It was a quiet April Saturday in locked down Sint Maarten, when Petro Jonker – Chair of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge steering committee (organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club in 2019) called to tell me that his friend Rick Warner, owner of the very fast ORMA 60 trimaran Areté, is planning to sail south from his home port in Detroit to compete in the 3rd annual CMC set for the first weekend of February 2021. Petro told me with joy in his voice that Areté will be the first entry in the 2021 regatta; AND the first entry in the event’s new Caribbean 60 Mile Multihull Sprint. My spirits soared, and I asked Petro when we could get Rick on the phone for us to learn about Areté and The Coral Project which is sponsoring Arete’s “Race Against Time” bringing awareness to actions that are saving coral reefs in the Caribbean and around the world. In a minute we set up a conference call for the next day and our plans were set in motion.

Areté is an Orma 60 trimaran designed by Marc Lombard and built in France in 2002 of carbon fiber with a Nomex core. The boat was purchased by Rick in the spring of 2015, and sailed from France to her summer home on the Great Lakes. In summer 2020, Areté and The Coral Project team lead by Rick and David Norton – another accomplished and well known sailor — will sail in Lake Michigan in an attempt to beat the Chicago to Mackinac World Sailing Speed Record https://sailinganarchy.com/2019/09/16/nice-try-tri/ The effort will promote The Coral Project which is working, alongside a global group of partners, to support the planting and growth of resilient coral in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Their overall mission is to help save coral reefs around the world in what they describe as a Race Against Time. With 90% of coral expected to die by 2050, they believe the time to act is now. Coral is crucial for a healthy ocean and Rick, David, and their partners have committed to educating and actually making a difference for the future. Rick Warner states, “not only are we racing against actual time for the world record, we are racing against time to save the world’s corals.” https://thecoralproject.com/

This summer, plans to integrate the three-day Caribbean Multihull Challenge and its included 60 Mile Sprint with features of the Coral Project will be announced. According to Stephen Burzon, Director of Marketing for the CMC….”Anything and everything we can do to support The Coral Project will be good for our oceans, our sailors, and our event. We can raise funds for the project via the sale of project merchandise; and we can create extra world-wide interest via joint promotions with competitors and sponsors. Stay tuned for the fun details”.

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© Caribbean Sailing Association 2018