SIMPSON BAY—Sint Maarten Yacht Club held a launch ceremony on Saturday for the Club’s latest acquisition, six brand new RS Quest sailboats, a belated Christmas present for the Club that promises exciting sailing in the years to come.
The occasion was attended by several board members of the Yacht Club, Commodore Michel Soons among them, Yacht Club General Manager Michele Korteweg, various admirers and volunteers who helped rig the boats.
The RS Quest, is a two-man boat with spinnaker and replaces the RS Vision which is no longer in production. The RS Visions have been sold and will be going to Anguilla to be used in their regattas. The US$60,000 cost of the Quest purchase was made possible from various donations and other sources.
The project to purchase the RS Quest was driven by board member and Chair of the Youth Sailing Committee Janet Robertson-Morton who said the life span of the Vision boats had reached its term after eight years.
“It was the right time to do this. We all liked the Vision, but the Quest is an updated and improved version,” she explained. “It’s great as a training boat, great as a racing boat, you can take it out with four small kids and its good as a training boat for adults. Its more stable than the Vision and how it’s rigged is much better.
“I felt that we need more excitement for the younger kids,” she added. “For the Opti sailors they will see themselves aspiring to this boat in one or two years. But you need to be a big enough kid physically to be sailing the Quest. This gives the sailing school and youth sailing a giant boost in morale after sailing our tired boats that survived Irma.”
Janet thanked the yacht club member volunteers and assistant sailing instructors who helped rig the boats on two Saturdays over Christmas. She stressed that the new boats are available for sponsorship.
Also thanked was Steve Skippy Hammond who helped in getting the container from the port to Budget Marine where the boats were unloaded, unpacked, and launched from there.
Added Michele Korteweg: “RS Sailing is actively promoting the boats in the Caribbean. They came in as a sponsor at the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) conference so they are involved and want youth sailing to grow in general.
“RS Sailing representative Dan Jaspers has been helpful throughout the whole process offering discounts and best rates on shipping and with the Visions he checked to make sure they are in good enough shape to go to Anguilla, and that meant donating some parts because it is important the boats are sea worthy.”
Michele also noted having the RS Quests keeps St. Maarten competitive with the other islands.
John Leone joined Janet for the ribbon cutting and champagne toast.