Caribbean Regatta organisers have confirmed they will deliver an impressive list of regattas for international, regional and local sailors to enjoy this coming winter, despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many potential visitors to the region have asked if there can be consistent protocols and requirements across the region. As each island is an independent country this is unlikely to happen. With that said Caribbean governments are increasingly looking at travel bubbles between some islands to assist with inter Caribbean travel.

Peter Harrisons Maxi 72, Sorcha, at Les Voiles De Saint Barth 2019 © Christophe Journay

Organisers understand the importance of implementing quality measures to ensure the safety of participants and visitors, which will show in adjustments to how they run events this coming season. In order to assist in the planning process and communication the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) has created a Regatta Covid Update page linking to each regattas website where any information on modification to the event and local protocols can be found.

The majority of the events have a multi faceted planning process which will allow them to modify their event based on protocols nearer the time and are looking at options of boat, marina and/or regatta bubbles. To that end NOR’s have now been issued for Barbados Sailing Week, St, Maarten Heineken Regatta, the Caribbean Multihull Challenge, The RORC Caribbean 600, The Superyacht Challenge Antigua, The St. Barts Bucket and Antigua Sailing Week.

Jaime Torres, Vice President of the CSA and Race Manager of Antigua Sailing Week says “For the majority of islands the yachting industry plays a significant part in creating economic activity and therefore governments are focused on how to enable the industry to operate while ensuring the safety of visitors and the resident yachting and wider community. A key part of the success will be ensuring visitors adhere to protocols put in place to mitigate risk and community spread of Covid-19. Many islands have no or very few cases and therefore continuing to protect those nations against any further cases is a priority for everyone. With safety as a given, we invite our international and regional sailors to join us for a season of exciting Caribbean sailing in near perfect conditions made all the sweeter by the absence of racing this year.’

CSA Fleet at St. Maarten Heineken Regatta © St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Lucy Jackson, owner of LV Yachting has been working with the CSA to flag issues and help the CSA understand the concerns of charter companies and can’t wait to get out to the Caribbean. Of the upcoming season she says, “There are lots of teams keen to get back out on the water after a disappointing 2020 racing season in the UK and Europe. It is great to see the positive work being put in by the regatta organisers in the Caribbean to run COVID 19 safe events in 2021.”

Links to regatta websites and NOR’s can be found at www.caribbean-sailing.com/regatta-covid-updates/ Be sure to bookmark the page and check back regularly for further updates. It is suggested that participants enter the events they plan to race at as soon as possible to enable organisers to review plans and ensure safety for all.

The CSA has also established a central point of information about race charters which will be available in the region for the season. Check the list here: https://caribbean-sailing.com/yachtcharter/

Bareboat Fleet at Antigua Sailing Week © Paul Wyeth

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