguilla Regatta different from most others as we incorporate the local culture into the traditional regatta setting. The local crews love having the opportunity to sail on the yachts and the yacht crews really enjoy their experience on the local boats – two very different types of sailing. The two races on Sunday use the same course as the Saturday race.

We have several volunteers who have helped out every year and they include our founding members as well as Peter Quinn & Judie Guthrie, Steve Donahue, George & Pat Petrilak, Reg Lake, Garfield’s Sea Tours and many others. The Government of Anguilla has played an integral role in making this happen through the help of the Anguilla Tourist Board and, in particular, Briggy Tomlinson and Amelia Vanterpool-Kubisch. We also get a tremendous amount of support from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and the organizing committee from the Heineken Regatta. Mirian Leffers, Robbie Ferron, the Rappleys and others have volunteered their time every year and have acted as officials and organizers. We could not do this event without their assistance. We also have over fifty sponsors! From local car rental agencies to international corporations, everyone has chipped in to make this event a success.

Anyone needing more information about the 2005 Anguilla “Mix-Up” Regatta can go to our web site at www.anguillaregatta.com or call (264) 235-8300 or (264) 476-7867.

Peter Parles
Anguilla Sailing Association
peter@strawhat.com

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