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Caribbean News – Mar 08

New CSA Newsletter

The Caribbean Sailing Association presented issue number one of its newsletter in January, with updated contact emails for CSA Measurers, details on upcoming regattas, and other good stuff.  Contact Petra Guilders for a copy:  [email protected]  www.caribbean-sailing.com.

Cape Air Named Official Airline

Cape Air has come onboard as official airline for the C.O.R.T. Series and for the Culebra Heineken International Regatta to be held March 14 – 16. The Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle Series includes the St. Croix International Regatta, the Culebra Heineken International Regatta, and the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival. Winners will be announced at the conclusion in Tortola.

Linton and Barkow honored

Lightning World Champion Jeff Linton (Tampa, Fla.) and Princess Sofia Trophy Yngling Champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) in January were named US SAILING’s 2007 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980, the awards recognize the outstanding on-the-water competitive achievement of an individual man and woman in the calendar year just concluded.  www.ussailing.org.

World ARC Draws 41 Participants

World ARC, a new circumnavigation rally organized and managed by the UK-based World Cruising Club (WCC), set off from Rodney Bay, St. Lucia on Wednesday, January 23 for a 15-month cruising adventure.  (See additional story in St. Lucia pages this month.) The route and timing were selected to benefit from seasonal weather conditions. Thirteen nations are represented, with the UK and Germany fielding the most participants. The largest yacht in the rally is an Oyster 82 – Tillymint, the smallest a Lagoon 380 – Lady Kay. Follow the fleet at www.worldcruising.com/worldarc  until their return to the Caribbean in March 2009.

La Guaira Billfish Shootout Scheduled April 8 to 13

Preparations are in full swing for Venezuela’s 14th annual International La Guaira Billfish Shootout tournament, the first leg of the Spanish Main Caribbean Series. Tournament Director Rick Alvarez advises that part of the proceeds from Shootout 2008 will be donated to Fundacion Amigos del Niño con Cancer (Friends of Children with Cancer Foundation), and a dinner and silent auction will raise funds for the cause. For online registration: www.intlbillfishtourns.com.

 Errol Flynn Marina & Shipyard Flies Blue Flag for 3rd Year

Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonia, Jamaica, is flying the Blue Flag, one of only three Caribbean marinas that presently hold this Blue Riband of marina compliance.   The designation is the watchword for marinas that are in total compliance with all environmental standards, make only minimal impact on our environment, and can measure up to the constant scrutiny of its rating committee.   Port Antonio is conducting a search for a contractor to operate its new, modern shipyard at Port Antonio.  For additional details, contact Dale Westin, Marina General Manager, at 876-993-3209 or [email protected].

Discovery Developers Announce Restructuring

Following the successful completion and opening of Discovery, the Super-Yacht Marina and the Marina Village at Marigot Bay, Doubloon International Ltd announced in January a corporate re-organisation as the group passes from the development stage to operations. The completed Marina Village—a waterfront retail and commercial complex at Marigot Bay serving both the hotel and marina—has been placed under the management of Bob Hathaway and his Marina management team.

Omayra leaving Curacao after 15 hours “at home”

The training ship of the Netherlands Antilles “Karla-Omayra”, a general cargo ship sailing under a time charter, named after the Dutch former minister Karla Peijs and her colleague Omayra Leeflang, is sailing around the world with students from Curacao. On January 9, Karla-Omayra visited her home port Willemstad, Curacao for the first time.  Only 15 hours later she was out at sea again and the ship set sail to Mobile Alabama and Vera Cruz in Mexico. Ku Kara Pa Laman means: facing the sea! The website is in Dutch but hundreds of photos speak their own language.  Reported by Els Kroon.

News Notes from Heineken St. Maarten Regatta, March 6 – 9

The Nature Foundation of Sint Maarten and the St. Martin Réserve Naturelle received donations from Heineken St. Maarten in January for conservation programmes on both side of the islands.  Over $3000 was raised through the sale of white ‘serious clean fun’ bracelets during the 2007 regatta.

Earlier this year, in cooperation with the St Maarten Pride Foundation, Heineken St. Maarten instituted a new beach cleanup program called bright beaches.  This enables non-profit organizations willing to eliminate trash from island beaches to access funds that Heineken St. Maarten has allocated from the sales of Heineken products, particularly Amstel Bright beer.

In regatta entertainment news, British-born Barbados resident Alison Hinds (“Queen of Soca”) performs on Saturday March 8, 2008. Headliner for the outdoor beach concert on Sunday, March 9th 2008, is Shaggy, a Jamaican-American reggae singer.  For regatta information:  www.heinekenregatta.com, or email: [email protected]

Port Louis Grenada Officially Opens 

The Port Louis Marina was officially opened at a ceremony on Friday January 4 just days after the news of a major joint venture arrangement between the de Savary Group and Camper & Nicholsons, which will invest 24 million US dollars to market and develop the Port Louis marina. The opening was attended by His Excellency Governor General Sir Daniel Williams, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Claris Modeste Curwen, Minister of Works, Hon Brenda Hood, Developer Peter De Savary, and Technical Director of Camper Nicholsons Bill Green.

Both the marina wall and 100 metre trestle dock are open with a capacity of up to 50 vessels all with full power, water and necessary infrastructure. The world’s largest private sailing yacht, the 88 metre (288ft) Maltese Falcon, called at Port Louis Grenada to pick up guests just after Christmas.

New Seaport Embarkation Rates on Anguilla

The Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, Investment, Commerce and Tourism of the Government of Anguilla has issued new rates for the island’s Embarkation Tax, payable by all visitors traveling though the seaports. The new rates, which became effective on January 1st, 2008, are adults: US$20.00 or EC$ 53.00, children (Under 12 years): US$ 10.00 or EC$ 26.50.  Day-trippers, Anguillians, residents of Anguilla, and residents of St. Martin/Saint Maarten will continue to pay US $5 for adults, with children under 12 free.
All at Sea confirmed that the tax applies to yachts as well. “If they are in Anguilla just for the day, then the day tax of $5.00 would apply. If staying overnight, then the $20 tax would be applicable,” advised a spokesman for the island.

More Local Media Support Urged for ARC

In assessing December’s Atlantic crossing by 235 yachts to St. Lucia, General Manager of Rodney Bay Marina Cuthbert Didier said that the lack of local St. Lucia media support and coverage had stood out like a sore thumb.  Otherwise, he reported that the event was a resounding success and that the 1,800 participants were very pleased with the welcome reception they received—not only at the Marina, but in St. Lucia generally.

“From all indications, speaking to the ARC participants, from interviews, from customer feedback, ARC 2007 was without a doubt a resounding success,” Didier said, adding that the presence of Prime Minister Stephenson King, Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet, and other dignitaries at the prize-giving ceremony on December 22 had ensured that the event closed on a very high note.

Didier said the Marina had signed a contract for the extension of the ARC in St. Lucia but added that there had been concerns because of the impending major works to be undertaken at the facility by the new owners, Island Global Yachting. He quoted World Cruising Club Managing Director Andrew Bishop as saying that he saw St. Lucia as “the home of the ARC.” On that basis, Didier said he didn’t see the event going to any other island, but it would be a challenge tearing down the docks and rebuilding them in time for ARC 2008.

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