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Yacht Charter Industry Expected to Improve in the US Virgin Islands

Posted By: Super User

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority has announced a significant development to scheduled changes on the zone’s charter passenger law that could positively affect the U.S. Virgin Islands yacht charter industry and overall economy. As announced by the Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr., the 2014 Coast Guard Reauthorization Act passed the full U.S. House of Representatives, bringing the USVI territory in the Caribbean inching towards its efforts to regain the yachting industry’s leadership mantle that was once a major part of the local economy.

‘There is no doubt that the initiative brought forward by our Marine Council to Congressman Bill Shuster, the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, during his November 2013 infrastructure visit to the territory has resulted in this step towards equity for our charter industry and an economic boost for our maritime industries as a whole.’ De Jongh stated. “This is the first of a number of actions we will initiate to let this market know that we are open for business and we want their business,” he added.

The measure now awaits actions of the U.S. Senate as the bill introduced in the House on February 6 provides different conformity to U.S. Coast Guard safety regulations for certain U.S. vessels which are now restricted to only six passengers when operating in the waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands, whereas foreign boats do not have the same restrictions. This rule was established in 1993 and has had a negative impact on marine economic development in the area, with larger charter yachts becoming increasingly popular. This restriction, along with increased regulations, was the primary reason for the local charter yacht industry to move towards the British Virgin Islands.

In July of 2013, the Governor summoned the first meeting of the Virgin Islands Marine Economic Development Council, to address revitalization of the area’s maritime industries. Council members are representatives of all of the maritime industries including sports fishing, diving, marine manufacturers, and charter yachts. One of the first issues the Marine Council focused on was proposed relaxation to the existing charter passenger regulations.

The Council summarized the vindictive effects and overall inequity in standards of the “Six Passenger Rule” comparing it to the neighboring British Virgin standards and urged a change to Congressman Bill Shuster, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This regulatory relief will positively affect both the local charter fleet and the mega yacht industry.

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority and the local maritime industry professionals and businesses are thrilled to welcoming luxury yacht charterers to their magnificent islands, and are always attempting to increase their appeal by providing the ultimate in guest hospitality and vessel support.

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014

Posted By: Super User

The Mediterranean yacht-racing season will start in style at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014 from 3-7 June. An incredible fleet of super yachts will be hosted by the exclusive yacht charter destination of Porto Cervo in Sardinia, home of the outstanding Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, for four days of exhilarating fun.

Set against Sardinia’s stunning coastline, the region offers picturesque sailing conditions that continue to draw a wide range of cruisers and high performance yachts. To ensure fair and fast racing for all super yacht competitors, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s race committee have divided the fleet into classes based on the number of entries, the vessels’ size, speed potential and overall performance attributes.

First launched in 2008, this is the regatta that opens the Mediterranean super yacht calendar. Organized by the YCCS and Boat International Media, it gathers each year an ever-growing competition. Both modern and classic, performance and cruising vessels, all head towards the emerald waters of Sardinia, enthusiastic about four days of invigorating sailing. As has been proven in past events, racing is sure to be a competitive affair in both classes, ‘Performance’ and ‘Cruising’, and a variety of yachtsmen with a large extent of abilities are ready to attend.

Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ 30.5m Magic Carpet Cubed is the natural evolution of this experienced owners’ breed of yachts. Silver Sponsor Southern Wind is represented at the regatta by no less than six yachts that will compete in Class as well as challenging for the coveted XII SWS Trophy. Other yachts are the returning competitor 30.26m SW 100 ‘Cape Arrow’ designed by Farr Yacht Design and Nauta Yachts, SW 100 Farewell, SW 94 Windfall designed by Reichel Pugh and Nauta Yachts, SW 78 Whisper and newcomers 26.6m Feelin’ Good and 24.72m Grande Orazi.

Following the regatta will be the new SW 102 Heve, offering spectators of Southern Wind the unique opportunity to enjoy the array of super yacht racing in the in the emerald waters surrounding Porto Cervo.

Hailed as the most favored event in the month of June, a number of activities also take place to include social gatherings made up of breakfast, cocktail receptions and parties ensuring that only observing the race are guaranteed as much fun and excitement as the competitors at sea. The last day will bring the long-anticipated prize giving ceremony, taking place at ‘Piazza Azzura’ where the overall results will be announced.

Alongside Piazza Azzurra and dominating the New Marina, the Clubhouse is considered one of the most prestigious and beautifully functional structures of its kind anywhere in the world and provides panoramic views of the harbour and incredible sunsets over the calm waters of the Mediterranean.

Lou and Mike Grignon made the best of Antigua’s Sailing Week

Posted By: Super User

Lou and Mike Grignon went to savor their success in last August’s Antigua & Barbuda Hamptons Challenge Regatta last week with an all-expenses paid trip along with their families to the twin-island paradise of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean Sea.

Fortune favors the brave and the Grignon brothers onboard their 27-foot, Tartan Marine-made Pride 270 were victorious last August in the second annual Hamptons Regatta. The grand prize was a trip for seven aboard American Airlines, with accommodation for seven nights at a four-star hotel and a charter boat to compete in the 47th Annual Antigua Sailing Week, which took place from April 26 through May 2.

Antigua Sailing Week began in 1968 when a group of friends got together to hold a regatta.  A number of the friends were hoteliers and part of their objective in creating the regatta was to extend the winter season by getting people to stay in Antigua a little longer – or to come specifically to participate in the event which would in turn extend the end of the current season. Since then, the event continued to remain strong for many years to come and nowadays it is one of the Caribbean’s most renowned regattas.

‘I got the opportunity to spend 10 days among the people of Antigua and their racing circuit and it was the most spectacular vacation of my life,’ said Lou Grignon, the owner of the Sag Harbor Yacht Yard who was delighted by the sailing, the sun and the welcome they received and brought along his wife, Patty, and his two daughters, Elizabeth and Camille.

‘Thanks to John Maginley for the race he put on in Sag Harbor and for the professional way it was run,’ Grignon added, referring to Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. ‘Thanks to Minister Maginley for his hard work and his professionalism and to the people of Antigua for welcoming us to their community.’

Sailing onboard Voilactus, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44, the Grignons raced for five days and “got better and better every day,” according to Lou Grignon, whose crew included his brother, his family and his nephews, Daniel and Ryan, along with an additional couple of crew members who were experienced sailors.

The Grignons got better and better with each day of racing according to Lou, onboard Voilactus, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44. The crew included his brother Mike, his wife and daughters, along with his two nephews, Daniel and Ryan in addition to a couple of experienced sailors.

“It was a nice boat, big enough to handle the seas and the breeze,” Lou Grignon said, adding that he would be back to compete this summer in the 3rd annual Hamptons Regatta, which has a very important rule that a new winner has to be crowned year after year. 


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