Starting on the Long Road Ahead
Published on September 29th, 2017
With arguably the best sailing location and conditions in the world, on the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Royal BVI Yacht Club believes there is no better place to sail. But since the British Virgin Islands was recently raked by horrific hurricanes, these are hard times for the organization. Commodore Chris Haycraft offers this report.
The dust is finally starting to settle following the devastating impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and I’d like to update you on the condition of the Yacht Club.
Firstly, thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support and offers of donations, the response from our members and across the sailing community has been incredible.
On the whole the news is positive and we have begun the process of assessing the damage and rebuilding. The Club House in Road Town appears to have stood up relatively well and although there was flooding in the ground floor offices and bathrooms we still have our doors and windows. Unfortunately, there is damage to the roof, the restaurant and the deck which will require considerable work to repair.
There is also positive news at our sailing centre at Nanny Cay, despite the area being virtually unrecognisable following Irma. Our initial assessment indicates that approximately 30% of our hulls can be repaired and we have been able to retrieve some of the rigs and equipment. Our IC24 Black Pearl is still a question mark after she abandoned her mooring for a a spot on the hard after the eye passed but her rig is certainly a little shorter than it is supposed to be!
Incredibly, one of our two storage sheds was one of the few things left standing on the beach and we are fortunate to also have both our coach boats floating. A significant amount of our equipment is however lost forever, including all of our lifejackets and most of our sails, so the shopping list to get us up and running again will be long.
Unfortunately, our instructors Taylor and James both elected to leave after Irma and I would like to thank them both for their contributions to the Youth Sailing Programme, they will both be greatly missed.
Looking to the future, our immediate tasks are to complete the clean up and inventory and begin repairs. There is an enormous amount of work to be done and it will be a slow process. We hope to be able to re-start Saturday sailing in the near future and offer some much needed respite from the challenges of daily living. Longer term, we hope to resume our after school classes from January and will be recruiting for new instructors. In the meantime, we will be busy with fibreglass and gel coat!
We will update you further when we can but it will be some months before power is restored and the office operational again so please bear with us if you have any questions.
There is a long road ahead of us but we are working hard and looking forward to getting back out on the water again soon.