St. Eustatius, affectionately called Statia “The Golden Rock”, is poised to welcome Her
Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and the jolly participants of The Statia First
Salute Race on November 16, in the prize giving finals in the 2nd Golden Rock Regatta. The Golden Rock Regatta is “the new kid on the block” of Caribbean sailing
competitions and is known as the only regatta in the north eastern Caribbean which
involves races between multiple islands.
The Golden Rock Regatta hosts races
between the islands of St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Barths and St. Eustatius. Coordinator,
Mr. Juul Hermsen is already experiencing significant growth in the number of
participants over last year. “We will host teams from the Netherlands, USA, Austria, and
St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius. Current records show a total of
approximately 20 boats with about 150 participants, organization included”, says Mr.
Hermsen. Some interest is also expected from Belgium, UK and Germany.
What makes The Golden Rock Regatta exciting is that it coincides with the Annual
Statia-America Day Week of Activities, which is expected to have Her Majesty Queen
Beatrix of the Netherlands as the guest of honor this year. These celebrations are held to
commemorate the historic First Salute to the United States of America on November 16,
1776. This year marks the 230th anniversary of St. Eustatius becoming to first foreign
nation to officially recognize America’s independence. History teaches that The Brig
“Andrew Doria” sailed into the roadstead of Oranjestad, the capital of St. Eustatius 230
years ago, deploys the red and white striped continental colors and fires a salute of
thirteen guns. On the insistence of the Governor, Johannes de Graaff, the commander of
Fort Oranje replies with 11 guns. These shots would echo around the world.
On Monday, November 13, 2006 the first race, The St. Maarten/Statia Pursuit Race
starts from Great Bay, St. Maarten in the early hours ending in Oranje Bay, St. Eustatius.
Tuesday November 14, 2006 The St. Kitts Races are scheduled at Frigate Bay
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 The St. Kitts/St.Barths Race commences in Basseterre
St. Kitts and ends in Gustavia, St. Barths.
Thursday, November 16, 2006 The Statia First Salute Race will start in St. Barths
ending in St. Eustatius. Here sailors will be welcomed by islanders during the ever
popular annual St. Eustatius Fort Oranje Street Festival brimming with a potpourri of
cultures, sweet calypso music and tasty Caribbean delights.
Participants in the Golden Rock Regatta will experience no dull moments during one
week of sailing on open seas while visiting four totally different islands. Each race will
culminate with nightly award ceremonies and festive parties enhanced by cool breezes
under a tropical moonlight. The 5 days long 2nd Golden Rock Regatta races culminates
on November 18, when charter yachts return to Oyster Pond in St. Maarten.