April 8 2004 - #19
Easter vacation: skiing, camping or sailing?
Easter vacation started the first weekend of April and the local kids are off for a two-week vacation, the last break before school gets out for the summer in June. In keeping with a Saint-Barth tradition, many families opt to spend the long Easter weekend camping on the island’s beaches. Yet this year, instead of sleeping on the sand, almost 60 students went skiing. This ten-day trip was organized by Corinne Brème, director of "La Marmaille," an association that organizes activities for children over three years old. Corinne created this association in 2000, not long after her arrival in Saint-Barth. For over 20 years, with her BAFA in hand —this is the diploma required in France to serve as a camp counselor—she has organized various vacation activities. Since its debut, “La Marmaille” has various cultural and sports activities for its young members after school and during school vacations. Last summer there were sailing expeditions that lasted four or five days, while a group set off to discover Martinique for two weeks. For many of the 57 children, ages 4 to 17, who headed to the Gets ski area in the French Alps (accompanied by six official monitors as well as a dozen “volunteers” including parents and members of the association), this was the first time they had a chance to play in the snow. So that the cost of this trip would not be a deterrent for the children, the association paid for part of the costs, thanks to donations from local sponsors. And for those who did not go skiing, “La Marmaille” organized other activities at the elementary school in Gustavia, where space has been made when school is not in session. This is a real help for busy parents!
Saint-Barth Bucket 2004
The ninth edition of the Saint-Barth Bucket, April 2-4, 2004, brought 20 magnificent sailboats to Saint-Barth, ranging in size from the smallest, White Wings at 77‘ to the largest, Salperton at 174’. There were modern sailboats such Sariyah and Zingaro, both frequent visitors to Gustavia and the Bucket, as well as Unfurled, the 105’ winner of the Bucket 2002 who hoped to cross the finish line first again this year. The competition was made even more interesting with the participation of the former J Class boat, Cambria, built in the 1920s, as well as Ranger, a replica of another J Class boat that was built last year at a Danish shipyard. The razor-thin hull of Visione surprised many racing fans, as did Cambria’s rigging and bowsprit that were also eye-catching. It was an extraordinary spectacle watching these big boats sailing around the island on Saturday, in spite of light winds that didn’t reach more than 10 knots then decreased even more in the afternoon. In fact the boats had trouble circumnavigating the island due to the lack of wind; the same lack of wind caused the race organizers to modify the itinerary on Sunday. Instead of the triangle between Fourchue, Boulanger and Frégate, as planned, the sailboats did a 12 nautical mile round-trip in the direction of Saba. In the final classification, Marielle came in first and won the “bucket” trophy, closely followed by Unfurled and Visione. The awards ceremony took place on Sunday evening on the main dock that was decorated for the occasion with sails and a blue and white spinnaker. Many of these fabulous boats take part in the Caribbean racing circuit in the winter and headed off to Antigua for the Classic Cub in Sailing Week. They will be back next year for the 10th anniversary of the Saint-Barth Bucket, scheduled for the first weekend of April 2005.
More to come