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The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is excited to announce that they are officially sponsoring the North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC). The NARC, which departs November 1st, (or best weather window near that date) 2015, is free for participants to join. The sponsorship puts new emphasis on the NARC’s finish in St. Maarten where the Sint Maarten Yacht Club will host the final party and offer an early sign-up discount for the 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, scheduled for March 3 to 6, 2016.

The 16th annual NARC’s primary function is to encourage boats that are heading south from the U.S. East Coast to join together for socials, discounts, and shared weather routing. “The NARC started in 2000 as a way to move the Swan charter fleet to the islands and over the years it has morphed into a much anticipated event for boats making the annual pilgrimage south,” said Hank Schmitt, organizer of the NARC and CEO of Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO), a crew network service.

Also new is an opportunity to participate in the first annual Dominica P.A.Y.S. (Portsmouth Association of Yacht Services) “Yachtie Appreciation Week” on the island of Dominica. P.A.Y.S. is a non-profit organization aimed at providing yacht services and security to visiting yachts, thereby assuring future development of the yachting industry in Dominica. Scheduled for February 14 to 21, the Yachtie Appreciation Week has been organized to celebrate the installation of a new mooring field that Schmitt – working with P.A.Y.S., the Tourism Board of Dominica and generous OPO members and other sailors – has been orchestrating in Prince Rupert’s Bay over the last few years. The current situation in Dominica after Tropical Storm Erika, a 20 plus loss of life and great damage to the roads and infrastructure, makes the idea to build a mooring field and help the local economy recover, all the more important.

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club will additionally organize a race/rally from Dominica to St. Maarten to get boats to the island in time for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.  The Yacht Club feels that this sort of partnership is beneficial not only to the island but to the region and is pleased that St. Maarten will be location for the final party of this rally.

Chairman of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, John Gifford, stated “The Yacht Clubs aim is to promote the sport of sailing in St. Maarten, which it successfully does with the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. In addition to other events that the Yacht Club organizes, like the La Course de L’Alliance, this sort of Rally brings much needed sailing tourism to the island during the low season, which is why the club is so pleased to be a part of it. Hopefully the NARC participants will want to spend some time on the island and take advantage of the vast marine industry that it has to offer.”

For more information on the NARC or Offshore Passage Opportunities, contact Hank Schmitt, 1-800-4-PASSAGe, +1 631-423-4988 or visit www.sailopo.com.

More About the NARC
All seaworthy boats are welcome to begin gathering the last week in October at the Newport Yachting Center in Newport R.I.  The rally is geared toward larger boats that are professionally crewed and have experienced skippers. (Smaller boats and less experienced skippers are encouraged to join the “Salty Dawg Rally,” departing from the Chesapeake.)

Weather routing is presented by “WRI” Weather Routing Inc.  St. Georges Dinghy & Sports Club hosts the fleet in Bermuda, while IGY Marina Group sponsors the rally finish with two days free dockage and 10% off any longer stay at the Simpson Bay Marina St. Maarten (up to and including all season).

NARC entry for boats is free, with a $100 per person fee covering three socials: dinner in Newport and Bermuda and the final Party in St. Maarten.

Rally Benefits:

  • Discount dockage in all three ports
  • Weather routing
  • Radio Net
  • Fuel Discount
  • No Head Tax in Bermuda
  • Socials in Newport (“Benjamin’s) and Bermuda (Fish Fry at the Dinghy Club)
  • Final Party at the St. Maarten Yacht Club