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St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Regatta on the move

by St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta Media on 10 Sep 2008
Yachts on anchor preparing to leave for the past 2008 St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta close to Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg St.Maarten - St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta
The Caribbean Public Relations and Special Event company West Indies Events and the St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta Foundation announced today that they have moved their regatta office to Sint Maarten's Bobby's Marina in Great Bay, Philipsburg.

The organization will also relocate the upcoming January classic regatta in St.Maarten from Simpson Bay to Great Bay. During the past 3 years all social events and the races have been organized out of Simpson Bay on the lagoon.

Organizers have received questions from several classic yacht owners and captains who are worried about the high bridge and lagoon fees that participants will have to pay during the regatta. Local authorities have heavily increased lagoon entrance taxes and bridge fees since the beginning of the year, against the advise of the local marine trades association.

By relocating everything to Great Bay, yachts will not have to enter the
lagoon and are not subject to paying the high fees, no extra bridge openings
will be needed and the participants can come to the docks or go on anchor
right after the races.

Sir Robert Velasquez, better known as 'Bobby', the managing director of Bobby's Marina in Philipsburg has generously offered a year round regatta office to the organizers and will accommodate the regatta in many ways. In addition, Bobby's Marina became also one of the regatta's co-sponsors. Velasquez is expanding the existing marina with a 30 slip mega yacht marina complete with 112 condominiums that will sell for between US$400,000 and US$1 million. A US $3 million facelift is bringing the property in line with today's state-of-the art yachting marinas.

Well known Bobby's Marina, built in 1968, is the longest established marina on the Island. The existing wooden docks will all be replaced with concrete ones and several sections are already completed.

The official skippers briefing and openings ceremony as well as the price giving and other events will be held around Bobby's Marina in Great Bay. De first race on Friday January 23, 2009 will leave out of Great Bay to Marigot. Sailors will return the next day with an other start on Sunday again out of Great Bay. Saturday will be the Tall Ship day regatta with ships open for public visiting on Sunday morning.

Local sailboats will also race on Saturday afternoon from Great Bay beach. The full regatta and events program will be announced in the next weeks. An other big change to the regatta program is that organizers will offer free drinks and food at the buffets, VIP lounge etc. to all participants, invited guests and press during the entire regatta due to the cooperation of several food and beverage companies and restaurants around Great Bay.

Spectator catamaran tickets will become for sale soon at day charter companies for enthusiasts who want to follow the regular classic race and Tall ships regatta on Saturday from Marigot to Great Bay.

Classic and Vintage Yachts, Schooners and Spirit of Tradition yachts will be accommodated for free on the Bobby's Marina docks (subject to availability) and will also again receive complimentary docking on Friday afternoon and overnight at Fort Louis Marina on the French side in Marigot Saint Martin. Port Captain of Fort Louis Marina, Etienne Tacquin, announced that as from today, all yachts ( not only regatta participants ) that dock at Fort Louis Marina in Marigot will not have to clear in or out anymore at the customs and immigration office ( PAF ) but can do everything in the marina offices.

This will avoid mega yacht and other captains to stand in line at the immigration office as used to be the case in the past, as the complete process will now take only a few minutes and cost only a few Euros.

The Invitational St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta 2009 from January 22 until the 25th is the first classic regatta of the Caribbean season, with the Grenada Classic Yacht Regatta the second in February and Antigua Classics the third in April.

Additional and updated information is available in the web site
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