Caribbean Racing Joining Instructions
Thank you for booking a Caribbean race package with us. These joining Instructions are intended to help you plan your trip. If they do not answer all of your questions please ask us by email.
Lunches and soft drinks are provided on board whenever you are sailing. For inshore events this generally means training and racing days (not lay days). For offshore racing and passages, dinner and breakfast will also be provided when you are sailing. If you have any dietary requirements please let us know by email well in advance?
For inshore events, breakfast and dinner are likely to be eaten partly in local café/pubs/restaurants and partly as self-catering, you therefore need to budget some spending money. Prices in the tourist areas are often not wildly different from the UK.
Accomadation is available on board if required, however we do reccomend you consider stayng ashore. The benfeits of air-con and shoreside facilities in the tropics should not be under estimated, nor should the peace away from a busy marina with lots of party goers nearby. If you are planning to sleep on board please let us know by return email. In the unlikely event most of the crew want to sleep aboard there may not be enough berths, so they will be allocated on a "first requested by email, first served basis".
We want to be competitive in our racing. Stormforce Coaching will therefore ensure the yacht is race ready and will devote training time with the crew to spinnaker work, tacking, gybing and sail trim.
WHAT TO BRING
You will need usual clothes, (sun cream, cap/hat sunglasses, beach towel, swimming gear, insect repellant etc.) for a Caribbean holiday as well as kit for sailing in the tropics. It is very unlikely that you will need fleeces and thermals. In previous years none of our crew have worn wet weather gear during any inshore events
There is a life jacket on board for each crew-member.
We would like to keep the weight on board to a minimum, however we suggest you bring the following items racing with you
- Sailing knife or multi tool (not in hand luggage when flying)
- Soft soled shoes
- Sailing gloves
- Sea sickness tablets if you are susceptible to seasickness
You will be able to charge mobile phones, iPads etc. on board if you have a 12V car charger. In order to keep weight down we request you bring minimal kit on board each day and leave most possessions in your accommodation.
If you are staying on board or joining an offshore/ocean race or passage then you will obviously also require
- Additional changes of clothing
- Towel and toiletries
- Passport and visas
Please pack everything in a soft bag (no suitcases or hard framed rucksacks)
We advise you to bring US Dollars (or Euros for St Maarten/St Barths) as appropriate in the table below. If changing currency you will often get a better rate from sterling cash to local dollars at a bank in the Caribbean than you will in the UK. However it makes sense to arm yourself with a few US Dollars before you set off.
|COUNTRY / TERRITORY||LOCAL CURRENCY||NOTES||ACCEPT US DOLLARS||ACCEPT EUROS|
|British Virgin Islands||US Dollars (USD)||Yes, everywhere||Generally Not|
|US Virgin Islands|
|Barbados||Barbadian Dollars (BBD)||Pegged at 2BBD=1USD (very simple arithmetic)|
|Antigua||Eastern Caribbean Dollars (ECD or XCD)||Pegged at 2.70ECD=1USD. Vendors will often take advantage by giving you change in ECD (sometimes at 2.5ECD to the 1USD as they claim the maths is simpler).|
|St. Maarten||Euro (EUR)||The Dutch half of St. Maarten also accepts Dutch Guilders (NAF or ANG) a currency they share with the country of Cauracao, but these are usless on the French side (or pretty much anywhere else including even Holland). Don't bother taking NAF||Yes, everywhere|
|St. Barths||Euro rates fluctuate|
While the boat is insured in its own right and the crew are covered while sailing/racing her, your personal possessions are not insured by us. Nor do we insure you, once you step ashore. If you choose to socalise with our staff ashore or attend the organisers/sponsors shoreside events then these are not activities organised by us! We insist you take out appropriate travel insurance that covers various eventualities, not least the risk of you being unable to attend the event/regatta for any reason and the risk of you suffering an injury/illness while travelling.
We will have a team polo shirt for each of you, please inform us by email your shirt size, (S, M, L, XL, XXL) in good time so that we can order the relevent sizes for your event. The polo shirts are usually branded with the boat name, the event and the company team name, so are printed specifically for you. The polo shirts are "UPF30" (quoted as providing 96-97% UV protection). As a sport's shirt they are made from a textured fabric with inherent wick-ability so are particularly comfortable in the tropics. If you would like additional shirts they are £20 each. We can add as many extra polos to the order as you would like, just email us and let us know. If we don't hear from you we will assume you only want one and that you are an average size.
At the time of writing, UK nationals do not require a visa to enter most Caribbean countries (required for US Virgin Islands), however you will need at least six months validity on your passport at the end of your visit. Ultimately it is your responsibility to check if the country you are visiting requires you to have applied for any visas. Some Caribbean countries charge a departure tax when you leave. This is usually paid in cash in US dollars and only applies in a minority of counties.
MEDICAL / TRAVEL IMMUNISATION
If you suffer from any medical condition, we request you make the skipper aware on arrival. If you require medication, then again we request you make the skipper aware of what you have brought on board, where it is stowed and under what circumstances it should be administered. In terms of immunisation, there are plenty online resources /advice on this subject. A starting point may be to read the relevant NHS webpage, Fit For Travel Destinations
DATES & PROGRAMME
To avoid duplicating dates and programmes, dates are listed on the product pages of our website. Generic Joining Instructions information is above. County/event specific information is at the bottom this page, below the links. For specific dates and timings please visit the following links
- Mount Gay Barbados Race Package
- Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
- Grenada Race Package
- Jolly Harbour Valentine's Regatta
- RORC Caribbean 600
- Heineken St. Maarten Regatta
- St. Baarts Bucket
- St Thomas International Regatta
- BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
- Les Voies Du St Barth/ St Baarts
- Antigua Sailing Week
ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK
This is the grand finale of the Caribbean season!
WHEN & WHERE TO MEET
“Palpatine” will be berthed in Antigua Yacht Club Marina, in Falmouth Hrabour on the South coast of Antigua, we do not as yet know the berth number and won't know it until the day you arrive, however if you ask at the marina entrance they will point you towards us. The yacht will be berthed stern to and the name is visible from the stern/dock. We are usually flying an orange flag!
If you are arriving via St John’s, (the International airport), it is about 40 minutes away from the marina. Both British Airways and Virgin fly regularly. We suggest you travel south by taxi. All taxi drivers speak English.
We would like the crew to meet on the first afternoon or evening at 1800 onboard the boat. If your flight time won't allow this don't worry, just let us know when to expect you. It is likely you all dine ashore (not included) that evening in or near the marina.
- 1800 Tuesday- Welcome on board Palpatine at Antigua Yacht Club Marina
- Wednesday to Friday- Safety briefing and race training
- Saturday - Round Antigua Race
- Sunday to Friday- Antigua Sailing Week with racing and daily prize giving each day (except for the lay day on Wednesday)
- Friday Evening - Prize giving and party
- Saturday - Disembark by 0900 (if staying on board)
After racing on Friday, we will start preparing the yacht for her next passage to Jolly Harbour, you are welcome to join us on the Saturday for this three-hour passage, or you can remain in Falmouth Harbour area. You will therefore either need to disembark 0900 Saturday morning in Falmouth Harbour or by 0900 Sunday morning in Jolly Harbour. If booking a flight we suggest you book one from anytime Saturday onwards.
We are looking forward to welcoming you on board. Let us know if you have any questions.
Test your Knowledge!
Fancy trying your luck on one of our Quizzes?Take a Quiz!
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