Avocation is being sold so we will not be in the Caribbean in 2012, but we will be sailing toehr boats. members will be informed about possibole opportunities.
By Kerry Biddle-Chadwick
This will be the seventh St Maarten Heineken Regatta for Avocation with some of the crew from last year joining them again this year, along with some new members of crew for the program.
Hank Schmitt runs the program for the experience of a lifetime on the Swan 48, Avocation. The crew doesn't even have to know how to race. For a fee, aspiring racing sailors not only get to race in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, but also have accommodation at the Pelican Resort and car rental included in the price. What a great opportunity!
Hank Schmitt is the organiser of the program and will be Helmsman for the Regatta, John Wellford from West Virginia on Mast, Raymond Landa from Montreal is Bowman, and James Weinberger from Alabama and Ed Makaskas from Toronto are repeat crew from last year. New crew members are Caner Dinlec from New York, Klaus Brinkbaeumer from Germany who writes for Der Spiegel, Jan Willhelm from Holland, Dou Moy, Fabio Peixoto and Tim O'Brian.
The crew all arrive a few days before the race so that they can practice, get to know the boat and get to know each other and work as a team. Last year the team came in third, which is pretty impressive for a boat full of such a mixed bag of sailing experience. Hank Schmitt also organises the NARC Rally each year, this year being the 11th such rally. Their main sponsor for this year's Heineken Regatta will be IGY, same as last year.
The NARC Rally is a rally organised by Hank for boats planning to go south from Newport for the winter. Fleets benefit from big discounts at marinas and besides the discounts, the parties are far more fun when celebrated with a bunch of people that you have gotten to know and have cruising in common with. A small fee is charged to cover the costs of the socials and general overheads and even if someone does not even have a boat, they can sign on as crew aboard a Swan on their Offshore Program, in which case the usual fee for the program will be charged. From Newport the fleet heads for Bermuda for restocking on fuel and provisions before heading down to St. Maarten for the final rally part hosted by IGY Marina Group.
Avocations's racing programme extends to include Voiles de Saint Barth and Antigua Sailing Week, both in April. To book your place on one of these races, contact Hank Schmitt on http://www.sailopo.com.
Happy racing in the Regatta that is all about Serious Fun.