Major Caribbean regattas go on for 2018, despite hurricanes
Rain doesn’t stop the Carnival and neither will the devastating 1-2 punch of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September stop the region’s major spring 2018 regattas. The regattas go on as planned.
In fact, recovery is already well underway, says Michelle van der Werff, director of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, March 1-4, 2018. “Although high numbers of yachts were destroyed and the St. Maarten Yacht Club’s docks and decks were damaged, much of the marine infrastructure is still intact, including sail lofts, riggers and chandleries. By mid-November, a boat owner coming to the island won’t notice any difference.”
Likewise, the St. Thomas Yacht Club was damaged as well as some of the Club’s fleet. However, “we’re determined to hold our 45th annual regatta as the sailing grounds are as magnificent as ever, and it’s the camaraderie of returning teams and new ones that keep us moving forward,” says Chuck Pessler, director of the St. Thomas International Regatta, March 23-25, 2018.
Positive goals for the future are important in the aftermath of a major storm and staging the B.V.I. Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, March 26-April 1, 2018, is a driving force for Director Judy Petz and her committee, Petz says. “The B.V.I. sailing community has been so gracious and encouraging, and that’s enabled us to start work on hosting our 2018 regatta. Our challenge may be housing, so the more boats that come self-contained the better. The new docks will be in place at Nanny Cay Marina, so our regatta home will be there.”
Les Voiles de St. Barth will take place as planned, April 8-14, 2018, as will Antigua Sailing Week, April 28-May 4, 2018. “Even though Antigua was not touched, as an independent nation we have our storm-damaged sister island of Barbuda to support,” says Regatta Commercial Director Alison Sly-Adams. “We invite sailors to attend our regatta as the best way to support our islands.”
Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating November 2017