Island Marine

Island Marine (927)

The 2016 edition of Antigua Sailing Week is set to be one of the world's most cosmopolitan regattas and there is still time to join in the thrill of sailing and partying at one of the world's best sailing regattas. Several charter options have become available for both the Bareboat fleet and the CSA racing fleet.
Antigua Sailing Week has always attracted the big entries, and this year's current list includes 28 competing yachts at 50 feet and over. Tony Langley's TP52, Gladiator stands out amongst the fast, professionally crewed yachts.  Owner/driver Langley counts multiple world champion, Cameron Appleton and Volvo Ocean Race winner, Jules Salter amongst an all-star crew.  Classics from yachting history include Kialoa III, which was one of the most well-known of Jim Kilroy's maxis and best remembered for her line honours victory in the 1975 Sydney Hobart when she broke the race record which stood for 21 years.  Piet Vroon, with over 25 Fastnet races under his belt, is a recent entry with his new Tonnerre 4 which has already proven to be tough to beat on the water.
Volvo 60 Ambersail - Credit Tim Wright/
The entry list for the 2016 Antigua Sailing Week is bristling with proven winners including 2016 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta winners, El Ocaso, Ambersail, Dingo, Scarlet Oyster and Wild Devil. Past Antigua Sailing Week champions on the list include: Lee Overlay Partners, Scarlet Oyster, Biwi Magic, Caccia alla Volpe, Quokka and Sleeper. This year's competition at Antigua Sailing Week looks as hot as ever.
Recognised as one of the best sailing locations in the world, Antigua is bracing itself for an influx of sailors and yachts from at least 22 two different countries. The largest number of yachts by country will be Great Britain joined by crews from Antigua, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, St. Maarten, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad and the United States of America. Over 1,000 sailors will be making the journey to the mecca of Caribbean sailing for a week of superb racing and fantastic parties.
Round Antigua Race & Guadeloupe to Antigua Race 
The regatta offers two stand-alone long distance races, prior to five days of coastal and round the cans races. The 42-mile Guadeloupe to Antigua Race, (Friday, April 22) and the 54-mile Round Antigua Race, (Saturday, April 23). The Round Antigua Race is a classic with competitors who experience ocean racing on the windward side of Antigua and dramatic views of the island's fabulous coves and beaches. The circular course gives the teams an opportunity to get every sail out of the bag before the main regatta. Both of the races are open to boats of all types, whether or not entered in Antigua Sailing Week. The long distance races provide an opportunity for crews to gain several hours of practice in preparation for the week ahead.
Five Days of Racing & Parties
Antigua Sailing Week's full week of racing starts on Sunday, April 24 and concludes Friday, April 29. Racing takes place around laid marks and point to point courses in the world famous sailing grounds off the south coast of Antigua. Daily prize givings are held at the Presidente Beer Garden at Antigua Yacht Club, which provide great opportunities for sailors to meet other teams. The Final Awards Presentation and after party is held in the historic surroundings of Nelson's Dockyard. Wednesday, 27 April is the Presidente Lay Day Beach Party with fun and games on Pigeon Beach, featuring the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge.  Eight invited teams will race for a top prize of one weeks' bed and breakfast accommodation including use of sailing equipment at Antigua's luxury sailing resort, Nonsuch Bay Resort.
Pinel - Sunsail fleet Credit Tim Wright/
Bareboat Charters
Regatta sponsor Sunsail has just released more charter options including two Sunsail 44i yachts and one Sunsail 50, both of which could fit nicely into bareboat one-design classes. German charter company KH+P has supported Antigua Sailing Week for over 25 years and has late availability for race crews and/or spectators on Oceanis 45 bareboat models.
CSA Racing Charters
In the CSA Racing classes, Yuri Fadeev's 80-foot Maxi, Weddel still has individual places available. Andy Middleton reports that Grand Soleil 43 Quokka, winner of class at Antigua Sailing Week 2013, is available. Individual places are available or a team of up to seven people would make the proven winner available at a discount.  David Ballantyne's J/133 Jings! currently has five charter guests but can take up to seven more at a discounted price.
Don't miss out on Antigua Sailing Week.  There are several charter options available - visit the dedicated race charter page at 
Flights are still available via Virgin Atlantic. The Official Exclusive UK Airline Sponsor of Antigua Sailing Week operates three flights weekly between Antigua and London flying Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Virgin Atlantic is offering preferred rates to participants of Antigua Sailing Week and friends/family. Contact and mention "ASW travel request" to qualify for these preferred rates.
For those owners looking to ship yachts back to Europe after Antigua Sailing Week, exclusive yacht transport sponsor, Peters & May has organised a special service from Antigua to Southampton, Genoa and Palma after the regatta with loading windows from 5th-20th May.  For more information:  .

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands - The BVI Sailing Festival Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup and Nanny Cay Challenge started promptly at 09:30 on Tuesday morning in seas a little rougher than normal due to last week's high winds, and an easterly breeze of 18+ knots.

The trimaran Triple Jack, owned by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis (BVI), charged off the start to an early lead in the CSA Multihull class, making its way around the island in corrected time of 3:46:38, taking first place overall in the 2016 Nanny Cay Cup.

Woolridge commented: "It was a beautiful day for it, the wind was perhaps a little more than forecasted, blowing a good 18 at the start and gusting 20+. We had a very fast trip down the north side with the spinnaker up, jousting with SPOOKIE and while they started after us, it was great finishing before them. We did break our main halyard on the last beat up from West End and there was also a large cruise ship in West End which made tacking through the Narrows interesting."
Davis said: "Having raced Triple Jack since 1998, improving our performance over the years has been a combination of racing conditions and doing a lot of work on the boat as she was built in 1979. She's like an old MG so we do have to be a little careful!"
Trimaran Triple Jack, owned by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis (BVI) win the 2016 Nanny Cay Cup © Todd VanSickle
Penalized by an over early in the start of the CSA Racing Class was not enough to hold back TP52 SPOOKIE, owned by Steve and Heidi Benjamin (USA) from taking first in class. More significantly, however, SPOOKIE broke the Monohull Nanny Cay Challenge record in an elapsed time of 3:08:43, a whopping 21 minutes off the previous record of 03:29:44, set in March 2013 by Peter Corr's Aiyana, an Alia 82. With a new record under his belt, Steve Benjamin, SPOOKIE's skipper, was one happy guy when his boat pulled into the dock after a fantastic ride around Tortola.
"We were really trying to get inside that record for the Nanny Cay Challenge," Benjamin explained. "Once we got into the lead after our over early start, we beat all the way to the top of the island, fetched the rocks at the top then set a fractional code zero and took off on a screaming reach which was beautiful and proceeded to get lifted on starboard as the wind went right, so we set our 4A, our bigger spinnaker. I guess we hit 21 knots, saw gusts to 23 and had a beautiful run down the back side of the island, making it in one jibe and planing a lot of the time. It was really fantastic!"
The team will certainly enjoy their Nanny Cay Challenge prize: a jeroboam of "Drappier" champagne, sponsored by Tico, a BVI distributor, dinner for 15 crew at Peg Legs restaurant at Nanny Cay, and a donation of $250 to benefit BVI youth sailing, which the team has generously matched.
Steve and Heidi Benjamin's TP52 SPOOKIE  © Todd VanSickle
In the Racing class, John Bamberger's Canadian Farr 45 Spitfire was also over early at the start, having to return to the line along with SPOOKIE, while the remainder of the 11-strong fleet took off in a tight bunch. TP52 Team Magnitude - Conviction, skippered by Doug Baker (USA) initially took the lead before being caught by SPOOKIE and finishing second in class. Quokka-Performance Yacht Charters, the Grand Soleil 43 skippered by Christian Reynolds, took third.
Renato Faria and his Brazilian team steered his Dufour 500 Ventaneiro 3 to an early lead and first place in the CSA Cruising Class, followed by Peter Hopps' British Sigma 38, Sam of Hamble who have competed twice before with Patricia Nolan's Moorings 445, Seabiscuit from Tortola.
Winner of the Bareboat class with Sunsail 441, Warvor, sailed by Willem Ellement, NED © Todd VanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta
Warvor, the Sunsail 44i skippered by Willem Ellemeet and his team from the Netherlands took first in CSA Bareboat, with Larry Caillouet's Sunsail 50, Mary Jewell from Kentucky, USA in third place in the competitive Bareboat fleet.
Wednesday takes the fleet racing to Scrub Island, located off the north east end of Tortola, for the Scrub Island Invitational. Race start time is 1000 and the exact course will depend on weather and conditions. An afternoon of relaxation and fun is planned for crews, their families and friends on the island.
TORTOLA, British Vergin Islands - Life couldn't be more perfect for the crews of 54 boats competing in Tuesday's Nanny Cay Cup (Round Tortola Race) with the breeze forecast in the upper teens for the first race day of the 45th BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival. Registration opened at noon today under blue sunny skies, the famed BVI trades keeping the heat at bay.
The Nanny Cay Cup not only sets the scene for a week of great racing with spectacular views of Tortola throughout the 31-nautical mile race, additionally, the teams can also race for the Nanny Cay Challenge - a perpetual challenge for the fastest mono and catamaran record around the island.
For racers to set a new elapsed time as they make the circumnavigation, starting and finishing at Nanny Cay, they must beat current records: Monohull record (3hrs 29mins 44secs) set at the 2013 Sailing Festival by Peter Corr's Aiyana, an Alia 82; Multihull record (2hrs 33mins 40secs) set in 2015 by BVI's Triple Jack, the trimaran owned by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis.
The Challenge has fantastic awards up for grabs if a team breaks either of the current records: a jeroboam of "Drappier" champagne, sponsored by Tico, dinner for 15 crew, and a suggestion to donate $250 towards a BVI charity of choice.
Spookie, winner of the 2015 Nanny Cay Cup, a Carkeek HP40 owned by Steve and Heidi Benjamin from Norwalk, CT (USA), is back with high hopes to retain the Cup.  They are psyched to put their best effort into taking the monohull Challenge record. Racing with them is Olympic silver medalist Peter Holmberg, one of the Caribbean's best known sailors who may help them set that record. Either way, the 15-strong Spookie crew loves the sailing conditions, scenery and atmosphere at Spring Regatta, especially when it's snowing back home.
Possibly the youngest sailors in Tuesday's fleet are Leon (11) and Robert Puche (10), all the way from Berlin, Germany. Their dad Werner will be skippering the Leopard 48 Slow Motion, which he bought 18 months ago to keep based in Tortola so they can enjoy events like Spring Regatta. "We're really looking forward to racing here and are only disappointed in that we have to leave early as the kids have to be back in school next week," Werner said. This is the first time for the family to be at the BVI Spring Regatta.
More first timers, Renato Faria, from Brazil, will be racing his Dufour 500 Ventaneiro 3, with friends from Brazil and Germany. A harbor pilot from Rio de Janeiro, Faria is used to sailing various Olympic class boats so he's not sure how racing Ventaneiro 3 will work out. "She's really a cruiser, but we'll try to race with her - we're looking forward to the best racing in the Caribbean and will keep the boat here to cruise and race in the future."
Team Slovakia, on board Arthur, a Beneteau First 40, have been in town for a few days now, taking time to soak up the beaches and a few cocktails while getting to know their way around the prevailing conditions. The group of seven friends are under the tutelage of Spring Regatta veteran Chris "Jacko" Jackson, owner's rep for Arthur. "This is a great regatta for these guys," Jackson said, "Everything's in one location, it's a two-minute walk to the parties from the boat, flat water and great sailing - what more could they want?"
Bob Phillips, Regatta Chairman, has chaired the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival for 19 years so has a pretty good idea how conditions may shape up tomorrow. "We're looking at 15-20, pretty usual trade winds, maybe a little higher than normal. Of more importance is the direction - usually it's from the east which means a dead beat for the first part of the race...may not be record breaking conditions but it'll be close!"
The challenge is out! Start time for the CSA-Multihull class is 0930, CSA-Bareboat class at 0935; CSA-Cruising Class at 0940, and CSA-Racing class at 0945. NOR link

To enter or for more information go to:
Use the hashtag #BVISR @springregatta

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Minister Hon. Ingrid Arrindell of the Ministry Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT), who was unable to attend Seatrade Cruise Global in Florida, last week due to the 2016 Budget discussions, was represented by her Chef de Cabinet Alex Dijkhoffz.

Dijkhoffz was part of the Port St. Maarten delegation that traveled to represent the destination at the leading annual global business-to-business event for the cruise industry, which brings together buyers and suppliers for a four-day conference and three-day exhibition.

Minister Arrindell was very pleased to hear about the successes booked by Port St. Maarten under the leadership of its Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo and his team at the cruise conference, such as becoming the homeport for Seabourn Cruises in December and for the Pullmantur Group, also for the start of the 2016-2017 cruise season.

Seabourn Cruises is a luxury cruise line that caters to high-end cruise passengers. The cruise line pioneered small-ship, ultra-luxury cruising, and continues to represent the pinnacle of that unique style of travel.  Its fleet of intimate, all-suite ships, carrying between 450 and 600 guests each, sail to the world’s most desirable destinations at their peak seasons.

The Pullmantur Group will start homeporting in the latter part of 2016, and develop this business into a year-round service.  This group focuses on cruise customers from Latin America and Europe.  The vessels used carry approximately 1800 cruise passengers and 450-crew which would translate into approximately 25,000 additional visitors to the destination.

“The clientele from Seabourn Cruises are high-end tourists.  Many of them usually arrive at the homeport destination in a private jet. This will mean more business activity for our airport.  Prior to boarding the cruise ship, homeport tourists stay in a hotel two days prior to their cruise and two days after they return.  This would translate into additional economic activity for various businesses.

“The Pullmantur Group is another significant boost for the destination as it will add additional tourists and business for the tourism and hospitality sector.  It also serves part of the diversification of visitors to our island with respect to Latin American and European visitors.

“This will translate into a significant impact on our economy with spinoffs for transportation services, vessel provisioning from our food and beverage wholesalers; fueling services; hotels and villa rentals; as well as air transportation to the destination,” Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Ingrid Arrindell said on Wednesday after being briefed by her Chef de Cabinet about the success of the trip to Seatrade Cruise Global conference that concluded last week.

The conference drew more than 11,000 registered attendees, over 800 exhibiting companies from 93 countries and more than 300 international journalists to the Fort Lauderdale Broward Country Convention Center. 

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten officials attended a number of sessions last week Wednesday and Thursday at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center in Florida.

The overall outcome from attending the cruise conference and meeting with several cruise executives, several cruise lines have indicated about homeporting in St. Maarten.  This will be very beneficial for the economy.  Firstly, the cruise lines cater to high-end tourists and based on statistics, between 20 and 30 per cent also take a pre and post vacation in relation to the cruise.  The interest shown is based on Port St. Maarten’s past homeporting experience with a couple cruise lines; the service provided; and the destinations connectivity to North and Latin America as well as Europe.

Some investments will have to be made in a homeporting cruise terminal in order to further enhance the visitor experience and to retain this type of business for the long-term.

Cruise lines also showed interests in remaining in port much longer.  Port St. Maarten has had several vessels remaining in port during the evening hours and observed many cruise passengers visiting local restaurants and further enjoying the nightlife ambiance that the destination has to offer visitors.

Safety was also discussed, and Port St. Maarten Management, would like to thank the Police and other emergency agencies for their hard work during the late night visits.

Port St. Maarten was used as a model by various speakers during workshops and presentations as being a model cruise port of call based on its approach to challenges and developments in order to meet the demands of an ever changing cruise industry.  There were also discussions with respect to the construction of new cruise vessels and what it will mean for the Caribbean in terms of itinerary planning.

On Wednesday last week, the information provided to cruise industry stakeholders dealt with trends and developments in a number of areas.  The State of the Industry: Caribbean and Cuba, was of interests to Port St. Maarten representatives.

This session dealt with how new destinations are reshaping itineraries and impacting demand.  The challenges and opportunities for Cuba and the implications of its opening for the region as a whole were discussed.

There were also state of the industry discussions with respect to Asia/Australasia, Europe and the Americas.

Fuel for Thought: The Viability of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), revealed how the cruise industry appears to be moving toward LNG, and the challenges of the industry were brought into perspective.  It provided the attendees an insight on how the industry and their shore-based partners can prepare for this emerging fuel type.

The other two topics covered were 2016 Regulations: What You Need to Know; and Generation Z: The Next Big Disruptor.  Generation Z will have wide ranging implications to the cruise industry, from new builds, to cruise shopping, to onboard and shore side experiences.  This session explored how to connect with them and how they are about to turn today’s market on its head.

Last week Thursday, the session focused on, Where To Why? Factors Influencing Deployment and Itinerary Strategies.  This session looked at emerging trends, themes and innovations in deployment and itinerary strategies.

The final session on Thursday was entitled, Trends and Challenges in Marketing, Sales and Distribution.  With so many lines switching creative/media/digital agencies, the panel compared and contrasted some of the new branding/advertising campaigns and trends in media allocation.

Seatrade Cruise Global is the leading annual global business-to-business event for the cruise industry that brings together buyers and suppliers for a four-day conference and three-day exhibition.  The conference draws more than 11,000 registered attendees, over 800 exhibiting companies from 93 countries and more than 300 international journalists.  Experts, leaders and thought-makers of the cruise industry from the world’s largest cruise companies is the highlight of the conference.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Port St. Maarten.

ST. JOHNS, Antigua - Antigua Sailing Week is delighted to announce Half Moon Bay as an official resort sponsor for the 2016 event.

Replay Resorts, the development company which owns the property recently acquired 132 acres of land on 8,000 feet of oceanfront at Half Moon Bay, including the site of the former Half Moon Bay Hotel.

"We couldn't be more pleased to be working in Antigua. Wherever we create destinations we strive to be a strong part of the community through involvement and support of local charities and events and we feel supporting Antigua Sailing Week is a great first step for the community to begin to get to know us," said Michael Coyle, CEO of Replay Resorts.

"Antigua Sailing Week is an event that evokes passion and excitement from the people of Antigua and from all who attend. It really puts Antigua on the world stage and will be a must attend event for our future hotel guests and homeowners at Half Moon Bay. We couldn't be more excited to be a sponsor of Antigua Sailing Week this year."

BES Islands - In connection with an incident that buoys of the Saba Marine Park were destroyed and the placing of illegal fish traps, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard executed a patrol from the 13th  to the 16th of March in the Marine Park. During this patrol, several illegal fish traps were removed from the sea and confiscated.

These traps were in a radius of two miles from the coastline of Saba in the Marine Park and in accordance with article 2 of the Fisheries Act BES, this is an illegal practice.

The patrols were executed in cooperation with the Saba Conservation Foundation. Officials reports were filed by the Coast Guard and send to the police authorities of the BES for further investigation.

While on Saba, a visit was made to the Saba Comprehensive School in St. Johns where promotional materials of the Coast Guard was distributed to create awareness of the students.

Saba aktie

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for April 6th at 6pm

To be eligible to vote in this year’s Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, (April 6th at 6PM), you must be a "Full Individual or Full Family" member.
All documentation will be made available before the meeting.
To attend and vote in this year's AGM, you must be in good standing (preferably) at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of the meeting. (Bylaw, article 19, section E.)
To pay your 2016 (and/or earlier) membership dues, your child's sailing school lessons and/or keelboat racing fees, please come see Ariel upstairs at the SMYC office between 11AM - 18:30PM during the weekday or use our easy and secure online payment:
For more information contact:
Ariel at 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or +1.721.580.4019
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has increased its patrolling of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park in order to combat illegal fishing activities which traditionally spike leading up to the Easter and Carnival Holidays.
Foundation staff will be patrolling during weekends and early morning hours in order to increase their presence in the Marine Park, St. Maarten’s only protected Nature Area; “As the legally mandated Management Authority for the Man of War Shoal Marine Park we are increasing our patrolling leading up to the Easter and Carnival holidays where we often see poachers trying to fish illegally in the Marine Park.
It is listed within the rules of the Marine Park that no fishing is allowed, including trap and line fishing. We have a close working relationship with fishermen when it comes to the Man of War Shoal Marine Park and would like this to continue. However if we notice illegal activities within the Marine Park this will be addressed, including the removal of fish traps,” read a Nature Foundation statement. 

The boundaries of the Marine Park are between 18̊ ̊N and 17 ̊-57.0 N and 63 ̊-01.03 W and 63 ̊-04.05 W, in an area better known as “the Proselyte Reef Complex ".  This area includes the island’s most ecologically and economical important marine habitat, including extensive coral reef areas and seagrass beds. The Man of War Shoal Marine Park, officially established on the 30th of December 2010, is a home and migratory stop over or breeding site for 3 IUCN Red List Species, 10 CITES Appendix I species and 89 Appendix II species.

It is an area with a relatively healthy population of marine mammals including migratory whales and dolphins, numerous species of shark, sea turtles and numerous fish species.Studies conducted by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation have shown that biodiversity in this area, particularly coral reef density, is high and the economic goods and services which the ecosystem provides are in excess of fifty million dollars annually.” It has been shown that no-fishing areas have resulted in an increase in fish stock. Therefore it is also in the interest of fishermen to adhere to the no catch rules of the Marine Park,” continued the Foundation.

During a patrol on Saturday morning the Foundation assisted a fisherman locate his fish traps which were placed legally outside of the Marine Protected Area.

PORT ST. MAARTEN – On Friday, March 18, a number of passengers on-board Norwegian Gem Cruise Ship was infected with an infectious virus. The vessel was boarded outside Port St. Maarten and was boarded by a Port Control Team that also included officials from the Ministry of Public Health and the Shipping & Maritime Authority, to gather further information with respect to the on-board virus. 

While onboard, the Port Control Team were informed of additional cases, and based on this information and after further evaluation, it was decided in the interests of public health that the passengers and crew should not disembark. The causative agent at the time of inspection was unknown and the Captain was advised to return to homeport for vessel sanitation procedures.

The cruise ship industry from time to time suffers from the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses, and the Norovirus is a very contagious virus and the one that is most prominent.  You can get the virus from an infected person, from contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.  The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis).  This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.

The Norwegian Gem which was outside Port St. Maarten left after the decision of the Port Control Team was made. 

Norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships are common, and according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), outbreaks are found and reported more quickly on a cruise ship than on land. 

The Norwegian Gem was the newest cruise ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet until the debut of Norwegian Epic.  The vessel came into service in 2007 and has a gross tonnage of 93,530; is 965 feet in length; has 15 decks; carries 2384 passengers and 1154 crew.

The Norwegian Gem is the fourth of Norwegian’s Jewel class.

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