Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2019 - RS21 Spring Offer - Leaderboard

Manhattan Yacht Club Caribbean Week: Sun, fun & sailing

by Manhattan Yacht Club 2 Apr 2018 01:01 PDT

What can you say about one week of fun, sun and sailing in the deepest part of the winter? Well, maybe you could say, "Sign me up for next year!" Our tradition of Caribbean Week continued this winter as we went back to the British Virgin Islands to support our friends after Hurricane Irma. It was an incredible trip. Eight boats of members and school students saddled up on their boats at the Moorings base in Road Town. Then we headed out of for a week of sailing.

Some of the land based operations of BVIs have changed because of the hurricane. But most of the water-based locations were still the same - as beautiful as ever. One of the great stops along our route were the Indians where you can snorkel around rock pillars and see a great variety of fish and other marine life.

The smiles on sailors lucky enough to participate this year were as wide and large as ever. Some people may have had trepidation about whether the BVIs would be ready for us. But on the first night when we moored at Virgin Gorda and dined at Coco Maya, we knew they were ready and that we would be welcomed guests!

Because some of our normal stops were still rebuilding, such as the Bitter End Yacht Club and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, we envisioned new experiences. On the third night of our trip, with a Full Moon rising, Jim & Theresa Hedelston who have a house on Virgin Gorda, brought a small generator and length of LED lights over to the barren beach of Prickly Pear Island. Within a short period of time, an epic "Ring of Fire" party began. A new tradition was born and with the flamingos off in the background clucking and screaming all night long, Members danced under the stars until the bonfire went out.

Could Cow Wreck Bay on Anegada ever have been more beautiful? The turquoise blue of the water contrasted with the white and pink sands. There is really nothing to do at this outpost far away from civilization, except of course, hoist a cold drink, sit in a chair and relax like never before.

What is super special about Caribbean Week is the camaraderie developed among the skippers and the boats. Most mornings begin with a skippers' meeting which brings smiles to everyone involved.

After 9/11, our Club went back down to the BVIs in February 2002. To welcome us, the Royal BVI and West End Yacht Clubs got together and hosted us for a cocktail party. To thank them 16 years ago, we put up the MYC Trophy which included a Statue of Liberty. Since there was only one trophy and two Clubs throwing the party, we suggested they race for the trophy each year. What ensued was many years of competition between these clubs. Then in Jan 2016, we joined the competition, making it a three way race.

We are happy to report that the MYC Perpetual Trophy survived Hurricane Irma, although you can see from the photograph that it has been corroded by sea water. Should we renew it with a new Statue or keep this as an historic relic?

The competition for the trophy this year was a bit different because most local race boats were damaged in the hurricane. We offered to use our charter boats and sailors from the RBVIYC and WEYC came onboard our boats at Norman Island on Saturday morning. This should have given us the best chance in recent years to win back the trophy since we could have assigned the slower hulls to the host clubs. But being fair sailors, we split the faster boats among all Clubs, forgetting to factor in their advantage with local knowledge. We had a few more cards up our sleeves but in the end, time ran out and some of the boats had to return to Moorings base before they completed the course. When the finishes were tallied up, the West End Yacht Club emerged as the 2018 Champion.

After Hurricane Irma, our Club also raised $16,000 in donations for the BVIs and we distributed this to several charities and organizations including VISAR which is a great help to all sailors in the region. We wish all of our friends continued success in their rebuilding efforts. We have also experienced rebuilding, both after 9/11 and with our move to Jersey City. We know they will come through better than before and we look forward to visiting again soon.

Reports from some of the Skippers:

Rob Goldstein, skipper of "Caribbean Dreamin:" Caribbean Dreamin' was made up of first time Caribbean sailors who relied on teamwork and each other to overcome all of the challenges they faced during the week, including a winning, 2nd place finish in the race around the North Sound. The skipper and crew had a fantastic time sailing the entire week!"

Tom Johnson, skipper of "No Boundaries": From the first day in the BVIs we knew we had the recipe for the best week. We had a brand new Sunsail 454, a great crew with hidden culinary expertise, as well as enough drinks and music to see us through anything! After the first couple of days we hit our stride and everyone started to unwind, the sailing miles racked up and the blissful warmth of the Caribbean in winter started to take hold. The beautiful sail up to Anegada followed by the relaxing afternoon at Cow Wreck, the appetiser competition, lobster dinner and the largest night of the trip made a truly memorable day; this along with the last afternoon at the Indians with halyard swings, snorkelling and dinghy rides are up there as life-time memories. We'll miss Anthony as he heads back to Aus, best of luck!

As a new boat to Caribbean Week we heard that we would have serious competition if we wanted to win the appetiser contest, so while we were having lunch at Cow Wreck we devised a strategy. It involved sourcing some local Conch, using our extensive island network aka the taxi driver, and then our very own US42 member Orest-chef-Bauer turning it into the most delightful Conch ceviche. We had a nervous wait to hear the results and could only calm our nerves by eating the remaining ceviche but were ecstatic to hear the result. Huge congratulations to the teams, it was a great evening but special shout out to chef extraordinaire Orest Bauer.

Emre Cumali, skipper of "Curious Cat:" Our Curious Cat crew was fueled by early morning doses of rum administered at the skippers meeting> Pre-race meditation and yoga helped everyone get in the right state of mind. After reviewing navigation charts, wind conditions and latest satellite footage, the crew plotted the ideal race course carefully considering currents, ferry traffic and solar flares. Minutes before the start signal, anchor was raised and the team executed the race plan to perfection with excellent speed, jibes, and tacks - all of which contributed to the great success for the great race to Jost Van Dyke. Finally, the crew (Emre, Sonya, Johannes, Aynur, Andy, Ben) enjoyed well-earned Soggy Dollar Painkillers on the beach!

The final night party at Nanny Cay was another exceptional event. In addition to the Commodores of the Royal BVI and West End Yacht Clubs, as well as past Commodores and many more friends, Her Majesty's BVI Governor Gus Jaspert (left) joined the festivities and is seen here chatting with NY Harbor Sailing Foundation Chairman Jim Cavanaugh & Wilson Kimball.

Related Articles

J/24 racing at Manhattan Yacht Club this summer
The Tuesday evening program reached 16 qualifiers and had up to 18 boats on the starting line! The strength of these J/24 programs has evolved from a simple formula perfected over time. First, the Club puts camaraderie ahead of competition. The Club works to create a warm and welcoming environment where people wish to spend their free time. Posted on 25 Nov 2018
Manhatten YC Frostbite Racing now on Saturdays
Why sit at home when you could come down to the club and hang out with the Frostbite sailors? Why sit at home when you could come down to the Club and hang out with the Frostbite sailors. Race Committee volunteers are always needed (no experience needed, just a base layer of clothing!) or you can begin racing your own dinghy. Posted on 23 Nov 2018
Introducing Arabella
A stunning 157-foot three-masted mega yacht Arabella is a stunning 157-foot three-masted mega yacht. Posted on 5 Jun 2018
Six days to go to the best party of the Spring!
The best black tie party of the year It's always the best black tie party of the year. This year, the 21st Sailors Ball will be Saturday, April 28, 2018. Posted on 22 Apr 2018
Frostbite sailing grows from 10 to 17 Sunfish!
The fleet has grown from 10 to 17 boats It started last fall when the Club offered its extra fleet of Sunfish dinghies to Members and began organizing races on Saturday mornings. From there, it has grown substantially. There is no looking back. Posted on 6 Jan 2018
U.S. Adult Championship at New York
Eric Leitner wins Mallory Trophy The spectator experience was breathtaking. The racing conditions were fantastic. And the talent on display in New York Harbor was remarkable. Posted on 13 Oct 2015
SOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomNaiad 660x82px_RescueVaikobi 2019 - Footer 2