Charter canceled in the British Virgin Islands >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News


The 2022 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival from March 30 to April 3 has been caught in the crosshairs of a government action which has detained 184 boats from three yacht charter companies. Phil Vitale, one of 28 entered in the Bareboat Division, received some bad news this week:

Saying we’re disappointed and angry just doesn’t seem to cover it.

Early on March 22, I and my five fellow sailors received a message from Ed Hamilton Co. (a Maine-based charter broker I’ve worked with several times in the past) advising us that, unlike From what the Moorings had told them at a press conference the day before, the boat we had chartered (three years ago) from Moorings would not be available to us on March 25 when our 10 day adventure was to to start.

They said The Moorings would refund the money we had already paid, but since they had no other boats available, our charter was cancelled.

Our whole fiasco started in 2020, when less than a week before boarding The Moorings charter for the BVI Spring Regatta, we were informed that the emerging pandemic had forced the cancellation of the race this year- there and that the BVI was closed to international travellers. .

Although it was not their fault, The Moorings then took the high road and offered to honor the charter the following year at no additional cost if we did not request a refund at that time. We agreed and reluctantly began planning the races for 2021.

But, a month before the start of this race, they were again canceled due to a combination of a dramatic reduction in the number of boats entered and the widespread fear of infection inspired by COVID.

Once again The Moorings offered us the opportunity to take credit for this year’s races, which again reluctantly we agreed to do.

Fast forward to this week. With one of our crew already in Puerto Rico for a pre-race side trip and the rest of us packing sea bags for a purchased and paid flight due to take off at 06:00 on March 25, unannounced the bad news has fallen on us.

For a few hours our rep at Ed Hamilton scoured his contacts at the BVI charter companies looking for ANY boat we could use to race but at this late hour (and due to current inventory reduced by COVID), there was none. available.

To say the least, it sucks.


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