The St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta is now inviting all tall ships to sail in the Caribbean in January 2009. A special course for those large vessels has been added in the fourth classic regatta, due to be held in the third week of January, and tall ships will not have to pay a fee to participate in the Regatta.
Ships like the Stad Amsterdam and the Star Clipper ships have shown interest in participating, while the 75m Canadian barquentine Caledonia, pictured above, has already registered. The organisation hopes to attract many more!
The fourth Invitational St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta 2009 kicks off on Thursday January 22nd with a skippers' briefing and official opening ceremony. Effective sailing starts the next day from Great Bay to Marigot, where the yachts will be hosted at Fort Louis Marina. Saturday will be a special Tall Ships Day, when all classics and the tall ships will sail back towards the finish line in Great Bay.
Organisers received the authorisation from the Saint Maarten Port Authorities to dock the Tall Ships at the Pointe Blanche cruise ship pier so that passengers can disembark and an onboard VIP reception can be held after the regatta that Saturday evening. It may also be possible for the general public to visit the ships on Sunday morning while they are in Great Bay.
The regular schooners, vintage, 'spirit of tradition' and classic yachts in the regatta will set sail again that Sunday morning for the last regatta day towards Anguilla and return to the finish in Great Bay in the afternoon.
Have a look at the Classic Regatta website for more details.