6th Golden Rock Regatta to start in November from St. Maarten, N.A.
If all goes according to plan then on October 10th, 2010 the Caribbean Islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba leave the Curacao controlled Dutch Antilles and gain the new status of “special territory” equivalent to a Municipality of the Netherlands. Thus the Dutch border moves 2.500 miles closer to the US! If any changes to the new political status are made depends on the new Dutch Parliament which at this time is in the process of forming. For St. Eustatius the changes offer the chance to come out of the limelight and come to the attention of potential tourists among the Yachting fraternity.
Race from island to island.
Since 2005 St. Eustatius, historically know as ‘The Golden Rock’, is the destination of an international Yacht Race, with among them teams from the US and the Netherlands. The ‘Golden Rock Regatta’ as this event is called, takes place from November 13 – 17 and was founded to highlight the historical ties between the U.S. and the relatively undiscovered island of St. Eustatius (Statia).
The concept of the Golden Rock Regatta consists of 5 days racing with ideal sailing conditions, from island nation to island nation. Competing teams generally consist of 6 – 10 participants who charter out of St. Martin and in addition to the racing come to enjoy the hospitality and diversity of the islands that make up the event.
As in previous years a number of US teams compete, among them groups of business associates, families and friends who are drawn by this exceptionally pleasant way of combining sport/networking/tourism! The route differs from year to year with “Statia Day” on November 16 as one of the event’s consistent highlights. This time the islands of Anguilla and St.Barts are included in the program.
During the Dutch Golden Age the island of St. Eustatius played an important role as entrepÃ´t between Europe and the Americas. During the War of Independence, on November 16, 1776, the brig Andrew Doria flying the new US flag received the “First Salute” from a foreign power out of the guns of Fort Orange on the island of St. Eustatius. The local inhabitants are till this day, extremely proud of these events and celebrate the Salute with a week of celebrations culminating in a reenactment in the fort.
When control is handed back to the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the 10th of October, history is being rewritten once more!
The entries for the coming edition of the Golden Rock Regatta are already in an advanced state. However, a number of yachts are still available for charter on St. Maarten, Tortola and Antigua.
The experience level of each team varies from charterers looking for a wonderful vacation to hard-core yacht racers who sail their own, high-tech boats. To form a charter team, an experienced skipper is required with one or two experienced sailors to function as mates.
Kate, the wooden 12-meter yacht built on St. Kitts, has been chartered for this year’s Golden Rock and is looking for competition. There are several other wooden boats for charter in the area and are looking for crews to give Kate a run for her money.
For more information; www.goldenrockregatta.com.