Charter Company Goes for Speed

Horizon Yacht Charters teams up with a local pro to bring racing to a vacation in the BVIs. Charter News from our January 2009 issue.

Horizon Yacht Charters and Racing in Paradise, which markets one-design events, have teamed up with America's Cup racer and Olympic medalist Peter Holmberg (left, in photo) to offer a racing master class from May 10 to 17, 2009, in the British Virgin Islands. IC24s, which are modified J/24 keelboats with spacious, open cockpits, will be used for the master-class sessions, and Horizon yachts will be used as mother ships as participants race and cruise to different overnight stops.

Holmberg, who hails from St. Thomas, in the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands, has been sailing professionally for 18 years. His skills span years of Olympic dinghy sailing, America's Cup campaigns, and match racing, qualifying him to help any team sail to its peak potential. During the program, Holmberg will narrate nightly video highlights of the day's events.

Teams of four or five persons will race on the IC24 for four days and cruise between race locations aboard a bareboat yacht from Horizon Yacht Charters for seven nights. (The package includes three days of cruising after the master class.)

Seven-night package rates for four people, depending on the size of the charter vessel, start from $8,000 and include both the cruising yacht and the raceboat. For details, e-mail Horizon (info@horizonyachtcharters.com) or visit its website (www.horizonyachtcharters.com).

Sunsail Introduces a New Monohull
The Sunsail 44i was unveiled in time for the high season of 2009 as the charter company's new flagship monohull bareboat. The 44i, designed by Philippe Briand and built by Jeanneau, joins other monohulls in the Sunsail fleet-the 32i, 36i, and 39i-and features elegant lines, a contemporary interior, and an expansive cockpit. The 44i qualified as a nominee in the Special-Purpose Cruisers category of CW's 2009 Boat of the Year competition for new production models. It's available in a three-cabin/three-head or a four-cabin/two-head layout for charter this winter throughout Sunsail Caribbean bases; it will be available in summer at Sunsail's Mediterranean bases in Turkey, Croatia, and Greece. For details about chartering or purchasing the 44i, contact the company (www.sunsail.com).

Anniversaries: Offshore Turns 45, TMM Celebrates 25
The fall of 2008 was a milestone for companies well-known to vacation sailors. Florida-based Offshore Sailing School, which opened its doors in New York City in November 1964, marked its 45th anniversary. And Tortola Marine Management, which Barney Crook purchased from Ian Frank in the British Virgin Islands in 1983, turned 25.

Each company has played a significant role in introducing sailing to thousands through instruction, charter, and yacht ownership. TMM has bases in Tortola, in the B.V.I.; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Belize. The company is also a sales agent for Lagoon, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Fountaine Pajot, Privilege, and Hunter. For more details, contact TMM (www.sailtmm.com).

Offshore's most popular program, Fast Track to Cruising, gives a novice ready-to-cruise skills and knowledge in as few as eight days. In 2009, the company's marketing team has fine-tuned its private couples and private family learning vacations and introduced new formats and venues for Offshore's popular women's "You Can Sail" weeks. For details, contact Offshore (www.offshore-sailing.com).

Elaine Lembo