A new yacht race between Gustavia Yacht Club on the nearby French territory of St. Barths and Christophe Harbour, St. Kitts, could soon provide a major boost to the local tourism industry, and the sub sector of yachting in particular.
The inaugural Gustavia Yacht Club – Christophe Harbour Cup race, which was originally staged for the 25th – 27th February, 2018, is said to be designed to provide greater attention to the yachting sector while also building stronger ties between both islands.
The St. Kitts leg of the event was hosted by The Marina at Christophe Harbour, located on the Southeast Peninsula of St. Kitts and a community that is poised for tremendous tourism growth, especially with the recent opening of the Caribbean’s only Park Hyatt, nestled in the belt of the luxurious district.
Minister of Tourism, Lindsay Grant, used the occasion of the event to give his endorsement and meet and dialogue with the race participants.
The Tourism Minister also officially welcomed them to St. Kitts and Nevis, and encouraged them to make their participation an annual undertaking.
For his part, the CEO of Christophe Harbour, Charles ‘Buddy’ Darby said, “We have long been discussing with Gustavia Yacht Club the opportunity for hosting a joint race, because we are aligned in so many ways. Although we didn’t get to make the sail across to St. Barths this year, due to high seas, we did have an enjoyable event right here in St. Kitts. We sailed out into the Nevis Channel and then back up (to) the Leeward side of the island and capped off the event at SALT Plage.”
Though there was some disruption from the high seas and gusty winds, which, those who did participate indicated that this did not damper their ability to have an enjoyable time.
This event came at a time when St. Barths is recovering from the passage of Hurricane Irma, while St. Kitts continues to promote its growing yachting industry, led in large measure by developments taking place at The Marina at Christophe Harbour, as well as a recently launched Yachting Strategic Implementation Plan of the Ministry of Tourism.
The race was jointly organised by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Commodore of the Gustavia Yacht Club of St Barths and Charles ‘Buddy’ Darby III, CEO of Christophe Harbour.
Darby continued, “We had high hopes for this first-time event, but Mother Nature had other plans for us. We are thankful to the St. Kitts Yacht Club for their assistance and participation on race day and look forward to growing this unique event next year.”