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It's the start of the crewed charter show season in the Caribbean and the 29th annual Tortola Show in November was up to its usual high standard. The Yacht Hop was particularly successful. A new adaption of an old idea, each participating boat chose a country as a theme and brokers were given 'passports' to be stamped by each boat. Each dock was open for an hour, then brokers were ushered on to the next one by boat show staff dressed up as immigration officers! Tortola Immigration plays quite a role in the lives of charter crews, so this created quite a few laughs. We of course all spend plenty of time interviewing these crews, but a Yacht Hop after hours is always a great way to learn more about the creativity of a crew and just what great entertainers some of them are.

The culinary competition, held the next day, was impressive. The dishes were displayed under a tent at Village Cay Marina for all to view and each participating chef had to describe their creation to a panel of judges.
Lisa Mead (
Viaggio), Ann Allen (Sandcastle), Lori Cady (Sabore), Sylvie Vuillard (Tahuata), Angela Smith (Caribbean Dream) and Caro Uy (Toucan Play Two) were all winners. Caro Uy walked away with the highest honors.

There's always a formal evening at Government House, for both brokers and crews. This was one of the first functions for the newly appointed Governor (what a great place to be posted).

The final night was at Nanny Cay, inside the restaurant because of the torrential rain left over from hurricane Tomas. Nothing dampened the spirits of the crews, as the show awards were given out.

The winners of the boat show awards have been chosen in different ways over the years, sometimes using guest volunteers and sometimes charter brokers, but the current system seems to work well. The judges are now all from established charter brokerages and the organizers make sure that each company judging has seen every boat, between the brokers they have at the show.

As usual, there were many first class charter yachts and crews, and with the competition that exists in the Virgin Islands, standards were incredibly high. The overall boat of the year award actually went to a new crew (see detailed description of 'Secret Oasis' in this newsletter) and proves that, using the organizer's objective parameters, the largest or most expensive boat in the show is not necessarily the winner.

The winners at the Tortola show were as follows. We would stress that judging is always close and as so often happens in these competitions, there are many first class yachts that did not get listed here.

Best yacht overall: 1st
Secret Oasis, 2nd King's Ransom, 3rd Genesis
Best cat over 50': 1st
Secret Oasis, 2nd King's Ransom, 3rd Motu
Best cat 50' and under: 1st
Viking Dream, 2nd Genesis, 3rd Toucan Play Two
Best monohull: 1st
Blue Passion, 2nd Sayang, 3rd Cap II
Best motoryacht: 1st
Viaggio, 2nd Sorana

This is the second time Viking Dream has won the smaller cat division. King's Ransom is of course one of the magnificent 76' Silhouette cats - expensive but just fabulous. Another smaller cat, the 47' Genesis, did well in placing third overall. Blue Passion, a new Beneteau design, was also a very interesting addition. There were only two motoryachts in the show, hence no third prize.

If you want to see which boats we would suggest for your Virgin Island vacation, give us a call at 800 621 7855, or
email us. We would be happy to give you more information, so tell us your plans and we will make some suggestions.

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Ed Hamilton & Company
24B US Route 1, Edgecomb, ME 04556

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1-800-621-7855 in the U.S. & Canada
Tel (207) 882-7855 / Fax (207) 882-7851

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