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St. Maarten Yacht Club Increases Fleet by 11 to Increase Local Sailing Participation

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A Progress Ceremony at the St. Maarten Yacht Club’s (SMYC) Sailing School in January recognized the success of four months of free sailing classes offered to 24 students from two local primary schools. It was also the perfect time to introduce sailors, their parents and SMYC members to the 11 new additions to the fleet. Six of these are RS Zests, which are replacing the Club’s Laser Pico Fleet, and 5 are SailQubes, purchased to add to the Optimist Fleet. Funds to purchase the boats came via R4CR (Resources 4 Community Resilience, a program implemented by VNG International, funded by the World Bank Trust Fund for St. Maarten, and created to assist the island in the aftermath of 2017’s hurricanes.

“RS Zests are very functional boats for use in sailing classes. They can be sailed by children on their own or together, using the jib, but can be sailed by adults as well. Even an instructor can take a few smaller children in the boat with them to instruct. The SailQubes are very functional for the younger and beginning Optimist Sailors. The boats are easy to maintain and because they are self-bailing, the kids don’t have to bail out their boat after capsizing,” explains Saskia Revelman, the SMYC’s sailing school manager and sailing instructor.

These new boats will enable the SMYC to continue growing its Primary School Sailing Program, allowing for more local youth to be introduced to sailing and the marine industry. www.smyc.com 

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

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