Fishing, Festivities and Fees

Fishing, Festivities and Fees

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British Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, USVI native Taylor Canfield and crew won the last race in 2015. As of World Sailing’s rankings for July 13, 2016, Taylor is the number one ranked match racer in the world. Photo: Bitter End Yacht Club, BVI

The Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC) is one of the world’s best resorts for sailors, from its nearly always placid North Sound Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands setting to its over 100 vessel fleet of monohull sailboats, performance catamarans and windsurfers. It’s in this vein of catering to sailors of all skills that the BEYC started its Pro Am Regatta 30 years ago. The event is set for October 22-29 this year and pairs professional sailors with amateurs during a week chock-full of festivities that includes fleet racing, team racing and match racing. “We are pulling out all the stops for our 30th anniversary,” says John Glynn, vice president of sales and marketing. “The skipper’s list includes past winners like Ed Baird and Taylor Canfield, plus crowd favorites and industry legends like Dave Perry and Dave Ullman, plus three to five other skippers to be announced.” The event is sailed in IC 24s, a modified J/24 design, with four guests per boat and a rotating pro sailor on the helm. In addition to the racing, guests and pros can mingle at nightly dinners, cocktail cruises and entertaining gatherings. Guests can ask the pros pointed questions about the America’s Cup, Olympics, One Design Racing, and other topics at the highly anticipated Scuttlebutt “State of the Sport” Forum. Cruisers are welcome at the cocktail functions and, in some instances, can join the racing fun. The Pro Am’s Defiance Day coastal races to The Baths for lunch and back are open to all boats, including cruising catamarans. beyc.com/compete

Fishing on B.V.I. charters

As of July 1st, The Moorings power catamaran fleet in the B.V.I. are registered fishing vessels, which allows charter guests to fish after obtaining a proper fishing license. The decision to register the yachts followed a reinforced fishing policy by the B.V.I. government. Fishing in the B.V.I. is highly rated with plentiful amounts of tarpon, kingfish and barracuda. moorings.com

U.S.V.I. mooring fee increase

Unchanged for more than 20 years, annual costs for anchoring and mooring in the U.S.V.I. were increased in May to $10/foot for pleasure craft, $15/foot for liveaboards and $20/foot for commercial craft. Visiting craft can still moor or drop anchor for free for up to 14 days per year; moorings in the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John still charge a fee for overnight use.

Trio of Billfishing Tournaments

Whether you’re cruising to the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles or further south to the ABC islands this month, you’ll find a great billfishing tournament. The Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament takes place October 1-8 out of the same-named port on the northeast coast of Jamaica. The week of angling for big blues is punctuated by a native canoe fishing tournament on the layday plus nightly parties. Next up is the Varadero Aruba Caribbean Cup set for October 20-23 out of Varadero Marina & Boatyard in Aruba; the opportunity to catch a Grand Slam has long hooked anglers on this event. Finally, the St. Lucia International Billfish Tournament is scheduled for October 25-29 out of Island Global Yachting’s Rodney Bay Marina on St. Lucia. Newly placed fish aggregration devices (FADs) should increase the likelihood of fantastic fishing as well as an opportunity to break the island’s 707-pound blue marlin record and win a new car. jamaicasportsfishing.com; preschallenge.com; facebook.com/slugamefishingassociation

By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating Magazine October 2016