With a week build-up to the start of this year’s event, the time is flying by as the 20 yachts gathered at IGY Simpson Bay Marina in Sint Maarten, prepare for the crossing to Europe via Bermuda and the Azores.
The welcome drinks on Monday at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club brought the crews together for the first time and this year’s event manager, Andrew Pickersgill, welcomed the fleet to the start of the event before handing over to the Club’s Social chair, Nancy Burzon, to welcome the crews to the SMYC and the island.
Tuesday afternoon saw a liferaft demo in the Isle de Sol Marina pool giving the participants the opportunity to remind themselves about liferaft deployment and then how to climb inside from the water, whilst also enjoying a dip in the pool. Later in the evening, the poolside was the venue for BBQ hosted by IGY Marinas and the Sint Maarten Marine Trade Association.
Brian Deher, IGY’s Regional Director Caribbean and Central America, took the opportunity to welcome all the crews and wished them well for the crossing and hope they would return to Sint Maarten and the Caribbean soon.
Halfway through the week and those that were able, joined the Sint Maarten Tourism Bureau for a half-day tour, exploring the exquisite beaches and fascinating history of both Dutch and French sides of the island.
As the start gets closer, focus turns to provisioning and briefings for this first leg of the Rally.